Private Lives Of Rag Dolls

Or A “Chiva” Full Of People

Translator’s note: The Colombian “chiva” is a typical colorful bus used for parties both in the countryside and in the city.

(Lea esta entrada en español)

This is a creation by Teatro Tierra based on some texts by poet Aquiles Nazoa, a man and a writer with a great sense of humor, endowed with an enormous ability to express human warmth in poems and stories of breathtaking beauty.

We took several of his stories and poems and used 14 dolls made on a human scale and more than a dozen life-sized. The poet always felt captivated by rag dolls, and he managed to express his appreciation for this craft of the people, full of tenderness and a good dose of personal and cultural identity.

Animated dolls and puppets and actors and actresses pretending to be like them, somehow make up a broad and unique cast that becomes the crowd that fills up the “chiva”, which has to pull over at some place because the vehicle breaks down and a woman named María starts having labor pains.

As passengers get off and then get on the “chiva” and narrate their lives thus disclosing the simple intimacy of unpredictable human beings, the poet unfolds into stories nurtured by the memories of Aquiles and Elba, the poet and his sister, two children who are still adults, who dream and go back to school days.

Among the passengers we have María, the pregnant woman and poet’s wife, who starts having labor pains when the “chiva” is stranded away from any hospital. In this way, the conditions for delivery gradually develop.

A soldier fleeing war because he hates conflicts but is in love with poetry, just as if poetry were an imaginary girl.

A fisherman of dreams, a teacher with wise words, a restless girl, a vegetarian wolf, a smug young woman who learns life lessons, four musicians who got away from a melodic book inhabited by tunes that make you feel the emotions of characters and landscapes coming out from voices and instruments.

The rag dolls, male and female, also have their own fate and are gathered together by a story that instills life into them, turning them into some sort of dramatic chorus witnessing a reality in which human nature permeates the events happening to puppets, so close to what we are and to the wonderful things we have in life.

This stage play was awarded the prize “Creation of Plays for Theater Street and Unconventional Spaces – Idartes 2015”

Artistic credits

Clara Inés Ariza
Joan Steban Jiménez
David Rosero
Mario Miranda
Stephany Rugelis
Yuli Esperanza Rosero
Estefanía Torres

Víctor Torres
Grupo Arcilla:
Nidia Vega
Alejandro Morris
Juan Carlos Parada

Musical composition
Víctor Torres y Grupo Arcilla

Rag dolls design and construction
Constanza Gil

Costume design
Constanza Gil
Juan Carlos Moyano

Teatro Tierra


“I believe in Pablo Picasso, the father almighty, maker of heaven and earth; I believe in Charlie Chaplin, the son of violets and mice, who was crucified, dead and buried by time, but who rises again every day in the hearts of men; I believe in love and art as a way to enjoy everlasting life; I believe in crickets, which populate night with magic crystals; I believe in the knife-grinder, who lives from producing gold stars with his wonderful wheel; I believe in aerial quality of human beings, set up to the memory of Isadora Duncan, gracefully swooping like a wounded dove under Mediterranean sky; I believe in chocolate coins that I secretly treasure under the pillow of my childhood; I believe in the fable of Orpheus; I believe in the spell of music, I, who in the hours of my distress saw the spell of Fauré’s Pavane, just like I saw sweet Eurydice radiantly leaving the hell in my soul; I believe in Rainer Maria Rilke, the hero of the struggle of man searching for beauty, who sacrificed his life when he cut a rose for a woman; I believe in flowers sprouting from Ophelia’s adolescent corpse; I believe in the silent tears of Achilles by the sea; I believe in a streamlined and distant boat that came out a century ago to meet dawn; in Lord Byron its captain, carrying the sword of archangels, with a blaze of stars close to his temples; I believe in Ulysses’ dog, in the smiling cat of Alice in Wonderland, in Robinson Crusoe’s parrot; I believe in the mice pulling Cinderella’s carriage; in Beralfiro, Rolando’s horse, and in bees working in their hive inside the heart of Martin Tinajero; I believe in friendship as the most beautiful invention of humankind; I believe in the creative powers of people, I believe in poetry and in short, I believe in myself, because I know somebody loves me.”

Aquiles Nazoa

He was a poet, journalist and humorist born in Caracas, Venezuela, in 1920. The language he used was full of sound and freshness. He was wise and humble, and he always bore the sincerity of a child to discuss amazing issues such as the beauty of simple things. Some of his poems belong to the great world literature and his writings overflow with wit, strength and beauty.

His book Humor y Amor, a classic of Venezuelan and Latin American literature, collects more than 300 titles amongst poems, plays and chronicles. He was awarded in Venezuela with the National Prize for Journalism and the Municipal Prose Prize.

Mr. Nazoa died in 1976, in a car accident.


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