Fénix, beginning the collective journey...
In 2002, Fénix (Phoenix) was founded by Teatro Pasmi and male prisoners in the Colina 1 general prison population. These men had already been involved in theatre projects in Colina 1, and other Chilean prisons; hence the name Phoenix. From 2002-2011, Fénix was directed by Teatro Pasmi, and since 2012 is directed by Colectivo Sustento: Penelope Glass, Sebastián Squella and, since 2017, Constanza Ojeda.
Recent and current projects are:
- Lysistrata, a group-devised show about the normalisation of violence in Chilean society, and particularly violence against women, from a male perspective. Premiered December 11 2015, it has performed in Arte Libre (Prison Dept Arts Festival) in front of the Moneda Presidential palace, as part of the 30th ENTEPOLA Festival, and is presently touring to juvenile detention centres: “Lysistrata tour: No to gender violence”. The play took its starting point from Aristophanes’ play of the same name, where the women go on strike against war and violence.
- August 2015: Collaboration with Nikki Mailer and Mary O’Neill, community theatre workers from Manchester, England. Hands-on mask making and mask performance workshop.
- Modecate, a group-devised joint production with Ilusiones / humanity in a controlled society, is anybody really listening? Premiered January 2013, performed in the Pudahuel Amphitheatre in the 28th ENTEPOLA Festival (January 2014). In repertoire during 2013-2014, it spearheaded our work aimed at preventing young people entering the school-to-prison pipeline.
- November 2012: Celebration of 10 years of theatre work in Colina 1 prison
- Chronicle of a foretold ignorance, a group-devised physical theatre work that was our response to the Chilean student protests of 2011. Premiered at the 26th ENTEPOLA, Pudahuel Amphitheatre, January 2012
- Hand up!: documentary about the Colina 1 companies and Teatro Pasmi’s collaboration with Acteurs de l’Ombre (Belgium) from 2010-2011. Trailer for documentary (unfinished) about “Hand Up!”
With Teatro Pasmi’s direction (Iván Iparraguirre, Penelope Glass, Paulina Ledesma and many others), Fénix produced six plays and three radio plays:
- Group-devised production Hand Up! (2011), an international collaboration co-directed by Iván Iparraguirre and Jean-Marc Munaretti (Acteurs de l’Ombre). Premièred at 25th ENTEPOLA festival. Presented at Spanish Cultural Centre
- The virtuous burglar (2009) by Italian playwright Darío Fo, a satirical farce about bourgeois hypocrisy. Remount 2010. Performed in Colina 1 and in the Puente Alto Preventive Detention Centre, as part of the “Bicentenary Inter-prison Tour”
- Trial in the great forest by Fénix’s own playwright, and member of Colectivo Sustento, Gabriel Jiménez Espinoza (2008). A children’s play raising awareness about our role in protecting the environment. Sponsored by the Columban Church of Ireland. Performances for children and school audiences
- Radioplay It’s enough (2007) about violence against women: Programs Radio Contigo Parts 1 & 2. Dramaturgy: Gabriel Jiménez. Transmissions on Santiago community radio stations
- Radioplay Purgatory.com (2006), about the Chilean prison regulations. Group-scripted, dramaturgy Gabriel Jiménez. Commissioned by Justice Dept and GTZ German Technical Cooperation for legal reform in Chile. Part of the publication “Defending yourself from the prison”
- Question of placement by Chilean playwright Juan Radrigán (2006), about the stranglehold of consumerism in Chile
- Radioplay So you’re a tough guy (2005) for CONACE drug prevention program. Group-scripted, based on a short story by Gabriel Jiménez
- The loan by Peruvian playwright Juan Rivera Saavedra (2003). In repertory until 2007, about the adverse effects of living on credit. Performed at the 23rd ENTEPOLA Festival, 2007
- Chile grows by Marco Olivos & Fénix (2002), a critique of Chilean social democracy
Photos: Alejandro Gálvez, Rodrigo Hernández, Colectivo Sustento and Víctor Robles