Dominican theater: “Padre Pedro” points to the confrontation between duty and want

May prejudices never win us. When I was invited to the staging of the play, “Padre Pedro”, which was presented at the Lope de Vega Theater, located in Novocentro, last weekend, the predisposition was about to prevail.

Of the cast, which only included two actors: José Roberto Díaz, whose work I have known for more than two decades, and Jovany Pepín, until then, a total stranger, at least for me, the truth is that my hopes were not high. I thought: this must be an amateur job in which José Roberto puts one of the students from his famous acting workshops to the test.

Nothing further from the truth. The good taste in the mouth that good work leaves is always necessary to thank. Behind them, behind the actors, was the hand of Manuel Chapuseaux, doing his thing in directing the play.

The long introit comes from the experience lived as soon as I crossed the threshold of the new space for theatrical performances in the city, which, although too narrow and “forced in the arrangement of the seats” means another door that opens for actors, actresses, directors and theater producers and that must be valued.

The ecclesial dome in that stained glass window with sacred motifs, the confessional and the benches that simulated a chapel, as the only decorative elements, together with the title of the work, announced, logically, that the matter had to do with matters related to the Catholic Church. .

“Father, can you confess to me?” The tormented Dante (Pepín) asks, begs, rather, demands over and over again, to the surprise of Father Pedro (Díaz), to give way to a series of revelations posed by the Argentine playwright, José Ignacio Serralunga, in a text critical, instructive and, above all, that presents traces of the conflict that supposes the confrontation between duty and desire, in situations as human as intra-family violence, infidelity or that centuries-old question about the effectiveness or not of celibacy among priests and the nuns.

José Roberto Díaz and Jovany Pepín star in the play, “Padre Pedro”, which was presented at the Lope de Vega Theater, located in Novocentro.

José Roberto Díaz and Jovany Pepín star in the play, “Padre Pedro”, which was presented at the Lope de Vega Theater, located in Novocentro.

The plot does not attack the church as an institution, but it does leave a clear message that those who direct it, in all its organic structures, are men (priests) and their allies or servants, women (nuns, these with less responsibilities), who have weaknesses and they handle human miseries that, no matter how much they want to fight against them, always surface, as in this case, in which Father Pedro must confess a very hard truth to his interlocutor, “poor Dante”.

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recap. About my surprise, pleasant by the way, this occurred when contemplating the high level of acting and histrionics that Jovany Pepín demonstrated on stage, “a total stranger, at least for me”.

Rarely has an actor surprised me so much. Dante’s character is a whole bunch of emotions: bipolar, violent, with attention deficit, manipulative, naive, insecure and in all these flaws in his personality, the acting quality of someone who, for many, was a revelation emerged.

The parliaments between the parsimonious, cautious, intuitive and perceptive priest and the basic and primary humble man and servant of the church, which were nothing more than a “match” of ups and downs, sometimes appealing to conciliation, others, reaching a climax furious and dangerous, they were a delicacy for the audience that is so grateful for intelligent texts.

José Roberto Díaz, who is also a producer of the show, definitely had a great intuition when choosing Pepín as his co-star. His experience on stage was about to be eclipsed by the charisma and scenic mastery shown by the young actor, a sign that good sense prevailed in this staging, the sense of “giving opportunity to new talents” and the detachment of someone who puts aside artistic egos and divisiveness, to present decent work and an acting duo with chemistry.

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