Claudio Bandini has been in the limelight for years and has a long experience behind him. In Europe, he worked with people of such standing as Angel Gutiérrez, Agustín Bellusci and Antonio Domínguez.

He arrived in New York two years ago and his feet have barely touched the ground since then. We have been able to see him in ¨Il Mattatore¨ a one-man show, written and performed by him about the actor Vittorio Gassman, directed by the prestigious coach Susan Batson. Meanwhile, he has collaborated with AENY on various occasions in dramatized readings of plays such as ¨Mi alma en otra parte¨ and ¨Litus¨

How are the rehearsals going?

The play is written in a very particular way. It is full of mysteries, unfinished sentences, fundamental happenings lacking in dialogue and they are recounted in a brief narration, scenes which are not explained. At the moment, we are focussed on exploring the inner world of each character by means of ‘private moment’ exercises that help us to find the essence of them to be able to understand what is going on in the Heiber family. It is slowly falling apart. The fights are breaking it down day after day. We are also exploring the characters by repetition exercises and games that help us to get rid of opinions and prejudice to get to the heart of them.

What do you think of the play you are preparing? What about the script?

The play really impressed me when I first read it. It reached my very soul and I felt a strong connection to it, to the extent that I even discovered some secrets about my own life and our existence.

It is an existentialist play that sets out to open our eyes to the inconsistency between human nature and the world we have created around us. Beatriz Cabur presents us the diagnosis, almost medical, about the situation of the Earth and a possible cure for its illness. Still, the decision to take the medicine is ours alone. I believe we should stop to think whether it really would be the best remedy. I think it is an essential reflection these days.

Talk to us about your character: How you are preparing him and what his place is in the development of the story.

My character is Johann Heiber, the head of the family. I say ‘head’ because he is a man troubled by his thoughts. He is a noble and pure soul, with a broad view of the world and the problems within it and closely connected to nature. Fortunately or not, he is well aware that we are heading straight for the abyss and cannot help taking the worry on daily to the extent that, little by little, he distances himself from the family. At the same time, Johann does not have a solution to the world’s problems, nor does he believe in the solutions that others suggest, such as Ronensbourgh, will do any good. This makes him live in a state of constant frustration, generating a negative vortex around him. He becomes increasingly alienated from the domestic life and the Heibers start falling apart at the seams and end up leaving him alone.

What do you think organizations like AENY offer Spanish artists in a city like New York?

AENY is doing a great job. In my opinion, in a city as cosmopolitan as New York, with such a high percentage of Spanish speakers, it is imperative to promote Spanish art and culture. The artists who have left our country to settle down here are active people. I think cities like New York offer a dedicated artist a place without limits to develop their professional lives.

In AENY they are very aware of this and have been a key example of this for years, working with the amount of dedication and quality a city like this demands. They have released plays of such a quality that they have been awarded professionally. At the same time, they are opening doors for Spanish artists who are looking for a chance to develop their professional careers.

Finally, what thoughts and impressions do you hope the audience take away from your play?

My personal hope and the reason I wanted to participate in this project, is that the calling of Beatriz Cabur does not fall on deaf ears that people think about it and bear it in mind. I reckon all artistic projects should seek to change something. It is absolutely essential that we look around ourselves and stop to think over all the damage we are inflicting on the world. However, it seems we are only interested in money and we are fed this belief through the television. Hopefully, Ronensbourgh will help raise awareness that it should not be this way and encourages people to come and see us.

Interview: Victoria Freire