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Thursday, 5 October 2017

Fatima Patterson: Theatre has a social function to fulfill

by: La Jiribilla, Cuba

Fatima Patterson (photo:Miguel Rubiera Justiz)
Fatima Patterson (photo:Miguel Rubiera Justiz)

A brief interview by La Jiribilla in Cuba with Fátima Patterson, National Award for Theatre 2017 and director of theatre group Estudio Macuba in Santiago de Cuba, prior to the Havana Theatre Festival .

From 20-29 October the XVII International Theatre Festival of Havana will take place, in which your company will participate. What will they present?

FP:"Among the many works that we have put on the stage in the group's 25 years of existence, we decided on Caballas, (translates as female horses) a piece released on July 3 during the inauguration of the 37th Festival del Caribe, inspired by the artwork by the outstanding Cuban artist Alberto Lescay Merencio.
"This work becomes a tribute to these women, those contemporary 'mares' that struggle in different areas of society, whether at home or at work fulfilling different roles, is a celebration of the female and the challenges that every day they must face, this is a recurring theme in the aesthetics of this theatre company ".

What does it mean that your group has been selected again for a staging at the International Theatre Festival in the Cuban capital? The selection is rigorous.

FP:"It is an immense pleasure and an excellent opportunity to do what we are passionate about and to show the result of our work, that festival is a very prestigious event and in which diverse experiences are exchanged, all of which enriches our theatre and encourages appreciation of our artform.
Theatre is an artistic expression enjoyable for very specific audiences, and it does not enjoy the great popularity that other forms of culture have."

What importance do you give to spaces such as the International Theatre Festival of Havana?

"We are in times when theatre sometimes picks the wild card, and this festival represents a space to experiment and move the foundations of creativity to develop this artform that, above all, has an important social function to fulfill.
"For this we cannot forget history, those roots that right now many want to make us forget, and that are essential to understand, own and transform our present, and build the future.
"The performing arts and in particular the theatre are very important tools to feed the spirit and reflect on everyday situations and how to address them in a creative and positive way."

The theatre for Fátima Patterson and in particular the company that she directs, Estudio Teatral Macubá?
FP: "I'm 65 years old and 47 of them I've spent acting, more than half of my life, I cannot imagine doing anything else, and Estudio Teatral Macubá is a work of love and an inspiration to get up every day, just like my Santiago city and its beautiful, simple and unique people ".

Fatima says goodbye to me, then goes in search of her actors and actresses, her enthusiasm and energy infect everyone in the room.
On the way to the exit of the theatre, I remember when, last February, when I talked with her about the awarding of the highest painting award in Cuba, she said: "I have been given a prize for doing what I like."

Link to original interview by La Jiribilla in Spanish

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