Zo Brinviyer

Zo Brinviyer


I understand writing as an exploration of my most-secret fears and desires, I put my believes and habits to the test, I destroy myself, I submit myself to transformation and experience.
Theater should be something explosive, an event that threatens and reveals falsehood. The actor doesn’t lie. The lie is outside, we live in the lie minute by minute. It is in the theater where the truth should be revealed. And I believe that the truth of the characters can only sprout from the edge. That’s why in the theater there isn’t room for ordinary language, nor lukewarm characters, there can only be words capable of intruding on a death sentence, to stop it or accelerate it. Like gunpowder. To do this, these words must be ordered in such a way that they destroy us, twisting, that they spit the truth in our faces. That is the exigency of the theater, which I crash against time and again.

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Zo Brinviyer (1982) writes and directs theater.
She wants to be Calamity Jane.
She now lives, disappears, and explores in Denmark, where she teaches Spanish and theater at the University of Copenhagen. She celebrates the tenuous light, the cold, and the bicycles.
She has studied Literary Theory and Dramaturgy and she has trained in contemporary dance, butoh, and flamenco. She is part of the Madrid Federation of Boxing, the place she most misses in Madrid, where she was trained by Manolo del Río. She has experimented with different languages (photography, video, dance, dolls, diaries), but what she has always truly wanted is to tell stories. She has worked with dancers, actors and non-actors, children, teens, immigrants, and students of a Spanish as a foreign language. She continues searching. Training. Doubting. Getting sick. She finds herself going to the theater less. And to the open fields more. She finds violated dolls. Comes back. Writes. Falls in love. Loses them. Writes more. And burns.


2011 / Padre Coyote.
2011 / La bala podrida.
2010 / Ell deseo de ser infierno; published by Centro de Documentación Teatral, Madrid; Calderón de la Barca National Prize for New Authors.
2010 / Wanted; premiered: Festival Óptica and FIPA Pépinières Europèennes pour Jeunes Artistes.
2009 / El tiempo de la sed; premiered: Sala Gades, Teatro Cervantes, Málaga.
2007 / Cuando nada duele; premiered: Teatro Fernán Gómez, Madrid
2006 / Cómo vas a morir si no tienes madre; premiered: Teatro Pradillo, Madrid.
2005 / Una gota de aceite hirviendo; published by Editorial Fundamentos.

Other texts:
2006 / Los bajos fondos.
2006 / Los negros.
2006 / Blanco.

El deseo de ser infierno
– selected text for The dangerous opportunity –

7 characters

Synopsis: The Buffalo Bill circus arrives in the outskirts of Mettray, a penal colony for youth delinquents, from the far and savage west. And nothing will ever be the same again. A dead man, Billy the Kid, returns to feed the dream of the living. From now on: to bite and escape. To confront the law, disdain pain, fill oneself with time and keep running. Because it’s possible to exist on the margins, with your heart on the border. And to survive throwing yourself outside the world.

– Extracts from El deseo de ser infierno –

 JEAN.- To hate is not a mistake.
Nor to run, hide, steal, stab, burn,
hush, hit, insult, resist, scorn,
whip, forget, strangle, or die.
To desire is not a mistake, either.

Samuel turns around.

PASCAL- Don’t close your eyes!

JEAN.- You must try not to sleep.
If you sleep you’re finished.

PASCAL.- The Dog gets in your head if you sleep.

SAMUEL.- Foolishness.

MATHIEU.- You think you’re too clever.

SAMUEL.- I’ve already been in other places like this.
I already know that now the sweats begin,
the nights, the howls, the pities, the fights, the exercises, the work…
Life has finished for me.
Either I’m free or I’m nothing.

JEAN.- Here inside you can be as free as you want.
You need to start by not sleeping.
If you want we can tell you the things we do to not sleep.

MATHIEU.- Don’t tell him anything, worse for him.

JEAN (to Pascal).- What do you say?

PASCAL.- Tell him, tell him, tell him.

MATHIEU.- And if he tells The Dog?

JEAN.- Do you think he’s one of those?
Are you one of those? One of those big mouths who go spouting
everything they hear to see if they can get something more than the rest
and who, in the end, wind up with their tongues all burned up?
You look smarter than that.
I don’t think you’re one of those.

PASCAL.- Those always wind up very, very badly.
The last one hung himself in the shower.

MATHIEU.- Shut up.

PASCAL.- I’m not lying!

MATHIEU.- I didn’t say you were lying, I told you to shut up.

PASCAL.- He took his sheet one night and rolled it like this,
without saying anything to anyone.
Mathieu found him in the morning,
all swollen and reddish,
staring at the white tiles.
And you began to shout,
do you remember, Mathieu, do you remember?
You shouted like this:
¡aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhh, aaaaaaahhh!
Then The Owl came and they took him away.
And we never spoke of him again.
What was his name?

MATHIEU.- We don’t talk about those who have gone.

PASCAL.- But, what was his name?
Do you remember?

MATHIEU.- 308.

JEAN.- Pascal!

PASCAL.- We don’t talk about those who have gone,
I know that already, but sometimes I forget.

JEAN.- Come here.

Jean says something in Pascal’s eat.
It seems like an excellent idea to Pascal and he gets out Jean’s newspaper clippings.
Jean, Pascal and Mathieu staring at the faces of the murders.

PASCAL.- Read it, go on read it.

JEAN.- The Butcher of Pigalle.
He’s declared guilty in the trial, doesn’t deny anything.
Says he likes the sound of the knife entering flesh.
Sticks his dick in anyplace, says: “a hole is a hole, what does it matter”.
And after forcing and fighting, the pleasure begins.
At that last second, as their life is ebbing away, he reaches orgasm.
They can’t identify all of his victims because he cut them into pieces
before hiding them in the sewers.

MATHIEU.- And this one?

PASCAL.- He’s very skinny.

MATHIEU.- He looks like a dog that has lost its face.

JEAN.- The Hunter of the Old.
He says that God ordered him to search out the oldest people he can find.
He calls at their houses with the Bible in his hand,
and they open the door for him enthusiastically.
He says he comes to help the weak,
and save them from years of suffering.
His job is to create justice,
there are people who have been in the world for too long
and wind up being in the way.
The wheat must be separated from the chaff,
a thorough cleaning must be made.
They fall asleep right away,
as he reads the psalms,
and he smothers them with a pillow soaked in bleach.

MATHIEU.- This is my favorite.

PASCAL.- Which?

MATHIEU.- The Beast of Chartres Park.

JEAN.- He promises free alcohol to the homeless tramps
and leads them to the darkest corners of the park,
stopping when the trembling buildings can no longer be seen.
There are no storefronts there, no cars,
no illuminated signs, no shouts,
no doors nor windows nor roofs,
there is no one watching what they shouldn’t.
He pulls out the bottle of vodka and listens to the skulls
of those miserable wretches breaking in two from the silence.
He cuts off their nose or ears
and eats them before throwing them into the river.

PASCAL.- He died in jail, right?

JEAN.- The same thing happened to him as happens to fire:
when it burns it must devour,
and when it can’t devour it extinguishes itself.
He only lasted three days in jail.


Mathieu tries to grab the clipping. Samuel eats it and then spits it out.

JEAN.- You’re one of those that never loses your heart, right?
You keep it to yourself, carefully conserving it
and mummifying it. You have no wounds.

MATHIEU.- There’s no Dog in sight.

PASCAL.- We count assassins and hurt ourselves so as not to sleep.

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