It is about a calm man, a playwright who does not rush the results, who seeks, beyond the text and the words and the sound that comes out of the voices, the connection of the actors with each other and their connection with everything he can be happening on stage. A way of working, say those who have had the fortune to experience it, unconventional and far from all prejudice. Born in Buenos Aires 47 years ago, Claudio Tolcachir, actor, director, author and teacher, has been living in Madrid since last fall, where he has opened a new house for his prestigious company and benchmark on the Argentine scene, Timbre 4. Here, Along with classmates and colleagues, he is living the same successful experience of classrooms full of authors and students passionate about the scene. The theater saved his life. That’s how he tells it. He went from being a lonely child, sick of shyness, dyslexic and terrified of school dictations due to his many misspellings, to discover a new world thanks to his parents, curious people with many hobbies. Everything changed. At the age of 12 he entered the school of his great teacher Alejandra Boero, went crazy and began a journey that has not ended.
The Omission of the Coleman Family, that dilapidated family with a secret past, which premiered in 2005 on Timbre 4, in Buenos Aires, then Tolcachir’s own living room and home, marked a before and after. Critics and audiences surrendered to this new drama, this brilliant way of telling life. Mercedes Morán, great lady of the Argentine scene, explains it this way from Buenos Aires: “Tolcachir’s dramaturgy contributes a different construction of the characters, the spontaneity of the dialogues”. She discovered him with The Omission of the Coleman Family and continued to appreciate her works, she says, until she summoned him, as a producer, to work with her and Norma Aleandro in Augustby Tracy Letts. She turned to him again for the next two works she did. And she confesses that she has had “the best of her experiences” with him: “I can’t imagine an upcoming show without his direction.”
With Augustthe first function that Tolcachir directed without having written it —he had already premiered third body Y The wind on a violin—, went from the most independent theater and off to the big commercial halls and the most relevant authors. “And all of this”, says Mercedes Morán, “without resigning or giving up their way of working”.
The jump out of Argentina was, thus, something natural and definitive. The omission of the Coleman family premiered at the Madrid Autumn Festival in 2007 —”it was the first time I took a plane”, recalls Tolcachir himself—, and since then everything has been filmed. The actor Carlos Hipólito, who has worked under him in three performances (they were all my children, The lie Y Copenhagen), gets excited. “He is an artist who, faced with theatrical events, flees from the clichés regarding the cast and preconceived ideas. His way of approaching his work is unconventional. The only thing that worries him as a director is that the actors are connected to each other, that what happens on stage is true. The interpreter has to be alert to the provocations of others”. His concept of his theater is that one forgets that he is in the theater, stripping away all that artifice dramaturgy can have. A brilliant example for the scenic result is that in Tolcachir’s works text entries are not respected, just like in conversations in the street or between friends when some interrupt each other and fall silent. For Hipólito, one of the keys to the Argentine playwright is that he always plays with truth and spontaneity.
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Tolcachir’s facet of teacher cannot be separated from that of playwright. It is at school where he finds true complicity with the other, something he reveres, and tries to discover the capabilities and desires of each and every one of his students. It is in that intimate space where the uncertainties and vulnerabilities of teacher and students jump. “He is an unprejudiced man, who combines the complex with the simple, the accessible with the profound,” says Lautaro Peroti, actor, director and partner now in this Madrid adventure, who has known Claudio Tolcachir since he was a boy.
The sound of the bell number 4 on Boedo Street, in Buenos Aires, now also rings in Madrid, where Tolcachir has settled with his partner and their two young children. This season has released a new version of third body with Spanish actors, making it compatible with their classes at school. In the next one, he will direct The wars of our ancestorsby Miguel Delibes, with Carmelo Gómez and Miguel Hermoso, in addition to leading a European project, Ecole des Maîtres, with interpreters of different nationalities. His inexhaustible passion, as much as his need to escape from the places he has already traveled through, leads him at this time to search through Madrid neighborhoods for a space where he can plant his next dream: a theater.
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