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BWW Interview: Lara Trujillo of ATACAMA at Full Circle Theater Company

This production runs now through May 1st

BWW Interview: Lara Trujillo of ATACAMA at Full Circle Theater Company Amidst the extraordinary landscape of Chile's Atacama desert, two strangers search for the long-lost remains of their children, "disappeared" victims of the brutal Pinochet regime. In their quest for closure, they traverse Chile's history to examine the opposing views and actions that tore families and countries apart. Their mythic journey explores the transformative possibilities that can lead from transgression to remorse, reparation, forgiveness, and redemption.

a??We chat with Lara Trujillo, Atacama Lead Artist's about her role and the production.

How does it feel to be back in front of an audience and to have live theatre back again?
Live theater has the power to communicate that's entirely different than any other media. It was so lovely to be performing onstage and experience that engagement with the audience again. I realized how very much I've missed it over the past two years. It's truly a joy to be back.

How does this role compare to other roles you've played?
I've had both the privilege and the challenge of playing roles that required me to seek and express profoundly painful emotions. The role of Ignacia required me to explore within myself, and to express in performance, the unthinkable experience of the death of a child and the inescapable feelings of guilt that follow. Additionally, the responsibility of acting with only one other stage partner in this two-person production may have been the greatest and one of the most rewarding challenges I've faced as a performer.
Do you have a favorite moment in the show?

The enlightenment. After all that the characters have been through together and with the subtle guidance that Ignacia's provided, Diego finally understands who he is and what he needs to do. That achievement has been Ignacia's goal and now Ignacia is free to move on to the next step in her journey towards enlightenment.

What was the process in developing your character?
As an idealist who passed her particular form of idealism on to her son, Ignacia's life became an endless attempt to try to make herself, and her son, whole again. I strove to find a sense of what that experience might have been for her, and of course, used various historical resources of the period, such as the Women of Calama, to search for what was likely the reality for Ignacia and those she represents.
Did you find anything challenging with developing your character or the production?

It was all a challenge! Playing Ignacia required me to portray a woman who'd lost everything. The challenge was to find within myself the emotional response to pain beyond anything I've personally experienced. It required me to ask myself what it would be like to lose everything, including my child. Who would I then be? How would I interact with others? How would I react to the world? The very difficult aspect of this personal exploration, however, is that while one knows, intellectually, that it's an exercise, one's body and emotional sense doesn't know that and one can begin to experience the pain and suffering that someone like Ignacia experienced.

How was working with the cast and the creative team?
The Full Circle Theater Company team, especially the member of the Core Leadership, Rick Shiomi, Martha B. Johnson, Stephanie Lein Walseth and Siddeeqah Shabazz, are the most supportive, encouraging, empowering group of people with whom I've ever had the privilege to work in the theater. I am deeply grateful for the roles that each played in bringing Atacama successfully to the stage. It was also a pleasure to work, once again, with my dear friend and colleague, Pedro R. Bayon. Together, we explored, sought and found enlightenment ... for ourselves as well as for our characters!

What do you hope the audience takes away from seeing this production?
I sincerely hope that the audience will take away an understanding that we can't allow ourselves or our nation to divide into "camps" or "sides." While one might "win" over the other, no one really "wins." As we saw in Atacama, the consequences of that kind of division is ultimately a loss for all. It is imperative for us to find commonality and always strive to understand the "other" as a person.

Favorite local spots?
My family's favorite Saint Paul restaurant ... La Cucaracha! It's a delightful family-owned and locally operated restaurant serving authentic Mexican cuisine. One of the joys of performing in Saint Paul is knowing that I'll eat there with my family and friends once, twice or many times during a run!

Thank you Lara for your time!

For ticket and show information, click here

Photo courtesy of Full Circle Theater Company

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