By Pablo de Sainz
Theatre in Baja California is renewed constantly, it keeps itself alive and strong, but above all, it maintains a level of quality compared to those from other Mexican states, and, of course, to contemporary international theatre.
In Tijuana there are several spaces where local drama is put on stage to take an accessible theatre to the city’s residents. There’s the “Teatro del Sótano” in Casa de la Cultura, the alternative space led by “La Divina Fauna” and the Centro Cultural Tijuana’s Theatre.
It is in CECUT, where the Centro de Artes Escénicas del Noroeste (CAEN), is located. It is a public institution that offers Baja Californians with a place where to develop in everything related to theatre. They offer certificates, classes, and workshops.
In addition, CAEN, in its mission to make local plays known, has its own publishing house, called “CAEN Editores,” where they publish a magazine and a book series of plays simply titled “Los Inéditos.”
With Luis Humberto Crosthwhite as editor, and Angel Norzagaray as director, this time “CAEN Editores” has published a book with a new play, written by Daniel Serrano, playwright, cultural promoter, and director, born in Hermosillo, Sonora, but living in Tijuana for several years, and, so, is considered a Tijuana playwright.
The play is titled “La Conquista del Gordo” (CAEN Editores, 2002). It has one act and several informal scenes.
The story has an easy plot, but little by little, it takes on a complex form that asks a mystery: Would El Gordo, Omar, Conquest - Better said: Sleep with- Elena?
But who’s Omar? Elena?
This is the story:
Several young friends (Camilo, Genaro, Reynaldo, and Ramón) meet in a small room in a house’s room. It’s late. After a party. They start talking. They’re drinking, a forty ounce. Laughing about the party. They talk about Elena, a girl who, according to some, sleeps with everybody, and, according to others, is still a virgin.
Whatever it is, Omar, aka “El Gordo,” is in love with Elena. The group of friends talk about how, finally, in the party, El Gordo “conquers” Elena. The guys start to make conclusions, make predictions, and make up stories about love, sex, and action between El Gordo and Elena.
In the first part, we meet, through dialogues, characters and personalities.
After talking for a while, the guys get to a conclusion: El Gordo might commit suicide or kill Elena’s ex if she rejects El Gordo’s love.
Hours later, El Gordo enters the room and little by little, the enigma clears up, only to create more enigmas.
The best part of the play, is the slang and the language:
Genaro: ¡No mames, está caliente?
Camilo: ¿Quién, tú, la caguama o Elena?
Daniel Serrano, truly, conquers theatre with “La Conquista del Gordo.”