The place where you grow definitely influences you. The scents of childhood and adolescence, the sounds, the images … Carmen Fara Rodríguez Madrigal grew up with the chords that Pablo, her father, took from José Tariche Aragón’s guitar, the same one that today protects the Museum of History from Sancti Spíritus .
Pablo with the Miraflores trio, the first to the left.
On all four sides there were artists in that family: painters, artisans, storytellers, “musicians”, poets, founders of newspapers and even a historian.
“I believe in cultural heritage, in the preservation of memory. I carefully keep the historical compilation in four volumes entitled Placetas through time, which my grandfather Severino Madrigal carried out during 50 years of research and which is still unpublished. Yes, I am a ‘keeper’ of memories … “
Since her feet were small she ran the streets of a city as patrimonial as Sancti Spíritus, the fourth town founded in Cuba, whose name in itself, together with the Parroquial Mayor, built in 1680, and the bridge over the Yayabo river, the only one in country of colonial times, they speak loudly of their Spanish founders.
“Sancti Spíritus, Santilé, The Village… or whatever you want to call it, it is a place that within our geography preserves the charm of its streets, its music and its people, simple, friendly, helpful people, willing to stay in your heart forever . Growing up in this social environment listening to the trova; the serenades; the´Parties from Santiago de Cuba´, for which my grandmother always made me a costume; The sayings and sayings of her give me the pride and identity of being, wherever I arrive, the Guajira from Spiritus.
“Sancti Spíritus always gives me the smell of the land where my roots are. Returning invited to the reopening of the Principal Theater was a compliment. Since the 70s, when it was practically demolished to transform it into a cinema, I was left with nostalgia for its balconies and dressing rooms, for its wooden floors, for my first steps on the stage where I went to see my father sing.
“I feel alive that identity that makes me write a tenth, say a joke or sing Pensamiento when I’m nostalgic. It is these details and so many others that make when someone remembers my loves rooted in my homeland give thanks to the Holy Spirit and return to hear the bells of my Greater Church.
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“Going back to where I was born and where I lived my first years gives me a feeling of gratitude and mixed feelings that I can hardly explain …, a place full of memories from which one day I left and just because I found love I was away from it.”
In 1976 the Higher Institute of Art (ISA) was founded and the first acting students entered the institution, including Fara, thus becoming, together with Armando Toledo, the first ISA graduates from their hometown.
The first time she got on a stage was at Sancti Spíritus Principal Theater, but her professional debut was in 1981 with the character of her cousin in the emblematic play La Emboscada, by Roberto Orihuela, directed by Flora Lauten, a recognized and award-winning work. at the Havana Theater Festival in 1982, as one of the newest productions and with the best youth performances.
In 1981 she changed to Sancti Spíritus – did she change it? She has never gotten to get Sancti Spíritus out of her heart – for Matanzas and Yayabo became San Juan and Yumurí. She arrives here with the 14 members of her graduation to integrate the Dramatic Ensemble, which since 1984 would be El Mirón Cubano.
Inspiring geography, great for the arts. The actress has confessed that Matanzas “gives me that smell of the sea … that frees me.” Here she has developed her artistic career, she met love and founded her own family. Here she stayed forever.
“In the Athens of Cuba I have lived most of my years, I have developed a fruitful career in theater, radio and television, from there I have also known part of the world: Germany, Spain, Mexico, France, Venezuela, Costa Rica and the US “.
She stayed at El Mirón Cubano for ten years, until 1991. She worked at Teatro de las Estaciones from 1995 to 2015; she on Radio 26 from 1991 to 2001, although during the last year her voice has been heard again by that station; and on television, since its founding, in 1999, to date.
In 1994 she participated in the First International Puppet Theater Workshop of Matanzas and in February 1995 she premiered her one-man show Maravilla Contín Contando, advised by René Fernández and with the production and designs of Jesús del Castillo. Thus was born the Tentempié Theater project.
“My most beloved character is Maravilla, she has given me many joys… Her dramaturgy always changes, because she is a living character. This is an extraordinary experience for me because in addition to acting I have also developed her dramaturgy, her costume design. With her I sing, I write… As I told you before, it’s something different, which began in 1990 with El Circo de los Pasos, where I made a little clown that did have the clown technique and then I took it up again in 1995 when I premiered the show Maravilla Contín Contando en Papalote, unique exercise as a result of the 1st International Puppet Theater Workshop. “ Maravilla appears for the first time on the small screen in the children’s space Soy Feliz, on TV Yumurí.
For her work as a puppeteer actress, she has won countless awards over the years, among which are La Corona de la Avellaneda, for Pelusín’s dream, Los zapaticos de rosa and Federico de noche; and in the Caricatos she obtained prizes for El guiñol de los matamoros, En un altarpiece viejo and La virgencita de bronze; mention for Pelusín’s dream and a nomination for her fairy in Pinocchio-Corazón Madera.
She has been multi-award-winning at the Santa Clara Small Format Festival; and she deserved a mention Sigismundo from the Festival of the Monologue in Havana. She is recognized for her mastery in the animation and interpretation of figures and considered one of the most outstanding figures of the puppet theater in Cuba.
But in addition to this she has to her credit the Seal of Laureates; the Tricentennial medals of the City, Jesús Menéndez and Raúl Gómez García; the parchment of Adoptive Daughter of Matanzas; the Omar Valdés Prize awarded by the UNEAC to outstanding personalities of Culture; and the Theater for the Work of Life delivered in Sancti Spíritus and Matanzas. Fara received the Brene, from Matanzas scenic artists, in 2020.
More than a year ago her compass seems to have lost its way. In the house, she speaks and her echo only repeats her voice. Dust covers her crossbows, because William Tell is gone. Everything is like that day in December when her love, unexpectedly, became a memory. Despite this, she always leaves a light on in case he decides to return.
The actress wakes up every day with the strength that she inherited from him. She relives dreams, she invents fantasies, infected with the home-sickness of people from Matanzas.
“I live with my elbows on the bridge, next to Milanés or next to that imaginary bridge between my two cities: Sancti Spíritus and Matanzas.”
.Original by Maritza Tejera.