An Interview With Claudia Hidalgo, Chilean Playwright
The interview is part of the series, ‘potlight on Chile’ which features articles, interviews, and profiles of theatre makers and companies creating work in Chile today. We thank Claudia Hidalgo for answering our questions.
Claudia Hidalgo Jiménez holds a Bachelor’s degree in Art Direction from Universidad Mayor. Also an actress and playwright, she has participated in several national playwriting workshops directed by Juan Radrigán. Miss Hidalgo Jimenez also holds a technical certificate in screenwriting from the Cinema and Television School EICTV, San Antonio de los Baños, Cuba. Within her most prominent work is the publication of the theatrical piece No le quites los ojos in the book La Palabra Sucia (Editorial Quimantú, 2007), the award for outstanding playwriting for the play Combo en la Cara in the 7th Spring Festival (Arcis University, 2010), the direction and writing of Instrucciones para contradecir a Dios (Teatro del Puente, 2013). Miss Hidalgo Jimenez has also participated in dramatic readings of her plays Ese algo que nunca compartí contigo, directed by Mark Ravenhill in the Royal Court Theatre, in London (2013) and Instrucciones para contradecir a Dios directed by Luis Crespo in the Iberdrama Festival in Centro Cultural Matadero, Madrid, España (2013). In 2014 the Chilean Council of Culture and Arts published Ese algo que nunca compartí contigo as part of Culture Publishing. Currently, she works as an academic teaching playwriting in Universidad de Las Américas in Chile.
What is your first childhood memory of theatre?
I remember seeing a play at age 15, it was called Black Ester, by the great Chilean director Andrés Pérez, written in 1971 by the songwriter and folklorist Roberto Parra. It was my first exposure to theater and it could not have been better since this work had it all.
Recuerdo que vi una Obra a los 15 años, se llamaba La Negra Ester, del gran Director Chileno Andrés Pérez, escrita en 1971 en décimas por el cantautor y folclorista Roberto Parra, creo que este fue el primer mejor acercamiento que pude vivir, ya que esta obra lo tenía todo.
When did you know you wanted to pursue this path?
I think you do have a say. You do not choose this path. I think theater and playwriting find you and when that happens, you must do your best.
Creo que uno no se da cuenta, uno no elige el camino, creo que el teatro o la dramaturgia te encuentra a ti y cuando eso pasa, debes hacerlo lo mejor posible.
If you weren’t in this profession, what would you be doing?
I cannot imagine, I always thought I would have liked to work in a zoo, be a shoemaker, or a lifeguard or something like that, I think I would have done well.
No puedo imaginarlo, siempre pensé que me hubiera gustado trabajar en un zoológico, ser zapatera, ser salvavidas o algo así, creo que lo hubiera hecho bien.
Who is the person who has most influenced your work?
One of them has been the glorious Chilean playwright Juan Radrigán, which prepared me for a long time to work on this. Your teachers’ advice is never forgotten. Aside from him, I must lay emphasis on Elyse Dodgson, International Director, Royal Court Theatre, who has also meant a lot to me in this last year, as she has not only supported my playwriting, but also has given me wonderful opportunities.
Uno de ellos ha sido Juan Radrigán glorioso dramaturgo Chileno, el cual durante mucho tiempo me preparo para dedicarme a esto, los consejos del maestro nunca se olvidan. A demás de él, debo destacar a Elyse Dodgson, Directora Internacional, Royal Court Theatre, quien también ha significado mucho para mí, este último año, ya que no solo ha apoyado mi dramaturgia, sino que además me ha otorgado maravillosas oportunidades.
What advice would you give someone just starting out in the business?
That never, ever think that this is easy …
Que nunca, pero nunca piense que esto es fácil…
In three words, describe the theatre scene in your city.
Alternative and talented, but small.
Alternativa, Talentosa, pero Pequeña.
If money were no object, what is your dream project?
The best play of my life.
La mejor obra de mi vida…
What is your greatest challenge as an artist?
Make a living out of this profession and never have to leave it.
Maintain my voice without ever have to abandon it.
Vivir de esta profesión y no tener que abandonarla nunca.
Mantener mi discurso sin tener que abandonarlo nunca.
How do your parents describe what you do to their friends?
From an infinite love, they tell their friends that their daughter is a playwright.
Desde un amor infinito le cuentan a sus amigos que su hija es Dramaturga.
If you were to write your own epitaph, what would you say?
“She wrote theater plays”
“Ella escribía obras de Teatro”
This interview was translated from Spanish to English by Beariz Cabur.
This post was written by the author in their personal capacity. The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not reflect the view of The Theatre Times, their staff or collaborators.