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Column/Beauty causes vice


“Theater is the art of the here and now, it is the awareness of the people towards the future, and not a passive nostalgic vision of the past”, the Mexican playwright, theater director, professor and academic Héctor Mendoza (1932-2010) used to say. ) ).

Mendoza directed more than seventy productions and was the author of more than forty plays, in addition to being a mentor to Carmina Narro (1969), whom she refers to as “an overwhelming personality due to his discipline, his academicism that he himself had created and its black legend around rigor…”.

Carmina Narro is one of the most important playwrights in current Mexican literature. She has worked as an actress and theater director. Narro studied dramaturgy, theatrical analysis and direction with Hugo Argüelles, Vicente Leñero and Juan José Gurrola, together with Raúl Quintanilla and the aforementioned Héctor Mendoza at the Núcleo de Estudios Teatrales (NET). She has written scripts for film and television, published short stories in the cultural supplement “Sábado” of the Unomásuno newspaper, and taught dramatic composition classes at the SOGEM Writers’ School. Of her, Juan José Gurrola wrote: “Carmina Narro catches reality when it is neglected”.

The reason for this interview is to discuss theater, the awards that have been awarded to it, narrative and acting, and its participation in the anthology Látex Azul Cielo (Moho, Second Edition, 2022).

What are the most affective memories you have of Los Mochis, Sinaloa?

I was born in Los Mochis, but I had no use of reason as you can imagine. Affective memories? No… Maybe a strangeness from when I was a teenager with my dad. And I think… “Well, he’s not so pretty for him to spend so much time here.” Later, when I went with my older brother, he gave me a lot of nostalgia for what I didn’t know, but I did walk through his land. It seems that I am speaking in Sinaloense just because you mentioned Los Mochis. I thought the best flour tortillas were made in Sonora, but no, Sinaloa has its stuff.

What was the greatest lesson that Juan José Gurrola bequeathed to you, for whom you served as assistant director in 1989, in addition to having been his student?

Gurrola was a haven. Gurrola helped me think without margins in red. I came from hell and after studying with Héctor Mendoza, a theatrical institution, but the militarized Theater with capital letters… And if you didn’t suffer, you couldn’t even deserve… Mendoza was an overwhelming personality due to his discipline, his academicism that he had created and his black legend around rigor… Admirable. Now I know that if you don’t have a semi-militarized discipline you can’t do theater. I trembled every time he spoke to me. Why am I talking about Mendoza if you asked me about Gurrola?: To be able to talk about my perception. With Gurrola it was the imperative to “think differently and in this second” just as tyrannical. His demand was if I say cow, don’t say milk. This pirouette of thought to break the association of ideas was not easy. And above all also, have fun. “Enjoy, don’t ride your pain…” When I said that… I kept thinking, I don’t know how long. And I think we help each other scream wildly. It is one of the most important relationships of my life, I tell you in my fifties. My most important teacher because he was the most generous. Despite all that could be said now. In these times, he would be in prison. Or am I still suffering from a toxic relationship after so many years of death? And what about Mendoza? But look at Ludwik, he wasn’t my teacher, but he was reputed to be the most tyrannical of the three, they say, he was the only one who told me: have my theater and I’ll give you ten thousand pesos to put on the next piece of your play … And again Gurrola enters the story…, he did the set design… I don’t know…, there are too many labyrinths.

Irish writer and philosopher Iris Murdoch wrote in The Sea, The Sea (1978), that “the theater is surely a place to learn about the brevity of human glory and all those wonderful, resplendent, utterly gone pantomime.” What is theater for Carmina Narro?

Nose. It is the place where he suffered the most and returned to him. Almost like she was a masochist. Also where I have felt that I can make the air change density or become a laugh or a fearful smile, it doesn’t matter. I write in theater. I don’t describe, I do dialogues that create the story and the characters too. I imagine the scenario… very poor because I know there will be no money… But there I feel free… no matter how constrained the production is in reality. And I want the gravity of the air to change, at least for a few seconds, to change the atmosphere with a tense scene and also in others to bring laughter… I have achieved it. Maybe that’s why I always have to come back. Beauty causes vice.

Could it be that in your last name you carry penance?

We were in the workshop at the Royal Court in London and in an exercise that seemed very silly-savvy…, and no…, later I realized that it was too revealing…, I think they threw a ball at you and you had to say something about your last name, whatever. And then, I said something like I Narro, but I’m a Playwright…, it was very curious. And if your question comes from another side, I feel very proud of my two last names. Narro Flores… what else?

What did the Salvador Novo Prize for Revelation in Playwriting, for the play Recuerdos de Bruces, represent for you? (of which Rascón Banda wrote: “she strips her characters and exhibits them in their little hells, showing her meanness. They are not pleasant or virtuous characters, because there is no search for values ​​in them”).

It was a shock. I never expected it. I was 22 years old and I had already fought a pitched battle to set it up – here Gurrola returns to my story – because I had to recover from her betrayal. And I had to redo everything. So, not only do I recover, I go and do and apart from that they reward me. It was a master-proof fortress. Let me tell you that Mendoza went to that play, and me and my assistant ran everywhere because he had gone to our teacher, our guru… Mendoza, damn it, Mendoza…! And we ran with nothing to chase… And Mendoza said that she was not going for me, but for her student in the cast, and while we waited for the actress to come out of the dressing room, she told me with her intrinsic elegance: “You don’t care, Carmina, that there is little public, they did not pay much attention to Bergman either, daughter ”. I have those words tattooed… Very much in his own way, but I think it was a compliment, right? And despite the fact that the small forum was almost full.

Going to the award ceremony with my family was the best.

1679603915 509 ColumnBeauty causes vice

In what way do playwriting, stage direction, production, script, narrative and acting come together in your work?

When I write theater I’m already directing. The fuck is the production. I am a good actress because of ease (talent is said) and because I studied with the best – again Mendoza – and precisely for this reason it is not for me to explain to the actors what it is about and I put myself on stage to see qualities are their needs practices because the emotions and intentions have already been made in table work under the understanding of the subtext of what story we are all going to tell. It’s how amazing you have to unify the story because everyone involved, from actors to creatives, has their own story in their heads. And you have to make everyone play the same symphony. The scenario is the one that will always ask you first as if you had no previous desk job, apparently.

What the fuck…

It’s a fascinating ordered chaos.

The narrative makes me very happy. I only think, I structure where it is going, in the first steps that my fingers take me, I decide where it is going, I take notes by hand, and I change course and paths are opened that do not cost scenery…

It has been very difficult for me to write my first novel and it has been… well… highly reviewed, praised, reviled… ignored… I think the poor thing must already be schizophrenic from so many conflicting opinions. It has not been published, but there she is with smallpox, but I take care of her. My stories are there… scattered… but they tell themselves.

1679603915 99 ColumnBeauty causes vice

What was the creative exegesis of Credencial de Escritor, recognized with the Bravo Award, for the best comedy of the year in 1996, within the Rafael Banquells Association?

I think it is more than clear that I have conflicts with authority…, wherever it comes from. José Antonio Alcaraz said it in an article in the Reforma a thousand years ago, that I was anti-Tlatoani… something like that.

What do you remember most from your time as a fellow at the Writers Room in New York?

The smell of the subway. Its majesty when I arrived and saw Manhattan at night. How unbearable New Yorkers can be. And also, once you are there, without the eye contact that everyone close to me warned me about, they surprise you all the time because out of the blue they say no comment to you. It sounds like you need to talk to someone. It is a city of lonely people like me, after a while, I felt part of it. I made good friends, not just good, endearing ones.

Most of the stagings of your works have been directed by yourself. Today, who would you like to lead you?

Let Rodrigo Johnson, Silvia Ortega Vertoretti, Pilar Boliver or John Gould Rubin from New York direct my texts.

Tell me about your story in the anthology Látex Azul Cielo (Moho, Second Edition, 2022).

It was a thousand years ago and now it is current. That speaks well of the book and bad of our society. I wrote “What does Moi think when he plays the güiro?”, because violence goes back and forth. Because a woman subdues a guy because she understands that it’s the only way to possess him. I have always wildly questioned what the beginning of evil is, but neither Eva, nor Lilith, nor Medusa, nor the dead answer me convincingly… why do they kill us? object of desire? I think Latex opened a letter a long time ago…

Cover of the book Látez azul cielo, second edition.  Editorial MOHO.

How is your relationship with Guillermo Fadanelli, what does his friendship, narrative and critical thinking represent for you in a meaningless world?

My friendship with Guillermo is endearing to me and also with Yolanda, but she doesn’t drink. She did not participate much in Willy’s long tables where he officiates. But it’s been many years of watching us grow, fall and get back up. Celebrating the misery of life with long conversations on the phone or by Zoom if necessary…, they are uplifting, even if they collapse the next day. I consider him along with Rodrigo Johnson, my best friend. I don’t know if that is good or bad.

Would you give the Nobel to Willy?

I because?

If you’re looking for it… no. Nose.

But for his work, yes.

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