Claudio Tolcachir: "Inside the classroom is where I feel happiest and freest"


The renowned Argentine playwright is one of the speakers at Campus MAPAS 2023. This Wednesday the 19th he will be offering a talk open to the public at Espacio La Granja in Santa Cruz de Tenerife. 


Canary Islands 04/18/2023. Versatility is one of the most important characteristics of Claudio Tolcachir: he acts, directs and teaches. Although for some artists with this versatile facet it is difficult to choose, Tolcachir has no doubts and openly expresses that the field of teaching is where he feels most comfortable. As he advances in this interview, his next theatrical project is the premiere of 'Rage' In September. 


– His practical workshop, as the first Campus MAPAS proposal, is aimed at performers and performing arts professionals. What will you offer in this training?


The workshop that we are going to share is purely and exclusively about acting training. The idea is to share tools, experiences, exercises that have worked for me and that over the years I have found to be very useful for actors at work. For me, the most important thing is to try to get to know them, discover the contribution that I can make as a teacher and professor to the acting work that each one has and invite them to a game of communication, listening, thinking, imagination and a lot of freedom where technique, Compression of the text, the relaxation of the body encourage communication.


– How do you assess the emphasis that MAPAS places on training the artistic sector, especially in performing arts?


These workshops are undoubtedly a breeding ground. For me, the opportunity to meet artists and actors with whom I have not met or worked with is a gift. In addition to sharing my vocation, my observation and my desire to contribute tools to the work of each one of them, it is an enormous opportunity to get to know them, working, playing, rehearsing... I think that we all win in that; students, teachers... Teachers, after a workshop like this, come out enriched and that human network and knowledge that is formed with this type of encounter remains forever.


– What is your opinion of the contribution made by professional markets, such as MAPAS, in the necessary international promotion of artists and companies?


In short, all of us are creators who want, on the one hand, to find inspiration and, on the other, to share what ignites and moves us with others. These spaces that function as a training bridge or a production bridge are very valuable.


– Recently, within the programming of the CAE Festival in Tenerife, we have been able to enjoy one of his latest works, 'Third body'. We know that it was a resounding success with full attendance, what experience did the company have with the public, the show and the assembly in general?


I can only say that the actors dreamed of staying and doing more and more roles. They felt very comfortable with the public and with the space and they felt that it was the place where the work worked best. It was an enormous joy and gift for all of them to perform in Tenerife, Gran Canaria and Lanzarote. I am very grateful for the treatment, the reception and the appreciation of the work.


– When the work is transferred to other countries and it has to be translated into different languages, how is this adaptation to new cultural schemes?


Any dramatic text has nothing more than mysteries to discover and stimuli to propose. The magic is the encounter that occurs between that text, the bodies that are going to act it and the space that proposes it. That changes even if one changes cast even in the same country. 


Of course, by changing the city, musicality or words, all of that stimulates. I love that the actors contribute to the work, listening to them when they are in the dressing room talking, because all those phrases, the ways in which the actors speak can greatly nourish the character. When one makes a play and imagines it transferable to another place, it is because they believe that there is an essence in it that has nothing to do with the vocalism but with the humanity of the characters, so it is important not only that the new actors make a replica of those that the old actors did, but that they do their own reading in order to take advantage of the new that each one of them has to contribute to the character.


 – In 1999 he founded ring 4 in Buenos Aires, just over a year ago it crossed the pond installing a new headquarters in Spain. How has your company and school been received in Madrid?


With Spain in general and with Madrid in particular, I am lucky to have a long history of almost 18 years in which I have come every year to stage a play with actors from here, to bring works from my company or on tour. On each of those trips, I did workshops with actors that were wonderful. I had the opportunity to meet them, to share, to try certain tools that interested me...


So the idea of settling in was an organic and natural continuity of something that had been happening. The difference lies in having a place that gives us the possibility to do things exactly the way we want them, in the way we think is appropriate, the number of hours we need, etc. We have in mind the possibility of also being a producer and opening a theater at some point where we can represent these works... Many desires and a great desire to do things.


– You are a versatile professional, as well as a playwright and director, you are an actor and you dedicate part of your time to stage training. Would you be able to choose between one of those facets?


I was trained in what in Argentina is called the 'independent theater', which are very small spaces where theater is done and where one person does everything: act, direct, clean the bathroom, sell tickets, produce, make lights. … Perhaps because I was trained there, I like to be in a theater, anywhere, to be. As a viewer too. I really like the possibility of mixing those roles.


When I act, it's like first love, the discovery of theater in me came with acting. The direction has the construction of a rhythm and how things are told: the dialogue with the public, the use of space, the encouragement of working with the actors... The teacher is the most fun, perhaps because he does not have the pressure of a premiere or a review, that kind of thing that makes a job very dirty. It is pure desire and research. It is the freest.


– What does your role as a teacher contribute to this variety of dedications?


For me, inside the classroom and with the students, is where I feel happiest and freest. All this always generates movements that are transferred to the professional rehearsal space.


– Will we have the opportunity to see any of your works in the Canary Islands soon?


I would like nothing more than to continue visiting the Canary Islands with my work, for now we continue touring with 'Third Corps' and with 'Next'. Starting in September, we premiere a new play called 'Rage' which is an adaptation of a novel by the Argentine, Sergio Vicio, in which I share the direction with Lautaro Perotti and also act.