The Juan Rafael Mora Porras auditorium, located in the Museo Histórico Cultural Juan Santamaría, will be the stage where the play “Helen & Penelope in the time of Troy”, a re-reading of the Odyssey and the Iliad, will be performed by Juan Cuentacuentos.
The play, a co-production between the Compañía Escénica Juan Cuentacuentos and the Museo Histórico Cultural Juan Santamaría (MHCJS) discusses issues of national reality, relationships, women’s personal fulfilment, the role of faith in politics, among others.
This show, aimed at audiences 12 years and older, will be offered in person, following health protocols, during February and March 2021, every Saturday, at 5 p.m., at the MHCJS.
Two women, two decisions, two dilemmas, two different paths
The Greek classics offer a challenging look at the 21st century in the play “Helen & Penelope in the time of Troy”. The dramaturgy, based on the classical texts, is by Juan Madrigal, known as Juan Storyteller, who plays all the characters in the play, from Zeus to a minstrel.
Madrigal shared the direction with Mauricio Astorga. The costume design was by Luis Carlos Vásquez, and the set design by Arturo Avendaño. The costume design is by Francisco Alpízar and the music by Rodrigo Oviedo. The design is by Juan Pablo Madrigal.
In the recent announcement of the 2020 National Culture Awards, “Helena & Penelope en tiempos de Troya” was recognised with the 2020 Ricardo Fernandez Guardia National Theatre Award, in the categories of Best Acting, to Juan Madrigal; Best Direction, to Mauricio Astorga and Juan Madrigal; as well as Best Design, to Arturo Avendaño and Luis Carlos Vásquez.
For just over an hour, Madrigal will take the audience deeper into the Iliad, and visit the plot of the Odyssey, to get to know two complex spirits: Helen and Penelope. “One woman takes risks for dignity, freedom or love… another, not far away, waits out of habit, out of love, out of fear. Who am I to judge one or the other: how difficult is the decision to leave, or how difficult is the decision to wait, or how easy it is to stay, or how difficult it is to leave? I have no answer, because each of us has the voice of Helena, who cries out for freedom, and the patient silence of Penelope,” said Madrigal.
María Elena Masís Muñoz, director of the Museo Histórico Cultural Juan Santamaria, expressed that “the recognition of the winning play as the National Theatre Award 2020, “Helena & Penelope in times of Troy”, fills with pride and happiness, not only the artist Juan Madrigal and his team of collaborators, but the entire province of Alajuela in general. With the presentation of this theatre season, the Museo Histórico Cultural Juan Santamaría wants to make a call to the citizens to be aware that, if all the sanitary measures are taken and the protocols of the Ministry of Health are followed, it is possible to enjoy art, theatre, music and literature in such a beautiful place as the auditorium of the Museo Histórico Juan Santamaría, and with this the Museum contributes to the mental health of Costa Ricans, through art”.
The entrance fee is ¢5.000 colones. Reservations can be made at: 8835-8282 and 8769-0008. To enjoy the show, the public must abide by the corresponding sanitary protocols.