- Teatro: No pasar. Rendimiento crítico del teatro de Roberto Suárez en su contexto de producción by Ignacio Gutiérrez Muiño
Teatro: No pasar analyzes seven plays by Uruguayan director and playwright Roberto Suárez. The first chapter presents the structure of the book and introduces the reader to Suárez's oeuvre. The author offers a first hint of what rendimiento crítico entails by affirming that the relation between artists and audience is of crucial importance. The second chapter offers a close reading of Suárez's most recurrent dramaturgical strategies, following José Luis García Barrientos's methodology of dramatología. This chapter includes a detailed analysis of aspects such as staging, texts, characters, time, and space. These could be informative, but unfortunately they are buried in a dense, verbose structure. The author prioritizes scenes in which spectators are interpellated, yet fails to account for the spectators' responses. While there is [End Page 151] much talk about the "desdoblamiento de niveles dramáticos," the dramatic level of the audience is mostly ignored.
In the third chapter, the play Bienvenido a casa is posed as a paradigmatic example of Gutiérrez's analytical framework. For Gutiérrez, this play motivates and stimulates in the audience "una actitud alerta y autoconsciente que se asocia con la noción de rendimiento crítico" (191), in the sense that it combines a front-of-the-house play with a behind-the-scenes one, thereby allowing the dramaturg to present the audience with complex dramatic structures wherein they have to continually reexamine their roles.
The last chapter explains how Bienvenido a casa operates in the realm of rendimiento crítico, presenting the overworked condemnation of the referential pact as totalizante and alienating. Employing a conceptual frame based on a philosophy of language, Gutiérrez calls for a reflective, critical position that, while necessary, brings nothing new to the current state of either the theory or the history of theatre. The "political" is here "la visibilización y puesta en problema del estatuto de la representación y sus límites en el marco social y cultural actual" (152). The social and cultural realm fails to be explained, with the result that we learn very little about Uruguay's or Montevideo's political situation; the political remains constrained to a notion of the dramatic that does not exceed the referential. The poetic, imaginary, and lyric modes of criticism that close this chapter effectively illustrate Suárez's dramatic strategies. One key aspect of the critical mode—the most advanced critical stage for Gutiérrez—consists of confusing the audience as to which level of representation the dramatic situation is operating in. The book ends by defining rendimiento crítico as a "perspectiva negativa o trascendental que, desde la ficción, abre (permite) la pregunta por las condiciones y posibilidades de la representación" (185).
Reading Teatro: No pasar, one cannot help but think about the bureaucratization of criticism and research. The book has the style, pace, verbosity, and appeal of a report on the development of a project. Its content is carefully developed to leave no term undefined, but it is not a very inviting read. Ultimately, the book speaks more about the conditions of this type of criticism than about Roberto Suárez's work. [End Page 152]