The Life and Death of King Richard the Second, written by William Shakespeare in approximately 1595, is a historical drama based on the reign (1377-1399) of the medieval King Richard II of England. The text is one of the first historical dramas of William Shakespeare, and is part of the Shakespearean saga inspired by the history of England that includes important titles like Enrique IV, Enrique V or Ricardo III. It has been brought to the scene on the world's major stage circuits, and has been successfully brought to British television. Richard, his main character, has been incarnated by iconic actors Derek Jacobi, Ian Mckellen, Laurence Olivier, Jeremy Irons, or Ben Wishaw or Fiona Shaw. This play has never been staged in Cuba.
Perséfone's staging is going to bet on a contemporary language based on image and referentiality. The text will be respected almost in its entirety, it will only suffer minor cuts in order to reduce the cast and energize the dramatic action. In Adonis Milan's scenic proposal, references such as the Gothic subculture, militarism, pagan religions as opposed to Christianity, and the theatrical and audiovisual adaptations of the vast Shakespearean play and the conceptions of the theater revolutionaries of the century will impact. XX like Jerzy Grotowski, Antonin Artaud, or Bob Wilson.
The contextualization of the historical drama in the actual Cuba will be given by the analogies that implicitly arise between the original text and its ideo-thematic postulates and Cuban and universal history. Issues such as coups d'état, military interventions, absolute monarchies are refracted in the current panorama in the form of totalitarian systems or in the successions of power in more or less consolidated democracies. The staging will channel the homoeroticism that is sensed in the original tragedy, and that other audiovisual versions have also used. This is a way of revealing itself to the oppressive and phallocentric male that power itself represents in any of its configurations, levels and systems.
This group and their next project Ricardo II are independently conceived and produced. After the persecution and political intolerance of institutions such as the AHS or the National Council of Performing Arts, Adonis Milan has developed his work within independent circuits, without stable support or funding from any organization, most of which pay for their performances with their own pockets. This project is the most ambitious bet in Perséfone Teatro's six years of existence. With its accomplishment we will defend the autonomous positioning within the Cuban theater. Creating outside of cultural institutions in Cuba is an act of logistical, poetic and political resistance. After several episodes of institutional censorship and the political repression of the political forces, Adonis with Perséfone in tow has inhabited houses, galleries or has migrated to virtual space. This is the only option left to the group, which has continued to exist and generate theater from precariousness, but also from risk and freedom.
Cuba is experiencing a moment of instability, of economic and political crisis, and of generational, historical ruptures. The last year that has passed has been defined by the disagreement between cultural institutions and the artists who are related to these institutions. The censorship and political repression that have characterized the Cuban Revolution in its more than 60 years in power, have resonated in state cultural spaces. At the crossroads of definitions between intellectuals and artists and obedience to political power, the leaders of the institution have shown loyalty to the latter, turning their back on those who claim to represent and sponsor. The institution in Cuba is essentially subservient to the authoritarian state. In this tense context, also marked by the rebellion of the creators against the obtuse and rottenness of the system, this proposal arises with an ambitious launch that would remove the independent theater from the marginal circuits and precarious formats, to legitimize it as a modality of management and of creation that can aspire to, for example, a room with hundreds of spectators, a cast of more than a dozen actors, a daring costume design or live music for the show.
• Director: Adonis Milán
Adonis Milan (Havana, 1993) theater director, audiovisual producer and actor. He has been a member, in the roles of actor and assistant director interchangeably, in theatrical groups such as Hubert de Blanck, Integración, Gaia Teatro, Teatro Pálpito and Estudio Teatral Vivarta. He was a disciple of Berta Martínez, emeritus teacher of Cuban theater. He has taken dissimilar courses and workshops in acting, stage direction, drama, theater criticism, film, literature and art history. He has published different articles on art, politics and society in digital newspapers.
He founded in 2015 the independent project Perséfone Teatro in which he has directed several shows. El viaje de Perséfone (2017), a performance in the street that starts from the Greek myth and inserts texts by William Shakespeare and Federico García Lorca. Afterwards, he premiered The Tree of Cats (2016), a work written by Elaine Vilar Madruga that touches on topics such as emigration and Cuban identity, this work participated in the Festival of the Arts. Later he premiered Al filo del mar (2017), a work that takes as a reference the figures of Alfonsina Storni and Frida Kahlo, he was invited with this show to the day against homophobia in El Mejunje de Santa Clara. For the two years of Persephone Theater he directed a performance called Invocations that collects the aesthetics and the references of the group. His premiere Heiner Müller's Hamlet Machine, brought several controversies in Cuban theatrical institutions. He created a work in progress of the play Psychosis by Sarah Kane, participating in an Art Festival in Colombia.
In 2018 he was invited to Argentina and Uruguay to give talks and conferences on freedom of cultural expression in Cuba, they were framed within universities, as well as private offices with deputies and legislators from those countries.
He directed a series of video - monologues, based on Edgar Lee Masters' Antología de Spoon River poetry book, Spoon River is attended by actors of the stature of Mario Guerra and Pancho García. He also created a series of video-theater for the virtual space in times of quarantine, where different texts, concepts and aesthetics are worked on. In 2020 he premiered the play Misery Rose, a gay cabaret that tells the stories of a group of marginalized homosexuals. He recently premiered two solo works, the first entitled Leaves of Grass about the poet Walt Whitman, and the second was a biographical show about the life and work of the American playwright Tennessee Williams named Tom.
• Daniel Triana is Richard II
Daniel Triana (Havana, 1997) Actor graduated from the National School of Theater Art (2016). He is a member of the Teatro El Público company in which he has worked in the plays Decamerón (2015), Perla Marina (2016) and in the 100 performances of Harry Potter, magic is over as the Queen of Hearts, all under the direction of Carlos Diaz. He had a role in El Recitalito: I can't, I have an essay (2020) and All men are equal (2021), works by Pedro Franco and Teatro El Portazo. He was an assistant director on William Shakespeare's Richard lll with staging by Jazz Martínez-Gamboa. He acted in the one-man show Tom (2021), a play by Adonis Milan and Perséfone Teatro. He is currently studying Theatrology at the University of the Arts (ISA).
• Reynier Morales is Enrique IV
Reynier Morales (Havana, 1984) Actor and singer. He has worked for different media such as theater, film and television. He graduated from the Elementary School of Music ¨Alejandro García Caturla¨ and graduated in pedagogy. He started his career in the underground alternative scene with his old Harcore Hip Hop band ¨Complot¨. He has attended actor directing workshops on the Meisner technique at the San Antonio de los Baños International Film and Television School (EICTV). He participated in William Shakespeare's Otello. He worked with the Mefisto Teatro group directed by Toni Díaz in the musicals Chicago and Canción de Rachel. He was under the orders of the teacher Antonia Fernández in the staging of Galileo Galilei by Bertolt Brecht for Estudio Teatral Vivarta. He has worked for television in different dramatized spaces such as series, soap operas and teleplays, standing out in materials such as LCB: La otra guerra and Tras la Huella. He worked for Broadway in Cuba in the musical Rent, under the direction of Andy Señor Jr. In the cinema there are outstanding works in the feature films Agosto (2019) by Armando Capó, Sin Alas (2015) by Ben Chace and A Wild Woman (2021) by Alan González, among others.
• Arnaldo Galbán is Enrique IV)
Arnaldo Galbán (Havana, 1991) Actor and acting teacher. He graduated from the National Theater School. He has worked in works such as: La otra shore (2008), directed by Silvia Caballero and El canto del pozo ciego (2010), directed by Jorge Luis Cacheiro for the Rita Montaner Theater company. He was part of the Teatro Buendía group, participating in the shows Charenton (2011), Bodas de sangre (2012) and Pedro Páramo (2013), directed by the teacher Flora Lauten. He was a member of the emblematic group El Ciervo Encantado in the stagings An elephant occupies a lot of space (2013) and Café Teatro: The Last Supper (2014) under the direction of the teacher Nelda Castillo. He was a member of the faculty of the National Theater School for a time. From 2017 to 2020 he worked for Italian television and Swiss television. He was part of the 2021 film A Wild Woman directed by Alan González.
• Neisy Alpízar is the Queen
Neisy Alpízar (Havana, 1987) Actress. Graduate in Theater Art, Performance Profile at the University of the Arts. He has worked for the cinema in the feature films Semen (2016) by Juan Carlos Cremata, La chambelona (2017) by Kike Álvarez, Habana Selfie (2019) by Arturo Santana, Historia de ajedrez (2019) by Manuel Martín and I want to make a movie ( 2020) by Yimit Ramírez. She has also worked on various fiction short films. In the theater, she worked in the plays Cuentos (2012) directed by Lizett Silveiro for Estudio Teatral La Chinche and Pulp Fiction (2013), directed by Eduardo Eimil for Teatro Aire Frío. She joined the Teatro El Público company in the play La Ronda (2014), directed by maestro Carlos Díaz. She participated in the works Amnesia (2016) with the direction of Reinier Rodríguez and the play 24 hours Viraje (2018) with the direction of Sahily Moreda for Teatro El Cuartel. She currently works for the El Portazo Theater company directed by Pedro Franco in the play All men are equal (2021).
• Andrés Pérez is Juan de Gante
Andrés Pérez (Havana, 1966) Actor with a great career, began in the theater in 1986. He was under the orders of the maestro Vicente Revuelta in the stagings La Zapatera prodigiosa (1997) by Federico García Lorca, Café Brecht (1998) and Pasos de Lope de Rueda. In 2000 he was part of the cast in the show Life is a dream directed by the maestro Carlos Celdrán for Argos Teatro. He is the founder of the Gigantería Street Theater Company in 2000, where he worked in different shows such as Ceiba y Tiñosa (2001), The incredible and great story of the adventures of the knight Sir William and his kimbado squire against the furious dragon Tribilín ( 2003), The Machine (2004), Bird in hand does not bite (2005), Dream of a party in San Juan (2007), among others. He ventured into the cinema in the feature films 7 Días en La Habana (2012) and Venecia (2014), the latter directed by Kike Álvarez. We were able to enjoy it as part of the cast of the staging of Ballad of the poor B.B., directed by Alexis Díaz de Villegas for Impulso Teatro. For several years he has been working alone as a living statue in Old Havana, with his emblematic character the Knight of Paris.
• Jonathan Álvarez is the Duque de York
Jonathan Álvarez (Havana, 1992) Actor with more than twenty works of the classical and contemporary theatrical repertoire. He has ventured into all stage profiles: dramatic, youth, children's and puppet theater. He was from 2009 to 2014 in the group Gaia Teatro de la Habana. He represented several characters in different works, among the most prominent are: Divinas Palabras, La casa de Bernarda Alba con la Poncia and Eloy in Auto de Fe, by Tennessee Williams. He then went on to other groups such as: Estudio Teatral La Chinche, Interrogante Teatro, Teatro Papalote, and since 2017 is part of Teatro Buendía under the guidance of teacher Flora Lauten. There he works as an actor and assistant director. In the company he has received workshops on masks, voice and method from Mikhail Chekhov.
• Sara Benítez (Havana, 1970) Actress. Since 1980 she began her artistic experience, dancing ballet, playing the piano and declaiming poems in gatherings and at school, this led her to belong to the categorized group Punto Rojo where she performed different theatrical works and monologues, with which she competed in festivals winning awards from female performance on many occasions, until reaching the Amaters International Theater Grand Prize. This helped her to take a step towards professionalism, starting with the Popular Art group, led by Tito Junco in works such as Romeo and Julieta interpreting Julieta's mother, in Historia del Noroeste she played two characters and thus in five more works. She later learned to manipulate Puppets in the Caleidoscopio group and worked on various works in verse in the Cimarrón group. She then spent four years in the group Scene X interpreting characters for children and adults under the direction of Omar Piedra. Already in 2010 she worked in the Integration Company directed by Raciel Reyes interpreting children's plays such as Waiting for the rain (2011), María Moñitos (2010) and other musical theater shows. She worked with Nelson Door in La profana familia and with Fernando Pérez in the film Insumisas playing Juana's mother. Today she works in the Hubert de Blanck company, interpreting male characters and even children's plays, and with Persephone Theater, directed by Adonis Milan.
• Daniel Barrera as Duke of Aumerle
Daniel Barrera (Havana, 2000) Actor. Graduated from the National School of Art and current student of the Higher Institute of Art. He has participated in different plays in which the following stand out: La Boda and Macbeth, directed by Raúl Martín for Teatro La Luna, Sueño de una noche de verano, directed by Carlos Díaz for Teatro El Público and Farándula directed by Jazz Vilá. He is currently working on a montage of La Senorita Julia, directed by Sandra Lorenzo for Teatro Buendía. He also participated in the series Lucha contra bandidos and in the film Habana Selfie (2019).
• Edel Carrero as the Earl of Northumberland
Edel Carrero (Camagüey, 1986) Actor. He started in the amateur movement in the Olga Alonso Theater Group directed by Humberto Rodríguez. He has appeared in films such as: The Companion (2015) by Pavel Giroud, Erenesuto (2016) by Junji Sakamoto, The Human Thing (2016) by Gerardo Chijona, among others. In the theater he participates in the works Sangre (2017) directed by Anaysy Gregory Gill for Berenjena Teatro, El sacrifice (2018) directed by Sahily Moreda for Teatro El Cuartel and the video drama Enrique IV (2021), directed by Adonis Milan for Persephone Teatro. On television he has worked in series such as Tras la Huella (2016), Promesas (2018) and in the telenovela En fin el mar (2017).
• Rainer Hernández as Lord Ross
Rainer Hernández (Havana, 1999) Actor and announcer. He is currently studying Physical Culture at the ¨Manuel Fajardo¨ University. He has been linked to the radio medium since 2017, being a host in youth spaces of the Havana Radio and Radio Ciudad de la Habana stations. In 2019 he joined the amateur theater group ¨Olga Alonso¨ directed by Humberto Rodríguez. In 2021 he began working with the Persephone Teatro group under the direction of Adonis Milan in the one-man show ¨Hojas de Hierba¨, based on a selection of poems by Walt Whitman. He currently continues to work with Persephone Theater, and recently made a chapter of the 2nd Delivery of the Spoon River Video-monologue Series, based on the poetry book ¨Antología de Spoon River¨ by Edgar Lee Masters.
Félix Dayán Fernández as Tomás Mowbray and the Bishop of Carlisle
Félix Dayán Fernández (Havana, 1989) Actor. Student of the Bachelor's Degree in History. He has been part of Persephone Teatro, directed by Adonis Milan, working on the performance Involaciones (2017), on the work in progress Voces (2017), on the Amnesia de Infierno micro theater (2020) and on the play Misery Rose (2020).
• Dayana Montoro as Lady in the Service of the Queen (Pianist)
Dayana Montoro (Havana, 2000) Musician. She entered the Elementary Level of Music at the Paulita Concepción school in 2008 specializing in piano. She continues studies in 2015 at the National School of Art also in the specialty of piano and theoretical subjects. She has entered the Amadeo Roldán Piano Competition (2010, 2016 and 2018) performing Cuban and Latin American music and obtaining first mention and special mentions. She obtained 4th place in the UNEAC competition with the Carnaval Suite by Luis Ernesto Peña Laguna and as a prize she recorded this piece on a disc. In 2011, he joined the classic trio Inciarte, led by teacher Lauren de la Nuez. In 2014 he is part of Las Canelitas, a project directed by Las Canelas, playing piano and minor percussion. He participates in the 25 years of artistic life of the group, in shows at the Museum of Fine Arts, Musicalia Festival, Lyric Theater and in presentations of the Clave magazine at CIDMUC. In September 2019 he began studying piano at the University of the Arts under the tutelage of maestro Ulises Hernández and Mercedes Estévez. His training has also been accompanied by the teacher Vivian Formell. He has been taught by teachers Paolo Vergari, Madarys Morgan, Denis Kaya, and Staffan Scheja. She has been invited to perform together with the aforementioned Ulises Hernández and has been part of the ISA orchestra, on one occasion as part of the Mozart Havana Festival.
• Marcos Antonio Pérez as Bagot
Marcos Antonio Pérez (Havana 2004). High school student, fond of photography, music, cinema and theater.
To what will we allocate our contributions
Planned development and production schedule for the project once the campaign is over.
December 2021 - January 2021: Completion of the assembly process of the work.
January 2022: Purchase of costumes and set elements
February 2022: Beginning of the functions in person and online
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