AMERICAN THEATRE

Manuela Infante Makes Space For Ideas

A MUNICIPAL GUARD WALKS ONSTAGE AND starts describing the causes of an accident involving a motorcycle and a tree. He somehow manages to blame the tree for the accident—or, more precisely, he singles out the dissonance between the temporality of the tree and that of the life around it as the cause of the collision. The speed of the world surrounding it, the guard suggests, made the tree’s slow movement almost disappear. “A tree takes centuries to grow, it is slow…so you could say, ‘You should have seen it coming….The storm was coming.’ But I could say, ‘Yes, officer, but you could not see it, this is a coming that cannot be seen.’”

So begins Chilean writer/director Manuela Infante’s (). Is this a procedural thriller? Are we going to find out more about the accident? Not exactly. Instead, like that tree, the play slowly starts to grow in multiple directions, bringing onstage a polyphony of voices in a very controlled chaos. While exploring the nuances of

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