Claudio Valdés Kuri: "The chaos in Mexico gives much freedom"

June 2008 -

Claudio Valdés Kuri is considered one of the best Latin American theatre directors. His group Teatro de Ciertos Habitantes attracts packed houses all over the world with its headstrong productions.


Scene from De Monstruos y Prodigios

Kuri, who also lived and worked as an actor in Europe for a while, consciously opted for a home base in his native country. “There is much pioneering to be done. In the third world, I also feel a stronger need to expose matters. Moreover, the current chaos in Mexico gives much artistic freedom. Ten years ago, for example, you could not speak your mind regarding the army or some politicians. But now you can talk about anything you want, it is fantastic.”

Kuri regularly works in the United States and is shocked time and again there by all the taboos. "We can’t say this because of the minorities and can't say that because of the university, and so on. That political correctness is abominable."

He is one of the few theatre directors in Mexico with international experience. Kuri wants to share his experience with other theatre makers, and has big plans for doing so. Together with his sister Laura Kuri, a well-known ecologist in Mexico, he wants to establish the Ecocentro de Ciertos Habitantes, a centre where saving the environment and creative projects will go hand in hand.

Kuri hopes that the international popularity of the Teatro de Ciertos Habitantes will generate more attention and money for saving the environment in his country. "We want to establish a centre in a nature reserve where artists can work on their projects. I want to offer courses there that will enhance the level of professionalism in Mexican theatre groups, and there will be exchanges with foreign artists. The project is still in the incubation stage, but we have high hopes."

De Monstruos y Prodigios van Teatro de Ciertos Habitantes could be seen during the Holland Festival 2008.