Archive of Past Events

Masterclass with Lola Arias

Institute of Modern Languages Research, School of Advanced Study, Senate House, University of London

18 October 2018

Coinciding with the screening of Theatre of War (2018) at the London Film Festival in October 2018, director Lola Arias delivered a masterclass on her approaches to theatre making with a specific focus on objects, narratives and memory. Arias explained her method of working with objects, assessing how clothes, pictures, magazines, toys or letters, which have a singular, personal and mostly intimate origin, are differently ‘charged’ through their staging. Within a theatrical frame those objects become vehicles of transition from personal to collective memory, thus making room for new narratives to emerge. Arias discussed the use of objects in Mi vida después (2009) [My Life After], in which six actors born during Argentina’s last dictatorship (1976-1983), wearing the clothes of their parents as a ‘time machine’, re-inscribe their own place in the present. Arias also reflected on valences of the ‘real’ in her more recent production, Campo Minado/Minefield (2017), where she worked with six former veterans of Malvinas/Falklands War (1982) from Argentina and the UK, as well as a Nepalese Ghurkha soldier. Finally, she assessed the ways in which her productions, typically dealing with very painful and conflicting memories, work within playful or affirmative performance registers.

Discover more about Lola Arias here.

Footage from the masterclass on our Vimeo channel. View each of 9 segments below.

Arias discusses her background and education.

Arias discusses working with the unpredictability of live performance.

Arias discusses early forms of experimentation with reality and fiction in 'Striptease' (2007).

Arias discusses 'Love is a Sniper' (2007) and the realisation that she did not want to work with pure fiction.

Arias discusses 'staging difficult pasts' in Argentina and her production 'Mi Vida Después'/'My Life After'

Arias discusses her production 'The Year I Was Born' (2012) that dealt with the legacy of Pinochet's dictatorship in Chile.

Arias discusses depression as a trace of the Argentinian dictatorship in her production 'Melancholy and Demonstrations' (2012).

Arias discusses her rehearsal process, and her role as both writer and director.

Arias discusses the differences between working in film and theatre.

STAGING DIFFICULT PASTS is an AHRC funded project: Grant reference: AH/R006849/1