Teatro Paraguas has the great honor of presenting the world premiere of Augusto Federico Amador’s new play “Atacama,” which opens at the theater company’s studio on September 7.
This two-actor, one-act play is about two strangers that search the Atacama Desert, a plateau in South America west of the Andes mountain, for remains of their loved ones 30 years after the war waged by General Augusto Pinochet’s regime on the Chilean people.
“It’s a universal story,” explains director Juliet Salazar. “It’s a very human story about the dichotomy in human nature and discovery.”
Amador, who was born and raised in California’s Silicon Valley and is the son of a Peruvian father and an Austrian mother, was recently awarded the Lincoln City Fellowship from the Speranza Foundation for playwriting. His plays have been finalists or semi-finalists for several awards, including the MetLife Foundation National Latino Playwright Award.
“Atacama” was submitted to Teatro Paraguas’s playwriting committee and selected to be presented this season out of many other entries. They play has been presented as a staged reading at several venues such as The Next Iteration Theater, the Austin Latino New Play Festival and the UCLA Department of Theater.
“The characters and set were ideal for us,” says Salazar. “It ended up being a unanimous decision to present it.”
While there is a lot of energized dialogue between the two characters, played by Bernadette Peña and James Chavez, there are a number of poignant moments of silence that speak volumes.
To help set the play’s mood, Teatro Paraguas offers a pre-performance show of Chilean songs and poetry.
Amador is attending the first weekend of performances and will be the featured guest at a talkback session that immediately follows the matinee on September 9.