Unscripted. Unstaged. Carmen Aguirre.Unscripted. Unstaged. is an interview series from Laura Murray Public Relations that speaks with fascinating artists, advocates, administrators, and other individuals who keep the Canadian artistic community visible, viable, and vibrant. This week we spoke with Carmen Aguirre, writer and co-writer of twenty plays, including Chile Con Carne, The Trigger, and The Refugee Hotel. Her first book, a memoir entitled Something Fierce: Memoirs of a Revolutionary Daughter won CBC Canada Reads 2012 and was the #1 national bestseller for five months this year. She is currently touring her one-woman show Blue Box.
Q: If we were introduced at a party – what are the three things you would be excited to share about yourself?
Nothing at all. I like asking questions at parties and getting to know people. I find talking about myself extremely boring. Listening is super exciting to me.
Q: If we checked your nightstand, what books would we find you reading right now?
2666 by Roberto Bolano and The Chavez Code by Eva Golinger.
Q: If we checked your computer, what favourite sites would be bookmarked?
I’m a technophobe so I don’t know what a bookmark is. But I like watching the news channels teleSUR (out of Venezuela), Press TV (out of Iran), and Democracy Now! (out of the States) on my computer.
Q: How did you come to do what you do – was there a defining moment you can tell us about?
I was a toddler and went to the circus. I knew I’d found my calling.
Q: When it comes to marketing, is there a particular campaign or a poster, advertisement, or promotion that made a significant impact or that stands out in your mind?
The Pinochet dictatorship’s marketing was outstandingly disturbing, smart, all-encompassing, and effective. The poster of Pinochet in his grey cape staring straight into the camera that papered seemingly every wall in Chile stands out in my mind. Definitely.
Q: Lastly, what inspires you?
At the moment, the student movement in Chile inspires me. Anybody who has the courage to stand up for their rights and risk their lives doing it inspires me. The artists who inspire me are the ones are willing to risk themselves and their art. In the Canadian playwriting arena that would be Marie Clements (Burning Vision, The Unnatural and Accidental Women), Darren O’Donnell (A Suicide-Site Guide to the City, White Mice), Michel Marc Bouchard (The Tale of Teeka), and Colleen Murphy (The December Man).
Vancouver audiences can watch Carmen Aguirre take some risks of her own, as she takes the stage for the opening night performance of Elbow Theatre‘s White Rabbit, Red Rabbit at the Cultch tomorrow (Sept. 19) evening.
As she walks on stage she will be handed a sealed envelope containing Nassim Soleimanpour’s script. Without any prior rehearsal or knowledge of what lies ahead, she will cold-read and perform the arresting and provocative work.