• Main Stage

El pasado es un animal grotesco

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El pasado es un animal grotesco Photo: Matias Sendon

Mariano Pensotti (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
Presented by the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival and SFU Woodward’s

February 2-4, 2012, 8:00pm
The Fei and Milton Wong Experimental Theatre, Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, 149 West Hastings Street.
Post-Show Talkback Feb 3, led by Kenji Maeda


…the past arises… an animal glimpsed in our dream jungle. An animal that changes shape each time we remember it. A grotesque animal.

It’s 1999 in Buenos Aires. Mario, Laura, Pablo, and Vicky are in their mid-twenties and ready for careers, love, and adulthood. Over the next 10 years, Argentina’s economy will collapse and their lives will take a series of unexpected turns. In this fast-paced, multilayered “mega fiction,” director Mariano Pensotti—the artist responsible for lighting up the streets of Gastown with La Marea as part of PuSh 2011—deftly unfolds the lives of these four characters. El pasado es un animal grotesco (The Past is a Grotesque Animal) is a funny and moving portrait that takes place atop a slowly spinning turntable stage; a reminder of time’s ceaseless march. Guided by a narrative voice-over, we are granted access to a string of defining moments in the touching and tumultuous lives of the four characters. Moments that illustrate how quickly and easily real life can transform into fiction and back again.

>>[Pensotti creates] a compelling portrait of the self-obsession of his own generation that achieves that rare feat of profoundly moving an audience without ever descending into trite stereotypes or easy sentimentalism…The production is also blisteringly funny.<< Plays International

Mariano Pensotti is an Argentinean-born writer and director whose experimental work incorporates elements of theatre, literature, film and visual arts. His work has been shown extensively in his home country of Argentina, as well as in Belgium, Germany, Ireland, France, Spain, Denmark, Canada, Poland, Latvia, England, Switzerland, Austria and Japan.

 In Spanish with English subtitles


Tickets Advance $32 /$28 /$26; at door $34 /$30 /$28
Tickets Tonight
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Eligible for PuSh Pass access


Text & Direction Mariano Pensotti
Performers Pilar Gamboa, Javier Lorenzo, Santiago Gobernori, María Inés Sancerni
Set & Costume Design Mariana Tirantte
Assistant Director Leandro Orellano
Tour Manager Juan Pablo Gomez
Lighting Design Matías Sendón
Music Diego Vainer
Co-Producers Grupo Marea, Complejo Teatral de Buenos Aires, Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Norfolk & Norwich Festival, Festival de Otoño de Madrid, Theaterformen

Running Time 110min

Warning: Strobe lights and herbal cigarettes are used in this production.

This North American tour is made possible with the support of National Performance Network in collaboration with Performing Americas, and includes stops at P.S. 122/ Under The Radar (New York), Wexner Centre for the Arts (Columbus), Walker Art Centre (Minneapolis), On the Boards (Seattle), Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (San Francisco) and REDCAT (Los Angeles).