Los Cuenteros: 50th anniversary

The celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Los Cuenteros theater company (November 19, 1969) began with the premiere of the play ''Cyrano y la madre de Agua'' (Cyrano and Agua's mother).

Written by the Matanzas playwright Ulises Rodríguez Febles, in 1998, the work offers attractive edges to the Cuban myth of the Mother of Water which inhabits rivers, wells and springs, leading to a passionate love of high poetic flight and the pursuit of a boastful hunter .

Directed by the versatile Malawy Capote, with the experienced advice of Blanca Felipe; and with the designs, scenery and dolls by Gilberto Perdomo, ''Cyrano y la Madre de Agua'' is a show that exalts Los Cuenteros, on its half century of work.

The culture and idiosyncrasy of the country is updated with each play by Los Cuenteros, through popular language and poetry, the fast-paced rhythm of the presentations, the music, the humor and all the visual luxury achieved by the plays, -with a complex work from the scene perspective-, the dolls and the magic of the trick.

Saul is a boy who suffers teasing and complexes because of his prominent nose that is why he is called Cyrano (as Cyrano de Bergerac, a 17th-century French poet, better known for the play of Edmond Rostand than for his verses). Changing his nose is the pretext that takes him during full moon nights to invoke the Mother of Water, next to the well.

There lies the mystery, the poetic atmosphere and the outcome of the conflicts of the play. After half a century, it is impossible to forget the influence exerted by Los Cuenteros beyond the limits of ancient Havana, throughout western Cuba, as a model for the emergence of other theater groups, promoting children's theater and contributing to the training of actors and audiences.

Before community work was spoken in Cuba, Los Cuenteros had already toured this entire region. Educational preaching from art and its unity -not only as a group, but in relation to other creative and socio-cultural processes, especially in San Antonio de los Baños-, make it an example of perseverance and improvement. Los Cuenteros' link with the Cuban countryside and nature has been essential for his aesthetics and his life.

Los Cuenteros celebrate its 50th anniversary working with passion as human beings, and honest as artists. Half a century of energy focused on the originality and tradition, continuity and renewal of Los Cuenteros.

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