Victor Weinstock presents ‘Finitude’.
Although the finiteness of existence is a certainty, few seem able to deal with it. In the work of that name, Víctor Weinstock and a cast of three actors with a solid career lead the public to face suffering through the paths of emotion but also of logic.
Two of the actors represent in ‘Finitude’ something that happened to them: the death of a son.
We spoke with them, exclusively.
What do the mourners cling to? To the hope? to blame? To the pain itself? In finitudethe latest play by playwright and director Victor Weinstock, a middle-aged couple covered in ashes look through a window, with the insistence of someone who has been left without answers, amputated by happiness.
After an absurd accident, his world has been devoured by fire.
They, however, seem condemned to remain captive, contemplating what could have been, trying to understand what went wrong, unable to assent to a fate they consider unfair.
finitude “It is the first panel of a triptych, a trilogy of reflections about life and death, the finiteness of existence”, he explains to jewish link the author who, together with the cast of the play, has agreed to talk with this medium about the play that is inaugurating his company Teatro de Fuego.
“In this first piece we explore these questions in a tragicomic tone, following three or four formal styles that go from the theater of the absurd, existentialism, passing through distance, to conclude with a sandwich of humorous Mexican costumbrismo from the last century, which allows the public, along with us, to dare to investigate fundamental questions of existence, of pain, of human suffering without suffering it, even accepting laughter as a healing vehicle.”
For XX and XY, the “ashen characters”, however, healing seems like a utopia. The couple exchange dizzying dialogues made up of short sentences that reveal the obsessive state in which their minds have been stuck since the accident.
Inside a very poor room, they carry out uncertain rites that seek to restore a lost orderwhile they look out of that window that is also a character, trying to agree on what they see through it.
Soon, the being they see on the other side will burst onto the scene to shake them, to make them question the very foundations of their obsession and to challenge their desire to undo time, to reverse the unfortunate events.
YY is that character, who appears as a ragged homeless man with androgynous gestures and a cynical attitude. Soon, YY will reveal himself as a kind of broken god who embodies all the ideas that humanity has projected into the various gods that have served him to face emptiness, fear and hopelessness.
The public is also shaken by the resounding presence of Mario Zaragoza, the actor who represents the character of YY, for whom this work has been a challenge on various levels. Zaragoza answers the questions that this newspaper asks him while sitting in an armchair at the Teatro Varsovia. The public has left and the workers raise the stage.
“Does it hurt to do this play?”
Zaragoza insistently removes his beard while his gaze searches the empty air of the theater for the answer. “It hurt,” she finally answers. “Well, the feeling is ambiguous,” she admits. “When we were working on it, it was very difficult. We suddenly did not admit that it was pain (what we felt). But it was very difficult.”
The plural used by Zaragoza includes Patricia Blanco, his wife, in charge of representing XX, and who recently lived with him an analogous experience to the one narrated in Finitude: the death of a son. “The play is dedicated to him,” explains the actor and talks about the therapeutic effect that performing it has had on the couple.
“Yes, it has worked for us. Yes, it has been very good. And there is also a contradiction because, suddenly, Paty and I have asked ourselves ‘what about if we forget Fernando (Zaragoza Blanco)?’ (…) When you feel good in this duel, in this situation that we have, suddenly it is a fear that we will forget our son. (Although) I don’t think he’s going to get through.”
On the other side of the window
“The windows are whatever we want them to mean”, explains Víctor Weinstock when asked about the symbolic meaning of that inanimate character that seems to be so important in Finitud. “They can mean hope and future, yes, but it is also where we look at our past.”
On the other side of that window “there is a mythical character, there is a god, there is a devil and a simple homeless person. All that in one person. There is also the memory of a daughter lost in a tragic way. There is also the desire to change history, the desire to see the girl again,” says Gastón Yanez, who plays XY in Finitud. “Behind the window there is hope and sadness at the same time,” he concludes.
His character bears the burden of blame. It is him, a kind of engineer, whose car has stopped on a curve in the road. Now, minutes (centuries?) after a truck with no brakes hit the vehicle with its baby inside, wonders if he could have done anything differently; she reproaches herself for having stopped the car right there, at the mercy of fate, while XX, her partner, cannot forgive herself for getting out of the vehicle and leaving the girl inside.
She seems to embody the historical clichés of the role of women in society.: whore, mother, frustrated nun. “XX has gone through what many women have gone through, which is sexual abuse, family abandonment, emotional abandonment, economic violence and gender violence; it represents all that and on top of that the loss, the loss of a child”, explains Patricia Blanco.
She doesn’t look tired, as might be expected after the great display of energy she just displayed on stage. She is sitting on one of the props that remain there, while the technical team dismantles the rest of the discreet scenery.
His character is “a woman who has been so beaten in life (and) she still has a great deal to suffer through, because her daughter was that light that was missing from her life. She had it and left, as it has happened to thousands of women (…), as it happened to me as a mother ”.
However, each time she takes the stage, the actress goes through what she calls a range of emotions that “are cathartic. I am not afraid of suffering as a person and XX is not afraid of suffering either. It’s part of life”.
It’s also fuel for an actress:
“I don’t want to be judged crazy but we like to suffer. The actor who does not like to suffer on stage is fried. Suffering is part of a healthy emotion. We cannot avoid it in this life. Just like laughter, joy, merriment, suffering is there and you have to know how to enjoy it”.
That is why he invites the public to “come to suffer so that they have a catharsis, to get it out, because they are not only going to suffer, they are going to laugh. This is a tragicomedy because that’s life and in pain we don’t just cry, we also laugh.”
Finitude and spirituality: does God fit into the equation?
When Fernando Zaragoza Blanco died suddenly, just over a year ago, Víctor Weinstock must have thought that he had to create from mourning; look for answers in the word, that written word that, to be theater, then has to be said.
“There are ultimately more questions than answers, but what I learned, without a doubt, is gratitude, because the answers, moreover, I looked for them in the very mourning that we were experiencing, and finding, daring to joy as a vehicle for healing it resolved many of our questions”, confides the author.
“It is not that the death of anyone is fair, but it is inevitable. And somehow death gives us certainty. The only certain thing we have is that we are going to die. Love, if anything, teaches us the unexpected about death. Love is as unexpected as death. But we know it’s going to happen, that it’s inevitable.”
If accepting the finiteness of existence is the way to get rid of the pain caused by your idea, would there be room for spirituality in a world that has made peace with the idea that nothing is eternal?
“I think not,” Weinstock says. “The moment humanity accepts the end of things, spirituality will be unnecessary. Now I need someone to tell me why it is necessary for spirituality to end”.
Finitud, by Víctor Weinstock, is presented every Monday at the Teatro Varsovia in Mexico City (Calle Varsovia #9, Colonia Juárez) at 8:00 p.m. Anyone who so wishes can enter the company’s website, register and obtain a discount: www.teatrodefuego.mx.
In addition, Theater of Fire and jewish link they have one exclusive promotion for our users. All you have to do is post “I want to see Finitud, by Víctor Weinstock” on any of your social networks and use the hashtag “SomosHumo”. Take a screenshot and send it to [email protected] to obtain one of the six double passes that the production company offers. Make sure the post time is visible.
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