Bearing in mind that this project is an opportunity for knowing a little more about our own culture, we decided to focus our attention on one aspect that left a great cultural legacy to Valle del Cauca. With the arrival of the theater, Caleños had the chance of expanding their vision of the world, building a new style of life and dreaming of transformation ofColombian society, which had been and still is wrapped in social injustices and inequalities.
The beginning of the theater school in Cali was like a whole play, in this project, we are just going to stage its first scenes.
The Theater: 55th birthday
In its 55th birthday and wanting to stress the valuable contribution that the theater has given to Cali in terms of culture, it isinteresting to know the origins of the theater in our city.
In order to go into the early stages of this school in depth, it is necessary to travel in time and to return to the year 1955, during the second anniversary of the government of the General Rojas Pinilla.
At that time, he was trying to promote the arrival of the television signal to the country where the radio culture (radio-theater, radiosoap opera live, musical shows, etc.) had predominated until then. That arrival of this new media made people think of the need of having professional actors and actresses, who were able to participate in TV productions which were live and direct at that time, when the technology to pre-record did not exist. So, where could these artists study drama? To answer this question, the idea of creating adrama school was born.
However, it is meaningful to highlight that that idea had been thought 10 years before by Antonio María Valencia, a recognized musician who had always wanted to found a free school for everybody where all the artistic disciplines (music, dance, visual arts and theater) were offered. In 1945, Mr. Valencia, with the purpose of creating the drama school, got in touch withMargarita Xirgú, a famous Spanish actress who lived in Argentina and who arrived in Cali to support his idea. Unfortunately, it could not be carried out due to the lack of financial resources needed to support it and the governmental apathy for this cultural aspect in 40’s.
10 years later, thanks to the efforts made by the Head of State Gustavo Rojas Pinilla, the idea of creating of theater schoolbecame a reality for the Sultana del Valle. So, in 1955, when the President Rojas Pinilla decided to boost the creation of the National Television which needed actors who had a professional acting training, he asked for help from two governments close to him: Mexico and Spain so as to train them. From Mexico, the Japanese master Seki Sano was sent and from Spain, the theater director Cayetano Lucade Tena.
These two important men arrived in Bogotá, but as they had different antagonistic theater ideologies, they could not work as a team. At that very moment, on the initiative of the town councilor Pablo Morcillo, the National Government decided to move Cayetano Luca de Tena to Cali with the intention of running the new school: Escuela Departamental de Teatro.
The arrival of Mr. Luca deTena contributed to design the curriculum of this school which was based on the framework of the curriculum of the RESAD (Real Escuela Superior de Arte Dramático de Madrid) and the framework of the curriculum of the Universidad Católica de Chile since both of them had so many years of experience in this field.
Once the curriculum was created, the first problem appeared: to find suitable teachersfor teaching the different subjects (performance and phoniatrics, fencing, body language, etc.), therefore, Cayetano Luca de Tena did an exhaustive research for gathering a qualified group of people, among them the playwright Enrique Buenaventura who, after having traveled throughout the Southern continent, had arrived in Cali. He was hired as a body language teacher.
Despite of Cayetano...