Retiro @ Miami Theatre Center

Based on interviews carried out with women over 65 years of age across Miami, Puerto Rico and Québec , Retiro reflects the natural territory between autobiography, the imaginary and the surreal by depicting a live, abstract and cinematic portrait inspired by the  interviewed women’s stories, while deepening on concepts of the volatility of time, the reconstruction of memories and the process of aging for women.

This theatrical performance is part of a documentary and film series that carries the same name and was produced in these three locations in 2016. It aimed to create an umbrella of all the women who partook in the documentary and their stories in one space, but it also aimed to translate the documentary filmmaking process to a theatrical space.

Retiro was presented as part of the Sandbox Residency Program at the Miami Theatre Center in Miami, Florida, April 7-22 2017.

Press for Retiro:

Interview for Nu House

Article for the Miami New Times

Director’s Note:

Retiro began as an exploration without a particular direction. When I returned to Puerto Rico in 2015 after my grandmother’s death, I began to interview my mother during her progress of grieving. She was 62 at the time, and our conversations quickly evolved into existential dialogues that involved her process of aging and her relationship to her body, her past,her future, her fears, death, time, and her relationship to nature. As I spent the next year and a half travelling for different projects, I decided to conduct similar interviews with women that were the same age or older than my mother in the cities I was working in, these being primarily Miami , San Juan and Montréal.

The video component of this project focused on documenting the participants’ aging processes but also on recreating a memory of their life through film. These ‘video portraits’ also focused on capturing the act of remembering- an act that does not dismiss the possibility of reconstructing these memories or fictionalizing them. Each woman was involved differently in the creation of these video portraits, but they had authority in the collaborative process and decided over the style, content and structure of these film portraits.

During the editing process for the video portraits, I began to question my role as an observer/listener in this project. I faced a crude reality: as much as I wanted to remain a bystander in this process and give the participants power over their narratives, I could not dismiss the fact that my own experiences, confusions, concerns and fascinations were influencing our conversations. However, I also realized that it was only thanks to my own confusing two-year journey that these women could be placed next to each other. I am the the thread between these women who lead completely different lives, thousands of miles apart.

This performance is, in many ways, an umbrella- a “theatrical coming together” of all these women and their stories in one space. It is the translation of a two year process that involves long conversations, hours of production, but also a confused listener trying to find new perspectives to her own questions about aging, time and what the concept of ‘womanhood’ signifies in our present-time.

Ultimately, this theatre performance attempts at an ecumenical understanding of our experience as people, not focusing particularly on one story, but on how all of these women and their journeys interject, intervene and converge.