Chile Con Carne

by Carmen Aguirre
Directed by Marilo Nuñez

Eight-year-old Manuelita is determined to save Cedar, her tree. Fuelled by her parents recent experience as political refugees from Chile, Manuelita recruits her new friends from school to campaign with her at all costs.

A dark comedy set in Vancouver in 1975, Chile Con Carne paints a portrait of childhood innocence stained by political upheaval, juxtaposed with blonde Barbie dolls, disco dancing lessons and the struggle to fit in.

Produced by Alameda Theatre Company
April 2 – 14, 2013
Factory Studio Theatre, Toronto

Paloma Nuñez as Manuelita

Director: Marilo Nuñez
Playwright: Carmen Aguirre
Producers: Marilo Nuñez and Sigrid Velis
Set & Lighting Design: Flavia Hevia
Costume Design: Lindsay Anne Black
Projection Designer: Cameron Davis
Music & Sound Design: Edgardo Moreno
Movement Coach: Clare Preuss
Stage Manager: Fiona Jones
Production Manager: David DeGrow
Costume Intern: Diana Colavecchia
Producing Intern: Jessica Esmerelda Zepeda
Publicity: Josee Duranleau
Video Production: Peter Riddihough
Production Stills: Rodrigo Moreno

Mooney on Theatre
“bursting with poignancy… Paloma Nuñez is charming and outstanding as the eight year old Manuelita. …Nunez transitions from one emotional state to the next with the grace and precision of a figure skater. Chile Con Carne provides an important and excellent voice for the disenfranchised, the disposed and anyone who has ever yearned to belong.”

The Charlebois Post
“…make(s) for a truly endearing piece of theatre… Plays with a political backdrop sometimes have the tendency to become lecture-like….this is NOT THAT!…it is a story of a very special, spirited young girl…”

The Globe and Mail – *** (3 stars / 4)
“…vividly captures the feelings of a child torn between two worlds. …a welcome revival from Alameda Theatre Company… giving a first glimpse into the beginnings of a fiery young revolutionary. …a very funny political allegory…energetic and passioate”

Toronto Star *** (3 stars / 4)
“Clear-eyed and unsentimental… …sharply observed tension [that] makes Chile Con Carne the play it is.”
“…in this Alameda Theatre production…its universal themes and conflicts still resonate strongly.”

Stage Door by Christopher Hoile-**** (4 stars / 5)
“…the play has not dated at all- perhaps because it embodies so well the experience of any child caught between the demands of two cultures. …All of these complexities Aguirre shows us through the innocent eyes of her protagonist played with infinite charm and sympathy by Paloma Nuñez. …imbued with cultural and political implications… …a wonderful creation, beautifully acted…Manuelita is someone you will be glad to meet.”

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