The interview is part of the series, Spotlight on Chile,’which features articles, interviews, and profiles of theatre makers and companies creating work in Chile today. We thank María González for answering our questions. María González Durney was born in Santiago, Chile, in 1985. She graduated from Pontifical Catholic University of Chile with a degree in acting. In 2007 she wrote the play Golpe de Cabeza (Head Impact). In 2009 adapted to the stage the children’s story El Viaje de Antawara (Antawara´s Journey). In 2011 she studied dramatic writing with Flavia and Juan Radrigán (recipient of the Performing Arts National Prize that year) and wrote Chaitén La Pompeya (Chaitén, The Pompei). In 2012 worked as staging consultant for the company La Recogida, for the play Macrobio.  Since 2011 she has been working with Guillermo Calderón as assistant director in the plays Villa+Discurso (Villa+Speech) and Escuela (School). Currently, she is the dramatist on Proyecto Huelga (Proyect Strike), financed by FONDART (National artists support program).

“Proyecto Huelga” by María Paz González. Press photo

What is your first childhood memory of theatre?

My mother took me to Santiago´s Municipal Theater to a ballet performance. Later that night, when I closed my eyes I could still see the dancers moving in front of me so I couldn’t sleep.

Ir a ver un ballet al teatro municipal de mi ciudad. Y después, al cerrar los ojos para dormir, seguía viendo a las bailarinas y no me dejaban dormir. 

When did you know you wanted to pursue this path?

I don´t know. I do know that the day I decide to quit hasn’t arrived yet. I think about the dancers’ dressed in white shaking their bodies inside my head. I like that. I like ideas dancing in the head. I hope it doesn´t stop.

No sé exactamente. Sí sé que no ha llegado el día que decida dejar de hacerlo. Pienso en las bailarinas moviéndose en mi cabeza. Me gusta. El teatro me baila en la cabeza.  Y por ahora espero que no se detenga. 

If you weren’t in this profession, what would you be doing?

Underwater Photographer.

Fotógrafa Submarina.

Who is the person who has most influenced your work?

Guillermo Calderón (Chilean Director and Playwright). During the last years, I´ve been working with him. I feel lucky for that. I admire his determination and clarity to confront a creative process.

Guillermo Calderón. Durante los últimos años he tenido la suerte de trabajar con él. Admiro su determinación y claridad  para enfrentar un proceso creativo.

What advice would you give someone just starting out in the business?

To work, to practice and to write. It´s obvious, but ain´t easy.

Trabajar, ejercer y escribir.  Es obvio, pero no fácil.

In three words, describe the theatre scene in your city.

“For not too many” (sadly), “young” (fortunately) and -I hope- “necessary”.

Para pocos, joven y, espero, necesario.

If money were no object, what is your dream project?

I have dreamed of traveling in a small boat through the south of the world. That means -also- the south of my country. I imagine a small group thinking in a play, never landing, inventing a creative process. Looking for a story that can be performed in the sea.

Me gustaría viajar en barco durante un tiempo con 3 personas más por el sur del mundo, de mi país, inventando una obra.  Inventando un proceso creativo. Buscando una historia que se pueda representar en el mar.

What is your greatest challenge as an artist?

To be an artist.

Ser un artista.

How do your parents describe what you do to their friends?

I don´t know… using generalities. I do know that when my grandfather sees young men juggling under the traffic lights, he gives them money because he thinks of me, in my work.

No sé…generalidades. Pero mi abuelo cuando ve a un joven haciendo malabares en los semáforos les da plata porque se acuerda de mí, de mí trabajo.

If you were to write your own epitaph, what would you say?

Rest yourself, dear friends. I´m not anymore.


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.

This post was written by The Theatre Times.

The views expressed here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect our views and opinions.