Founder: Lina de Guevara
Chilean born, Lina de Guevara is a director, actor and theatre teacher. She trained in the Instituto del Teatro (University of Chile) and studied in Canada with master teachers such as Augusto Boal, Richard Fowler (Odin Theatre), Annie Skinner, Ralph Cole and Judith Koltai. A specialist in Theatre of the Oppressed and Commedia dell’Arte, she’s lived in Victoria BC, Canada, since 1976. In 1988 she founded PUENTE Theatre and was its artistic director for 23 years. She was the director and writer of many PUENTE productions about the immigrant experience, such as I Wasn’t Born Here, Crossing Borders, Sisters/Strangers, Familya, Of Roots and Racism, Storytelling Our Lives, and Canadian Tango. Other directorial credits include Pastorela de Juan Tierra, Uthe/Athe, Emergence, Algarabía/Danza, Chile Con Carne, The House of Bernarda Alba, Mother Courage, Letters for Tomas, Scene & Heard, The Woman Who Fell From the Sky, Puppets and Traditions, and The pilgrimage of the Nuns of Concepción. PUENTE productions have been presented in national and international festivals, such as Theatre of the Oppressed in Rio de Janeiro and Toronto, Festival de Pastorelas in Mexico City, Women in View Festivals in Vancouver, FemFest 08 in Winnipeg, and in Canadian Popular Theatre Alliance Festivals in Guelph and Edmonton.
Lina freelances as drama instructor and director. She has taught at Canadian institutions such as Canadian College of Performing Arts, University of Victoria, Royal Roads University, Lester B. Pearson College of the Pacific, and Camosun College. She has also worked with El Ciervo Encantado and Teatro-Estudio in Havana, Cuba; Proyecto Integrarte in Mexico City; Teatro Visión in San Jose, California, United World College in New Mexico, ICTUS Theatre, and Escuela de Teatro de la Universidad Austral in Chile.
Her passion is to use theatre to promote community development and understanding between cultures. She has been actively engaged in discussing in different forums the many aspects of multiculturalism and diversity in the performing arts. Over the years PUENTE has organized several round table discussions on these topics. In 2007 PUENTE hosted a successful Symposium on “The performer in a Multicultural Society” and looks forward now to another Symposium: ”Sharing the Legacy: Embracing Diversity and the Practice of Inclusive Theatre in a Changing Society,” in November 2011.
“I started my life in theatre as an actor. In Chile I was lucky to perform several meaty roles such as Amanda in Tennessee Williams’ “The glass menagerie”, Winnie in Becket’s “Happy Days” and Eva in Bertolt Brecht’s “Herr Puntila.” I was very happy to be back on stage in the Belfry’s recent production of “The life Inside”, and I hope that now, in this new phase of my life, I will have more opportunities to perform. I’ve loved every aspect of my fascinating profession! I feel very fortunate to have been able to dedicate my life to it!”
Lina de Guevara