Why do I write? I don’t really know. Perhaps I write because I believe in the power of stories. In their importance. They are important for the people who write them and for the people who listen to them. Author and spectator embark on an uncertain journey towards a place they had never thought of going to. The more uncertain the journey, the better it gets. It is more frightening, but more things are discovered. I find it hard to talk about myself in depth. I suspect that when I do so, I only manage to vaguely scratch the surface. Perhaps that is why I write plays. It is much easier for me to talk via the mouth of someone else, via the words, the gestures and the stories of someone else. Perhaps it’s a way of hiding yourself, of showing yourself and hiding yourself at the same time. It’s a curious profession –simultaneously shameless yet timid, cowardly yet risky, humble yet vain– this one of writing. One writes in absolute solitude yet in contrast the words are revived in the emotions of someone who doesn’t know you. And we playwrights are loners who do not want to be completely alone: we seek actors, an audience presence, a shared experience. Today there are very few places in the world where an experience like this can be shared. Seeing theatre, good theatre, is like seeing the sea or the forest, or the sunrise. Observing human beings telling their stories we become more aware of our tininess. Of our defects, virtues, desires, fears, wonders and limitations. Of life and of the death that surrounds us all. We once more become that ancient tribe that shares a story in the present, a story that reminds us of how miniscule our place is within the universe.
See below all the activities involving Helena Tornero in the frame of Fabulamundi.
A Graduate in Directing and Playwriting by the Institut del Teatre de Barcelona. She works as a stage director, actress, singer, screenwriter, theatre translator and as a teacher of playwriting and dramatic literature.
She has written El vals de la garrafa (Premi Joan Santamaria 2002), Les Madames (2003), Babybird (Finalista Premis Romea 2006), Submergir-se en l’aigua (Premi SGAE de Teatre Juvenil 2007. Teatre Tantarantana, 2009), De música i d’homes (2009), Suplicants (Temporada Alta 2009), Apatxes (Premi de Teatre 14 d’Abril 2009), You’re pretty and I’m drunk (Teatre Lliure 2011), Sota l’ombra d’un bell arbre (Future is unwritten) (Festival ACERT Portugal 2012), Yesterday (Theatre Uncut London 2012), No parlis amb estranys (fragments de memòria) (Teatre Nacional de Catalunya 2013), Búnquer (com la grisa majoria dels mortals) (Festival Grec de Barcelona 2013), Love and fascism (Istanbul Theatre Festival 2014), F52 (balla com si no et veiés ningú) (Companyia de Dansa-Jazz Luthier), Carmen aux enfers, in the Òpera de Butxaca i Nova Creació productions of 4Carmen (Festival Internacional de Peralada 2015) and displace (a nowhere opera) (Musiktheatertage Wien 2015), Fascinación (Premio de Teatro Lope de Vega 2015), Una conferència ballada (Mercat de les Flors, 2016), Vingt-trois avril mille-six-cent-seize, based on all the plays of William Shakespeare (Théâtre Pitoeff, Ginebra 2016) and Estiu (El Maldà, 2017).
She is the author the children’s novel El lladre de llibres (Ed. Oxford 2005). She has also written plays for teenagers, developing part of the creation process with them: Primeres imatges de Mart (Girona, 2012), De-sideris (looking for happiness) (Teatre de Ponent, 2010), Present, Passat, Futur i altres històries de la meva existència (Mataró, 2014) and F/M (devil is alive and well) (Sala Beckett, 2015).
She has translated plays by Evelyne de la Chenelière, Michel Marc Bouchard, Sylvain Levey, Fabrice Melquiot, Dennis Kelly, Paula Vogel, David Greig and Joël Pommerat. She has also worked as a translator in theatre workshops led by Complicité, Dougald Bruce-Lockhart, April de Angelis, Enzo Cormann, David Lescot, Carole Frèchette, Yesim Ozsoy and others.
She is also a founder and member of PARAMYTHADES, a group of theatre professionals which offers workshops of dance, theatre and music at the refugee camps. Her last dramaturgies have been Kalimat (2016) based on the testimony of people at the refugee camp of Nea Kavala, which was staged at the Teatre Nacional de Catalunya as a social theatre project, and Trees never get tired (2017), premiered at the municipal theatre of Polikastro (Greece) with a cast formed by Greek people from the Kilkis region and people waiting for a refugee status from Syria, Iraq, Eritrea and Somalia.
Head Under Water
Inspired by true events and based on a news item in the press, the author creates a fictional tale where Thomas, a young manipulator, and Stefan, a vulnerable and highly self-conscious young man, decide to find a victim in order to take out all their frustrations. The work puts some of the most common problems that young people and, by extension, society have today on the table. Immigration, collective intolerance, social exclusion, parent-child relationships in our consumer society with its violence hidden behind not-so-poorly viewed behaviours and customs are some of the themes of this story which talks about parallel worlds that are apparently destined not to understand each other.
Play available in Catalan, English, French, German and Spanish.
Play with many characters that can be performed by 4 actors and 2 actresses.
Fascination (Latin) 1. f. Delusion or hallucination. 2. f. Irresistible attraction.
They work all day long. A stressful, committed, misunderstood job. But three nights a week they meet there and dance. Cha-cha-cha. Rumba. Waltz. Dance classes for all. Paid for by the company. Pasodoble. Bolero. Salsa. Because the company loves them. The company is like a big family. A big family united by the same idea. And families will do anything to stay united. Fox-trot. Tango. Nothing can alter the family harmony. Swing. Nothing. One, two, three, Mambo.
Fascinación is a text that is read with the rhythms and movements of bodies that dance. That try to dance, despite their minds, fears and prejudices. Because the body does not deceive. The mind does, however, and a great deal. Ideas are barriers, walls, frontiers. The body, however, always goes one step further. The body moves. The body dances. The gesture always ends up revealing those stories that the mind tries so hard to hide.
Winner of the 2015 Lope de Vega Prize.
Play available in Greek and Spanish.
Play for 2 actors, 2 actresses and a fifth character of undefined gender.