Chicago International Puppet Festival and Instituto Cervantes Present Silencio Blanco’s PESCADOR Review – Fishing Can Be Tedious

The auditorium at Instituto Cervantes is packed with puppet fans and their puffy coats.  Small spot lights circle round from the stage, momentarily blinding the audience.  The stage is dimly rear lit with blue LEDs, further inhibiting the audience view.  There is a platform center stage.  Something is going to happen.  We begin to see movement on stage – black shapes, then a small, white figure climbing what appear to be rocks.  We see it is a fisherman as he carefully arranges his net, pulling, pulling, pulling.  He picks up a rope and pulls in in, in, in – puffing with the hard labor.  Eventually the prow of a skiff appears, and the small puppet pulls, and pulls, up, over the rocks to the pier where he clambers in.  A bit more light comes up (likely, the gloaming of sunrise). We now see that the black objects on stage are performers, who, through the course of the hour will mostly be undulating water.

Chicago International Puppet Festival, Instituto Cervantes and PESCADOR Emphasize Reality

PESCADOR is homage to the difficult lives of men and women who daily embark in small boats into large water, fraught with perils, to fish.  Five performers stage an arduous ballet in which they are the waves, the vortex, the bar, and the puppeteers for the fisherman, the boat, the net, the birds.  There are no words, just perfect sounds of water created/captured by Sound Designer, Ricardo Pacheco.

Chicago International Puppet Festival and Instituto Cervantes Silenco Blanco’s PESCADOR

Mesmerizing Performance

Like fishing, in this reviewer’s opinion, the sequences were long.  Also, as often in fishing, there was no catch.  But the execution was captivating and mesmerizing.


Directed and Conceived by Santiago Tobar
Creative Producer: Dominga Gutierrez
Performers: Rodolfo Armijo, Camila Perez, Consuelo Miranda, Marco Reyes, Camilo Yanez
Sound Design: Ricardo Pacheco
Lighting Design: Belen Abarza

For more information on upcoming Chicago International Puppet Festival performance read  2019 Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival PREVIEW

Photos courtesy of Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival 2019

Ann Boland
Portrait by Paul Sierra

Reviewer Ann Boland is committed to Chicago theater. Involved in the audience since the early 80’s, she’s witnessed firsthand the rise of our theater scene, our exceptional local talent, and the vigor of each new generation.  Ann handles public relations for authors and works on programs to help seniors with neurological movement disorders.  Please visit her website for more information.  


Click here to read more Picture this Post reviews by Ann Boland.

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