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SportsTheatre: Ignacio Solares, playwright

Theatre: Ignacio Solares, playwright

MEXICO CITY (apro).-On the night of the 24th, Ignacio Solares died at 78 years of age. Novelist, theater writer, journalist, editor and promoter of culture in the university environment, he was passionate about history and the literary and dramaturgical possibilities to investigate.

He wrote novels to talk about characters such as Felipe Ángeles (“La noche de Ángeles” 1991) and Francisco I. Madero (“Madero, the other” 2000) and plays about Father Pro and Plutarco Elías Calles in “El jefe máximo” , staged in 1991: “El gran elector” in 1993, “Tríptico” in 1994 and “Los mochos” in 1997.

His historical theater was accompanied by his tireless activity as a journalist in “Revista de Revistas”, invited by Vicente Leñero; as editor-in-chief of “Plural” and at the head of the cultural supplement “Diorama de la Cultura”, all of the newspaper “Excélsior” in the seventies; He was director of the magazine “Quimera”, of the cultural supplement of “Siempre!” and the “Revista de la Universidad”.

In the novel he addressed history but he also did fictional works, as well as in theater, as in the case of “Delirium tremens”, an adaptation of his literary report.

In theater he did not give up his obsession with combining history and fiction. He investigated the limits of the documentary and the recreation of characters from the past. He delved into the wonder of reinventing the history of Mexico, developing hypotheses and retelling it. He himself takes up Valle Inclán’s phrase “things are not how we live them but how we remember them”. In the book “Historical Theatre” (published by the UNAM in 1996 in its series La Carpa), he includes four works in which he uses different dramaturgical structures to tell us about characters with political power in our country, presidents or candidates, and fictitious characters, although identifiable in our past.

The staging of his first works was carried out with a solid work team that delved into his dramaturgy and found different ways of representing it. “El gran elector” and “El jefe máximo” were directed by José Ramón Enríquez, and “Tríptico” by Antonio Crestani, who also worked as an actor in the first two. Jesús Ochoa played Plutarco Elías Calles in “El jefe máximo” and Miguel Flores was the father Pro. Together, they masterfully debated and counterpointed the power of the State and that of the Church.

The cruelty and murders ordered by Calles are obvious: that of Father Pro and others who appear on stage, such as Álvaro Obregón and Francisco Serrano. Both in this piece and in “El gran elector”, premiered at the CUT Forum (University Theater Center), the spiritualist element is fundamental: Calles, a regular attendee of spiritualist sessions, and Madero as a shadow on the stage in “El gran elector”. Here the protagonist was played by Ignacio Retes at the Coyoacán Theater, representing the political power of Calles’ followers; a character who symbolizes different presidents and exposes them as responsible for deaths, torture and fraud.

“Tríptico” was presented in 1994 at the Foro La Gruta, Antonio Crestani’s first film as director. Solares puts the history of Mexico on the table for discussion where power structures prevail. Fiction gives strength to his proposals, and in this work he includes the theater within the theater. The author as a character –interpreted by Miguel Flores– who creates and recreates and through his gaze, presents three politicians, three undercover: a candidate by mistake, a false candidate and a president who suffers when leaving the luminaries to appear presidential hopefuls.

In his book “Delirium tremens”, Solares testifies to 111 cases suffering from the disease. Crestani, for his adaptation, selected five and stripped them to reveal his experiences to the reporter on scene and to the viewer.

In the literary search of Ignacio Solares his religious concerns and those of the universe of history and psychology are intermingled. He is a complete, vast writer who tirelessly delved into the world of letters, theater and journalism, to give us; give us a lot. Give us an enriched vision of our history, a testimony of our present through its protagonists and an existential reflection on our life.

He will continue here as a present and a significant representative of the construction of our country through culture and the arts.

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