FICTIONAL AUDIOTOUR (2005 – 2018)
O Homen do Chapeu
(The man with the hat)
(Theatre Festival “XVIII Festival de Inverno”, SESC Santo André / Paranapiacaba, SP (Brazil). 2018)
Ágata takes care of Nenê in a nursing home in São Paulo. The old lady tells her an intriguing story about her old life in Paranapiacaba and Ágata decides to travel to this town to learn more.
She goes looking for traces of Nenê, her aunt Emilia and an enigmatic man with a hat.
Soon Agata is faced with many unanswered questions: What happened to Aunt Emilia at that time, what made her leave the town? Who is this man with the hat? And why is Nenê so interested in him?
What begins as a walk through Nenê’s hometown, is transformed, step by step, into a detective story in which the history of the place and its characters are confused between the haze and the words of Agatha.
Concept, dramaturgy and direction: Christina Ruf and Ariel Dávila (BiNeural-MonoKultur)
Original music and sound design: Guillermo Ceballos
Ágata’s Voice: Ana Luiza Leão
Investigation: Ariel Dávila, Christina Ruf, Gabriela Gianetti
Historical assessment: Eduardo Pin
Translation into Portuguese: Alessandro Atanes
Poems cited: Parts of “Vila Mágica” and “Moça formosa da estação” by Francisca de Araújo
Graphic design of the club’s member card: Natalia Rojo
Local production: Gabriela Gianetti
General production: Felipe Gonzalez / Difusa Fronte(i)ra
Thanks to: Zélia Paralego, Pedro de Souza Maia and Priscila Paralego – ‘Os Memorialistas’, Tatiana Machado, Vilma Rosa, Alexandre and Igor Almeida Oshiro, Maria Aparecida Carillo (Cida), Geyson Ric, Marcia Salvador Tersetti, Leandro Machado, Enrique Portela Silva
Co-production: BiNeural-MonoKultur, Difusa Fronte(i)ra
Realization: SESC Santo André
Paranapiacaba has a unique history that is closely linked to the railroad. It is a town that was established by English engineers in the mid-nineteenth century in the coastal mountains of the state of São Paulo. The aim was to develop and build a funicular system to transport merchandise and passengers, connecting the port of Santos with the interior of São Paulo state.
We could say that Paranapiacaba has a special character, with its location in the mountains in the middle of the Atlantic Forest, its English architectural style (including a clock that imitates London’s Big Ben) and the dense fog that rises almost daily from the Atlantic Ocean and completely engulfs the entire town.
We conducted the historical research under the guidance of Eduardo Pin and became familiar with the idiosyncrasy of this small city and the social organization that was established in the railway era: There was a clear hierarchy according to the workers’ ranks, and the houses and buildings were also distributed according to that criterion. We were struck by the fact that in the history of this town, there is virtually no mention of women. They appeared in photographic records, and perhaps we know who they married (but only those belonging to the more prominent families), but we know almost nothing about these women.
At ‘Clube União Lyra Serrano’ we found one of those photos featuring women, and used it as a starting point to imagine what their lives were like. We used some stories about social life from that time and developed the script on that basis. Thanks to its fog, its architecture and in part due to the numerous legends and stories from this place, the town inspired us to write a Fictional Audiotour in the form of a detective mystery (with a feminist touch). This is the origin of our story, which tells of several generations of women and a murder related to the mysterious ‘man with the hat’.