Last year, Cuban theater aroused a lot of debates and even heated clashes. Like a pollutant cloud, a trend spread on sectors of society: theater was a bearer of a noxious thought for the social life of the nation.
Political theater is still made throughout the world. It has changed its face, language and strategies. It does not resemble, of course, the one advocated by Weiss more than 50 years ago. But what definitely matters is the principles, the substratum, the social entrails on the stage.
Such scenarios of discussion convinced me that we were not mistaken when we designed Teatro-Sociedad-Resistencia (Theater-Society-Resistance) as the core theme of the XVII Festival de Teatro de La Habana (17th Havana Theater Festival); and that we were not mistaken either when we proposed its relevance and visibility when we announced the call early in 2016.
We pursued a good quality international exhibit that could bring the Cuban audience to learn diverse experiences, but in the same axis; a theater that is still a political practice of the most profound demands of our society.
The Cuban exhibit was necessarily wider. It collects the many points throughout the country that turn their concerns into a responsible political theater.
Theater, since ancient times, is a space where actors and audience meet to examine lives and circumstances of any moment of history, and shed lights and shades of what is human over the stalls.
That is what I hope: that this Festival de Teatro de La Habana searches, focus and shows, with its long history on its shoulders, alien to the dictates of mercantilism, and where we can celebrate in many ways the continuance of theater as a necessary art for the individual, the community, and the world.