As part of Festival Cabanyal íntim 2021, we journeyed to a dystopian and fictionalised future Cabañal neighbourhood turned theme park. ‘Theme Park Cabañal’ is a full length immersive and interactive play around the streets of Cabanyal. Participants met at Plaça del Rosari, put on our headphones and began to experience the neighbourhood with an archaeological perspective before the era of cataclysm – “fake is the new real”.
Interested to share more about the piece, writer and director María Salguero spoke exclusively to 24/7 Valencia.
24/7 VALENCIA: What inspired you when writing Theme Park Cabañal?
MARÍA SALGUERO: Well, the idea of a fictionalised tour came up in the Cathedral of Toledo. They had some very didactic audio guides that at times introduced musical parts that generated an almost lysergic strangeness into the perception of the space. This strangeness became even more interesting when I went out into the street with the headphone, in search of a bathroom. There was a disruption as disturbing as it was wonderful. Between what I heard and what I saw around me, hordes of tourists (like me), souvenir stores bursting whilst I listened through the headphone about the story of “The Gate of Hell”, “The Gate of Forgiveness” and “The Door of The Final Judgement”.
It was a result of that visit that I began to think about the narrative possibilities of introducing the headphones on stage or rather the opposite, the possibility that headphones would allow the writer to transfer the fiction of the scene to the street. Soon after, ‘Cabanyal Íntim’ were open for relevant projects and it seemed the perfect scenario to carry out the “experiment”. The proposing of a tour guided by a voice that imitates artificial intelligence, through what is supposed to be the facilities of a theme park.
Do you have any plans to show the play again?
I would love to repeat the experience. I have already been called to do an adaption in a small town, but each piece of work will be different, adapting the fiction to each different environment. I would also like to evolve the idea and take it to a more sensory level. It is an art format with many narrative possibilities, and I want to experiment with them.
Do you have any other pieces of work lined up?
Yes! This is my 7th piece as a Stage Director and Playwright. Right now, I am working on ‘Mistéria’ with my partner and set designer, Blanca Añón. Mistéria will premiere in La Mutant, in November. I am also working on another project to premiere at the Theatre Hiroshima (in Barcelona) in December with Director and Choreographer, Gaston Core.
Where can we find you on Social Media/Online?
You can follow ‘Colectivo Miss Panamá’ on Instagram of Facebook or visit the following webpages:
Interview by Elizabeth Williams
Photo: Headphone On, Photo Copyright: @elizabethlauren95 // 24/7 Valencia
Article copyright 24/7 Valencia
Produced by: Miss Panama Collective. Written and directed by: María Salguero Salas. Performers: María Salguero, Blanca Añón, Virginia Roig, Julian Hackenberg. Locations: Blanca Añón, María Salguero. Sound space: Virginia Roig. Costumes: Blanca Añón, María Salguero. Technician: Jorge Garay