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Petra Martinez and Juan Margallo, National Theater Award: “One would be happy for the other, but both are beautiful”

Juan Margalo (Cáceres, 1940) and Petra Martínez (Linares, 1944), a theatrical and real-life couple, won the 2022 National Theater Award. The jury defended the “consistency of the trajectory maintained on the stage and their commitment. Art and society through their creations” and also defended “their resistance and determination to introduce new forms and scenic trends in their work, so that they know how to create a theater of the 20th century, but also preserve scenic excellence that characterizes them. In the whole context of the 21st century, without forgetting their pedagogical work and theatrical delivery, always performed with great professionalism, not exempt from the sense of humor that permeates their works.” The prize is awarded with 30,000 euros.

These two actors are half of the life of the theater in this country, which started back in the sixties with the creation of the company Tábano, a fundamental group to understand what independent theater, theatrical renewal and political positioning means in this country. But Margalo and Martinez met earlier, learning the theatrical tradition at another of the country’s foundational groups, the Studio Theater of William Layton and Miguel Narros.

Their careers have always been joint, although Petra acted and Margallo directed first Tabano, then Gallo Vallecano and later his current company Uroc Teatro. They were both able to combine traditional and popular Spanish theater with the dramaturgy of the European repertoire, especially Bertolt Brech and later Dario Fos, and the great renewal that followed from Latin America and the collective theater of masters such as Enrique Buenaventura TEC. Or Santiago Garcia of La Candelaria. It is not surprising that Margallo presided over the Ibero-American Festival of Cádiz and has always been the link between both coasts. Although in recent years they have become more attached to films, the two have never left the table. In 2021, Margalo directed Petra Miss Dona Margarita by Roberto Ataide of Brazil at the Spanish Theater. And not so long ago, Margallo made his solo premiere at the Sala Mirador in a performance, Until Alzheimer’s eats me up where the actor mixed the memory and anecdotes of his life dedicated to the theater.

Petra Martinez received the information from the Minister of Train Travel. A short time later, he answers this newspaper’s call: “They assume that if they give one, the other will be happy,” he says. “But it’s great for both of us, I couldn’t believe what an illusion it was. At first I thought it was a joke, they told me that the minister wanted to talk to me. Moreover, when Isetta spoke to me, I thought it was a joke and told her to stop and tell me who she was. I don’t want to be modest, but we are so many actors that you think it’s impossible,” he says with the humor that has always characterized this actor.

Martinez admits that “when you get older,” the rewards are “exciting.” “You’re rethinking that we must have done something right,” he adds. Asked what he thinks they’ve done well in this 50-plus-year career, the actor admits that if he was on the jury and “two people like us came out, I’d think those two did well. Nothing concrete, but it’s good for so many years without stopping and with so much love for the theater.”

The jury was composed of the following members: cultural manager and director of the Grec Festival, Francesc Casadesús; cultural journalists, Julio Bravo, Rosana Torres and Machus Osinaga; Fefa Noya, Deputy Director of the National Drama Center; Rosa San Segundo as representative of the University Platform for Feminist and Gender Studies; and Juan Diego Boto, winner of the National Theater Award last year.

In the last fifteen years, out of the ten times that they went to people and not to companies, theaters or theater institutions, six times men and four women were awarded. This year it falls on a woman, but in a shared form. The awarding of the prize began in 1946, the year the winner was playwright Jardiel Poncela, and has only been rejected once, in 1994, when Albert Boadella refused to accept the prize for his company, El Joglars. , with these words: “In difficult moments, the officers were not with us. Now it turns out that it suits them, probably because all the prizes have been sold, but now it doesn’t suit us… it’s an aesthetic problem.” Recent winners of this award have been Juan Diego Boto, Sala Cuarta Parede, Andrés Lima, Julieta Serrano, Camikaze Theater, Concha Velasco and Pedro Moreno, costume designer and decorator, who was the second technician to receive this award since its creation. The first was Illuminator Juan Gómez-Cornejo, who received it in 2011.

Source: El Diario

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