Acting Now
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P1050061

MARINA PALLARÈS-ELIAS

Hello and welcome to my website!

I am a theatre director and applied theatre practitioner. I’m also the founder and Artistic Director of the theatre company Acting Now, which is based both in Cambridge (UK) and Barcelona (Spain). But above all, I’m a firm believer that theatre is a powerful tool for social change.

I started working with oppressed communities in 2004 in Spain and since then I have worked across Europe and South America, in countries like Nicaragua, Guatemala, Salvador, Mexico, Italy and England. I have always been interested in creating provocative and empowering performances using personal stories from people who have never had the opportunity to be heard. In order to create these stories I use physical theatre (Jacques Lecoq method), especially greek chorus, rhythms and tensions, emotions and body action. I have developed more than 50 theatre projects with traveller communities, ex-offenders, adults with learning disabilities, people with mental health challenges, homeless people, women, youth groups, LGBTQ+ people and refugees all over the world.

My specialism lies within physical theatre (Lecoq studies) and applied theatre, and I’m also a professional facilitator of Theatre of the Oppressed.

Alongside working on social theatre projects, I have taught at the Universities of Cambridge, Anglia Ruskin and Bradford (UK) as well as Lille (France). I also run training programmes for the BBC (UK), La Casa Encendida and Matadero (Spain), using theatre as a tool for empowerment and debate.

Thank you for taking the time to look at my website. For further information, please don´t hesitate to get in touch marina@actingnow.co.uk. I'd love to hear from you!

COMMUNITY THEATRE DIRECTOR

I have developed exciting community theatre plays with a variety of groups at risk of social exclusion, including:

Women

“The sacrifices of a million women before me”, Homerton College, Cambridge University UK  2019

"Tejidos" with Carpa  Oaxaca, Mexico 2018.

Homeless people

“The raise and Fall of Mario Sanchex” CB2 Cambridge, Coventry, UK 2015

Refugees

"The love is underground" YMCA , Cambridge, UK 2017

Rome community, Arci Sicily, Italy 2006

Mental Health

"I deserve a second chance" CB2, Cambridge, UK 2018

“Keep Holding my Hand”  Corpus Playroom, Cambridge, Uk 2016

“You are not going to stop me”  Cambridge, UK, 2016

Learning  disabilities

“We still standing” with Rowan, Covent Garden, Cambridge, UK 2019

“Tejidos” Deaf community Oaxaca, Mexico 2018

"Through the Cloud I can see you" with Rowan, Cambridge University, Cambridge, UK 2018

“Up to the sky is where we want to dream” with Rowan, Covent Garden, Cambridge, UK 2017

LGBT +

“Monstruas”  ZINEGOAK  Film Festival, February, Bilbao Spain 2019

“Just a little bit longer”, The Kite Trust, Cambridge UK 2019

"What you do not see" The Kite Trust, Cambridge, UK 2018

"This is me" The Kite Trust, Cambridge, UK 2017

Young people

Barcelona Football Club Foundation, Barcelona, Spain 2007, 2008

Social Services Barcelona, Spain 2008-2012

(CISAS) Centro de Información y Servicio de Asesoría en Salud, Nicaragua, Salvador 2008

 

THEATRE DIRECTOR

Other credits as theatre director include:

“Polyphonic II” University of Cambridge UK 2019

“Polyphony I” University of Cambridge UK 2018

“Antigone: Now”  The Junction, UK,  Marseille, France 2017

“Complicité” Corpus Play Rom, Cambridge, UK 2016

Forum Theatre

La XiXa Teatre , Barcelona, Spain 2010-2012

Impacta Teatre Barcelona, Spain 2008-2012

La Nave Va , Barcelona, Spain  2008-2012

 

TRAINING

I have delivered training for universities, businesses cultural centres and theatre companies, as follows. I have also run my own Theatre of the Oppressed trainings and a Physical Theatre School in Cambridge (UK)

 

Universities

Bradford University, UK 2019

Cambridge University, UK 2019

Anglia Ruskin University, UK 2017- 2018-2109

University of Lyle, France, 2018

Camilo José Cela University, Madrid, Spain 2017

Businesses

BBC London, Manchester, UK 2019

Simprints Cambridge, UK 2017

Cultural Centres

CRA-P, Barcelona, Spain 2019

Casa Encendida Madrid, Spain 2015-2016-2017-2018-2019

Matadero Madrid, Spain 2018

Marinalco, Ciudad de Mexico, Spain 2018

(CISAS) Centro de Información y Servicio de Asesoría en Salud, Nicaragua, Salvador 2008

(IPA) International Play Association, Spain 2008

Theatre Companies

Mutantes Theatre Company , Saarbrucken Germany  2016,2017,2018,2019

Magnifico Teatrino Errante Italy 2018

Theatre of the Oppressed Trainings

Cambridge, UK, 2014-2015-2016-2017-2018-2019

Madrid, Spain, 2017

Nicaragua 2008

Acting Now Training School of Physical Theatre (Cambridge, UK, 2016, 2017, 2018)

 

CONFERENCES

I have participated in a number of conferences as a guest speaker, sharing best practice and my methodology, including:

Languages and Others: Diversity and Humour in Catalonia and Ukraine, Cambridge University, UK 2019

Cambridge Art Network Conference, Cambridge City Council, UK 2018

Performing arts and social inclusion conference, Ministry of Culture, Spain (2018)

Art and migration conference, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, UK 2018

 

PUBLICATIONS

I’m currently in the process of finishing my first book:

Raw Theatre or Theatre of Yes” 2019

 

EDUCATION

Master in Dramatherapy, Anglia Ruskin University, UK 2014

Degree Social Education University of Barcelona 2005

Acting  Studies University of Barcelona 2004

Diploma of Lecoq Estudis  de Teatre  2002

 

After many years of working with communities at risk of social exclusion, I have developed my very own methodology, drawing on the ethics of applied theatre and the aesthetics and principles of physical theatre. I call this ‘Raw Theatre’ (or Theatre of Yes).

Raw Theatre is a methodology that uses the power of beauty as a language to break stereotypes within situations that society views with apathy; by creating provocative and emotional performances, we are able to transform the lives of people who suffer social exclusion.

Yet how can we create a high-quality performance with people who have stories that should be shared but who are not professional actors?

How can we use powerful performances as an axis of change?

How can emotions be the motor for the struggle against the social oppression that many groups suffer?

Through years of creating plays with groups around the world, I have realized the importance of onstage quality as the axis of change to break stereotypes that vulnerable people are often confronted with. Instead of developing a leafleting campaign to raise awareness of people suffering oppressive circumstances, I propose the creation of an emotional performance derived from often undisclosed stories, where the important result is collective catharsis between spectators and actors. In this work, hidden questions are answered and emotions and desires otherwise deprived of space to be shared are revealed.

Raw means raw: raw meat, pure, frank, wounded, natural, fresh, not cooked, wild, clear and true. Raw is hard to see. Raw is not easy to find.  Raw also means collective, looking at the wound for collective healing. Raw means connecting with emotions, with ourselves, by taking off our daily masks and discovering our inner selves.

Characteristics of the methodology

  • Beauty as an axis of change
  • Physical theatre (Lecoq methodology)  
  • A theatrical result in terms of excellence
  • Humility, generosity and honesty being presented as drivers of change
  • Theatrical inspiration from outside: the world and its nuances being used as theatrical inspiration
  • The Greek chorus being explored as a collective force
  • Personal stories being used as weapons to raise the profile of those who are not given a voice
  • The ‘Yes’ being used as political-ethical repositioning in a world where the "You are not enough" reigns in cultural discourse
  • Emotion being used as a driver to provide alternatives to imperialistic logic
  • Progress being made from victimhood to collective responsibility
  • Work being carried out with humans rather than collectives

WHAT I DO