Tag Archives: Theatre

Feature: Hannah Connor and Flor Macías Delgado

The LIFESTYLE Feature series expands. Tonight we add two new voices to the ongoing conversation. Hannah Connor and  Flor Macías Delgado are two creators and agents of change that come to us from Madrid by way of Washington DC, Mexico City, Los Angeles, Maine, Bologna, and Amsterdam. These two minds engage with the interview on a personal level and bring us their unique perspectives on Reflection and Response and experiences directing the Madrid theatre group “The Auxiliares” for their performances of Eve Ensler’s award winning play, The Vagina Monologues opening on March 11th.

Leading off with some basics, where are you from? And where are you at?

HC: I tell people I’m from Washington, DC. I moved there when I was 10 years old and I feel like the city has defined a huge part of who I am. Free museums, beautiful cherry blossom trees, AND Barack Obama, who couldn’t love it?! But I was actually born in a small town in Maine and grew up in a farm house that was 200 years old. My dad wanted to have goats, but instead he had three daughters…

Right now I’m living in Madrid, Spain on a Fulbright grant. By day I teach at a bilingual high school in the outskirts on Madrid and by night I explore the millions of things to do around Madrid, cook exotic foods and play board games.

FMD: It’s a complicated question, really; and never coming to terms with answering that question is what has guided my interests in life. I am originally from Los Angeles, CA but I moved to Mexico City when I was five years old and lived there for ten years. I spent the last three years of high school in Los Angeles, then moved to Philadelphia for college. Besides that, I have lived in Bologna, Italy; Amsterdam; and most recently Madrid, where I’ll be until next summer. After that, who knows. I have yet to figure out my next move! There is so much of the world left to see!

What does Reflection and Response mean to you?

HC: Before I go to sleep at night, I often lie in bed and think about three positive or happy things that happened that day. Sometimes they are little things like someone saying hello as they pass me on the street or bigger events, such as, finally finishing a project that I was working on. I think that reflections (whether daily, weekly, or whenever it feels right) is an incredibly important part of being in touch with yourself and the world around you. They are a way of looking back and asking yourself “Am I doing what I want to do with my life? Am I spending my time that way I want it to be spent?”

Reflections are how we notice what is happening in the world. And response is what we do in reaction to those reflections. Our responses are the actions we take to work towards ending injustice and improving the lives of ourselves and those around us.

FMD:I think any art is a reaction, whether it is to a social cause, or your mere inspiration, art is always a response. I want to direct, write and produce pieces that make you reflect about society, and incite an immediate response from the audience. I think that pieces that leave the audience in a happy state of “Aw, that was nice” are a waste of time. I want people to have a definite reaction to my art: be it anger, shock, or even disgust. I want to bring to light issues that are not usually talked about in theater pieces. I am all for the responses.

How does The Vagina Monologues fit in with that definition?

HC: The Vagina Monologues (TVM) and the entire V-day movement is a response to violence toward women. TVM is a play based on interviews with women that raises awareness about issues related to women. The monologues cover a range of emotions and many topics, focusing on women’s sexuality and the stigma surrounding rape and sexual assault. Discussing these issues, especially through a theatrical work, is a powerful way of creating a conversation about these very important topics.

FMD: The Vagina Monologues is all about inciting the audience to reflect on women’s issues and has brief episodes of audience participation. It’s not a play you watch and then go out and live your life the same way. It challenges you to do something to stop violence towards women. At some productions, people are asked to stand if they–or someone they know–has ever been a victim of sexual violence. I am always shocked to see how many women stand up. The first time I was ever involved in TVM I couldn’t believe how many of them were people I knew personally. It really did change me. It made me see that TVM wasn’t just a play, it was part of a movement, and it did more than just entertain people for an hour and a half.

What else have you been working on recently? What are you looking to work on next?

HC: In college I studied urban studies, and as a city lover, I’ve been spending my time in Madrid learning about the history and confluence of cultures in the city. Over the next half year, while I’m still living here, I’m excited to continue these explorations.

At the end of the school year I’m planning on moving back to the States and next year I’ll hopefully be teaching in a public school in a city back home. Our urban education system in the United States needs a lot of work and I’m looking forward to becoming part of the movement to fix it. 

FMD: Artistically, I have been quite dormant. I have been working on grad school applications, specifically to Migration and Ethnic Studies programs around Europe. I am interested in working with immigrant teens, and using art and theatre as means for social change. I currently work at two high schools in Madrid and plan cultural activities that challenge the students to look at their culture from a different standpoint. I want them to talk about racism, gay rights, discrimination, abortion, and what those issues mean to them as Spanish teens. I try to keep busy learning French, and getting involved with animal rights activism.

Who or what inspires you? 

HC: More than anything I’m inspired by people who find unique ways to follow their passions and impact the world in a positive way.  Besides these people who make my life interesting and eventful, I’m inspired by the little things that keep me smiling every day: watching the sunrise over the Reina Sofia on my way to work, seeing the masses of people constantly walking on the streets of Madrid, or drinking tea at one of my favorite cafes.

FMD: I am constantly looking for inspiration and find it in the simplest ways. My students inspire me. Working with teenagers is what I want to do in life, and their passion for living is refreshing. They see the world in a different way, they believe they can achieve anything they set out for, and I think that as we get older we lose part of that. We become more realistic and forget the passion we had when younger. I see inspiration in simple acts of kindness. I want to create art that inspires people to do something about the society they live in. I want to inspire change in some way. Lately, I have been obsessed with “What Would You Do?” clips, so I would also have to say that John Quiñones is the man.

Is there anything else you would like the Collective to know?

HC: Come see the Vagina Monologues!! If you are in Madrid, our show is going to be baller. And if you are somewhere else in the world, find a show near you!

And just as importantly: Stay informed on the issues. One in three women on this planet will be impacted by violence in her lifetime. That is an alarmingly high number. The first step in changing those statistics is being aware of the facts. Change comes from within and every person on this planet can do their part in ending violence against women.

FMD: We are really proud of our cast and crew, and cannot wait until we put up our bilingual production in Madrid. Also, we are always looking for help, so if you are in Madrid and want to get involved, let us know at vdaymadrid2013@gmail.com

Shout out to…?

HC: All the “Bobs” of the world! One of the Monologues in TVM,Because He Liked to Look at It, is about a woman who learns to love vaginas after she is with a guy named Bob. Bob loves vaginas and understands how they are magical, beautiful, powerful, and oh so very important (we all came from a vagina!). We need more men like him in the world!

FMD: Eve Ensler, the author of TVM; and all artists, and activists who work hard to make the world a better place. My very own “Bob” and my mom, hi mom!

-Reflection and Response.

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Feature: Jorge Pascual Blanco

Jorge Pasucal Blanco esta en motión. Nació en León donde desarolló su creatividad y empezó de destacarse como actor y escritor. Cómo actor, ha interpretado monólogos como una adaptación de  la obra de Michel Houllebecqe comp parte de la presentación “Ampliación del campo de batalla,” en la Facultad de Cine, La Bañeza. También interpretó “Polizones,” presenaciones multidisciplinarios en el Centro civico León-Oeste

Como escritor, ha sido publicado en Leteo varios veces: ““Morir de viento,” y  “Petit Comité.” En 2006 recibió un Accessit en el premio “Eugenio de Nora.”

Su estilo personal y emotivo viene de su experiencia multidisciplinaria. Acutalmente presenta obras innovadores como “Pilasia,” que se presenta como una mezcla de pilates y poesia. Abajo aparece la entrevista y ejemplos de obras del artista.

Jorge Pascual Blanco is a person in motion. He first developed his creative interests as an actor and writer while growing up in his hometown of León in Northern Spain. As an actor he interpreted stage productions of Michel Houllebecque’s “Ampliación del campo de batalla,” in the Facultad de Cine, La Bañaeza. He also performed “Polizones,” a multidisciplinary presentation at the Centro civico León-Oeste.

As a writer he has been published various times in Leteo: “Morir de viento,,” and “Petit Comité,” represent two of his most important works, among others. In 2006 he was awarded  an Accessit for the prestigious “Eugenio de Nora,” award.

His personal and emotive style is informed by his multidisciplinary background. Currently he performs innovative works such as “Pilasia,” which mixed pilates and poetry. Check the interview below and links to examples of Jorge’s work.

Para empezar con algunos puntos básicos, de dónde vienes? Dónde estás?

Leading off with some basics, where are you from? And where are you at?

JPB: Yo vengo de aprender mucho en algunos cursos de formación teatral y sobre escritura creativa, performances y sobretodo he aprendido en otro nivel en algunas exposiciones que he hecho de mi trabajo en varios locales aquí o allá. He oído recitar y expresarse poéticamente de manera muy personal y en otros casos de manera muy pobre.

Así que ahora me falta regresar a la teoría un poco, probar a mezclar estos lenguajes artísticos, experimentar otras cosas. Leer mucho de la vida y de los libros..     

JPB: My backgrond is in theater, creative writing, performance, and I have done various shows and expositions at various venues. I have heard poets and other artists express themsevlves in a a moving and personal way and also others in a much less interesting way.

I need to revisit theory a bit, to try and mix these artistic langauges, and to experiment with new things. Also, to read from life and read from books…

Que quiere decir reflexión y respuesta para ti?

What does reflection and response mean to you?

JPB: Yo, como ya he dicho vengo del mundo del teatro, aunque me guste todo tipo de lenguajes.. eso depende del qué hacer.

La reflexión para mi es todo el proceso que consciente o inconscientemente te ayuda a recopilar información para echarla a la “pila” del mundo emotivo o sensitivo o mundo más visceral.

La respuesta es todo aquello, que después de haber pasado la parte de reflexión, se acumula, para de manera consciente, mediante impulsos, transcribirlo al lenguaje creativo, sea el lenguaje que sea.

Por supuesto que el orden no tiene por qué ser lógico, se puede por supuesto tener una reflexión profunda después de una respuesta, incluso esto es más artístico si cabe.

Para mi “respuesta” es el poema en sí, y “reflexión” es todo aquello que influye a la hora de escribir el poema, ya sea mucho antes de haberlo hecho.

Puede  pasar, que se tenga un poema y no se llegue a escribir nunca. Eso pasa porque no se indaga qué herramientas hacen falta, o son más necesaria, para ese poema…o puede ser que no llegue el momento preciso para hacerlo. Puede ser que cuando nos encontremos en la vida ante algo que queremos que pase,  ese poema salga solo por pura inercia, por tanto pensar en ello, en ese viaje, en esa chica, cuando no te enteras estas recitándolo. ¡Eso es GRANDE! .

También.. yo definiría reflexión como una consecuencia de estar en contacto con el mundo en todo su lirismo, por ejemplo estar en contacto con elementos, objetos de un personaje ficticio de teatro, entonces esta respuesta se podrá dar de manera muy lúcida como pequeñas verdades al actuar, segundos perfectos que sacarán al espectador de su butaca.

 “Debes comenzar a amar el arte en ti mismo y no a ti mismo en el arte” K.Stanislavsky

JPB: As I mentioned before I come from the world of theater, although I do enjoy all types of creative language…depending on its use

For me, reflection is a concious and or/unconcious process that helps one take in information in order to access the emotional/sensisitive/visceral world.

Response is all that information accmulates after reflextion has occured and can be translated into creativity through concisous or impulsive action.

The order in which the two processes occur isn’t necesary logical: one can experience profound reflextion after response, which can be an artistic triumph.

I would say that the poem itself represents “response” and reflextion is all that influnces its creation, from a long while before the writing to the event of makign the poem. This happens because one need not invrstigate tools or methods that aren’t being used, are needed for whatever poem, or because the right time for the poem never comes. Perhaps a poem comes out when we find something desirable in life and we think in that event, trip, that woman, without knowing. This is HUGE!

I would also define relfexion as a consequence of being in contact with the world and all it’s lyrcism, with natural elements, ojects that belong to created characters onstage. This makes for a lucid response with small bits of truth, seconds thta transport the audience from thier seats.

“Love the art in yourself, not yourself in the art.” K.Stanislavsky

Cómo se mete tu arte en esta definición?

How does your art fit in with this definition?

JPB: La poesía es pura intuición.. pero claro.. si sólo me fiara de mi intuición, escribiría poco..jaja.. Uno escribe con intuición (..cuando la tiene..), pero debe recopilar toda esa intuición.. Darle ritmo, sonoridad con sonidos de “r” o de “L” o escribirla con forma de desierto o de mar, o darle aspecto de plato con esa forma oval..

Hay demasiadas estructuras, herramientas estilísticas, para darle forma a un texto, lo que hace falta es conocer su por qué y así darle la forma adecuada, usar las herramientas precisas para darle ese por qué  y pueden ser muy variadas si el texto tiene fuerza.

Si uno sabe el por qué se ha escrito ese texto.. puede ser un texto amoroso y darle una forma de diálogo de una mujer y un hombre, así uno se puede acercar a uno mismo y sentir qué cosas diría o no..

Mi arte se mete en la idea de la vivencia personal. Yo escribo de determinada forma, triste, melancólico, onírico, dependiendo de qué vivencias tengo , eso es para mí “reflexión” y luego tengo multitud de “respuestas” en torno a ese poso de experiencias que pueden ser rabia, amor, expectación, ensimismamiento.. etc como todos tenemos respuestas, yo tengo esas respuestas que se crean automáticamente en mí, en mi arte, como consecuencias de esas vivencias; mediante una especie de liberación.

Hay una liberación en el arte, el arte es algo para mí liberador, y muy estimulante, ya que en ese proceso, nos conocemos a nosotros mismos.. esto es labor de toda una vida.    

JPB: Poetry is pure intiuition..but of course… if I only trust intuition I would write little..One writes wit intuition (when its there) but that inutuion should be compiled together and igven rhythem and sound with sounds such as “r,” or “L,” written as if it were the desert or the sea, or given the oval shap of a plate.

There are so many structures, tools, amnd skills,to form a text however with a reason for a text an artist can choose its form and use skills and techniques that convey this meaning. Good texts can have various techniques that work to convey meaning.

When one understands why he or she has written a text, be it a romance between a man and a woman, one can get closer to the self and feel thigns that the artist feels.

My art comes from personal experience. Depending on events in my life, I write from various perspectives, sadness, meloncoly, dreamy. These perespectives are my reflexion and then there is a multituld of reponses based on these emotional deposits such as rage, love, hope, enthusiasum, self-absorbtion..etc just as we all expereicne responses, these are examples of responses that automotically come from me and through in my art as a result of these lived experiences.

Within art there is a liberation: art is important stimulant for my inner liberator. It’s stimulating because we get to know ourselves much better which is a lifelong search.

Que más estás haciendo actualmente? Que proyectos estás pensando trabajar próximamente?

What else have you been working on recently? What are you looking to work on next?

JPB: Estoy intentando acabar un poemario para mi novia que se va a ir a San francisco y no voy a verla en tiempo, y eso es importante. 

Quiero seguir aprendiendo a recitar con “free jazz” igual algo más ligero..ufff

Quiero hacer algo con un escultor en una galería de arte Amancio González a través de dibujos y poemas y el hilo conductor del vino como elemento socializador (..)

Y no sé qué proyectos me deparará el destino. Escribir algo que refleje cada vez más lo que siento en ese momento..irme acercando a mi verdadero lenguaje interior.

JPB: I am trying to finish a book of poems for my girlfriend who is going to San Fransisco soon, whish is important for me.

I want to continue learning how to recite with “free jazz,” and something lighter…

 I want to do a project with scultpor Amancio Gonzalez withdrawings and illustrations, poems, with the focal point as wine.

Who knows what projcts destiny has in store for me. I will focus on writing poems that focus on the current moments..approaching my true inner language.

Quien o que te inspira?

What or who inspires you?

JPB: La similitud de la naturaleza con las sensaciones y vivencias humanas. El amor. Las mujeres que saben ser ellas, los hombres que saben ser ellos.

La debilidad humana. La pasión. El romperse por dentro haciendo algo..

La manera de amar.

Un botón, un alfiler, unas zapatillas, la distancia entre las personas ..las físicas y los obstáculos que nos ponemos.

Un niño mirando las nubes. Una chica que se peina.


JBP: Similarities between nature and human emotion and lives expierence. Love. Women that know to be themselves and men that know how to themselves.

Human weakness. Passion. Breaking up inside doing something.

Ways to love.

A button, a pin, shoes, distance between people, physics, and obstacles that we creative.

A child lookign up at that clouds. A girl combing her hair.


Hay algo más que quieres que sepa el Collectivo?

Is there anything else you would liek the Colective to know?

JPB: Querría saber más del colectivo y conocer más sobre sus inquietudes.

Pero así en general que estoy abierto a escuchar proyectos e investigaciones, colaboraciones para aprender.

“El arte no imita a la vida,  la vida hace el amor con el arte..”

JPB: I would like to learn more about the collective and more about it’s fears.

In general I am open to new projects, investigation and collaborations to learn more.

“Art doesn’t limit life, life makes love with art.”

Saludos a….?

Shout out to?

JBP: Peter , Gracias por todo.

Garazi que tengas buen viaje…

JBP: Peter, thanks for everything.

Garazi, have a safe trip.

Ahora pasan las hojas anegadas de tiempo por la lluvia reciente..
Pasa el viento como las ráfagas de los flechazos, como pasado esparcido en el rostro
y agua fresca arrojada al despertarse..
como recuerdo

Kilómetros: Una colaboración con ilustrador Pablo García.

Kilometers: A collaboration with illustrator Pablo García

Snapshot #1

Shanpshot #2

Poesía grabada en casa de Alfonso en León:

Poem recorded at Alfonso’s house in León:

Reflection and Response.

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