Events

Photos by Antonio Vega ENGLISH | PLAIN ENGLISH

Django in Pain

Por Piedad Teatro & The Play Company (Mexico | USA)

ASIAN Premiere Book Now

Content advisories: This story is about a character who is dealing with depression and contains strong images and language associated with suicidal thoughts and actions. There are non-photographic depictions of injured animals in distress.

“Inventive and impactful. Django in Pain serves as an important remainder of the powers of connection and accountability.” — The Unforgettable Line

“A day will come when you might need to kill a wolf; a mad wolf out there, or a wolf inside of you...”

A playwright wants to write a happy play. He can't do so because his main character is so depressed that he wants to end his life. Hopefully the playwright will find a way to give Django's journey a happy ending. Or is it the other way around?

Django in Pain is a surprising and healing piece about depression, creativity and love. A table-top puppet show that chronicles the adventures of Django, and a stray dog that keeps getting in his way. The puppet’s character is roughly based on a musician named Django Reinhardt. The stories are often funny but also sad. It is a very personal but relatable story of deep sadness, loyalty and hope.

Django in Pain was first shown in New York City in Oct 2021, and got lots of great reviews. The Spanish version, Django con la Soga al Cuello, has been presented in Mexico and Argentina. It received more than 6000 views in just three days.

“In a world that seems to give us lots of reasons to give up, Django in Pain is a cry of hope.” — Juan Carlos Araujo, Entretenia.com (translated from Spanish)

Artist Statement

This work asks two questions:

  1. How can we create and work with others when we are all alone?
  2. How can art heal in times of inner struggles?

Django in Pain is an uplifting tabletop puppet show. It talks about depression and thoughts about suicide in ways that are personal and relatable. There are two main characters, a Playwright and Django. Django is a puppet roughly based on a musician named Django Reinhardt. Both are both struggling with different levels of depression. Hopefully the playwright will find a way to give Django’s journey a happy ending. Or is it the other way around?

People often feel ashamed or judged when they talk about depression and suicidal thoughts. This work makes sure people feel safe to talk about these topics. It is a complex issue, so we hope to carefully help people better understand.

As theatre artists, we face hard times in ways we don’t expect. This work talks about this experience. The process to create this work was special. It also uses a mix of theatre and cinema styles to make a digital work.

Our aim is that Django’s journey brings hope, happiness, and life to those in great sadness.

Content advisories: This story is about a character who is dealing with depression and contains strong images and language associated with suicidal thoughts and actions. There are non-photographic depictions of injured animals in distress.

“Inventive and impactful. Django in Pain serves as an important remainder of the powers of connection and accountability.” — The Unforgettable Line

“A day will come when you might need to kill a wolf; a mad wolf out there, or a wolf inside of you...”

A playwright wants to write a happy play, but he can't because his main character is so depressed that he wants to end his life. Hopefully the playwright will find a way to give Django’s journey a happy ending. Or is it the other way around?

Django in Pain is an astonishing, exquisitely detailed and healing piece about depression, creativity and love. Made and staged within the isolation of the early days of the pandemic in New York City, using only hand-made puppets and scrap materials found around their home, this feature-length table-top puppet show filmed on a cellphone chronicles the often-humorous with razor edges of grief misfortunes and adventures of Django—a puppet loosely inspired by Django Reinhardt, and a stray dog that keeps getting in his way. A deeply personal and at the same time universal, multi-layered tale of despair, loyalty and hope.

Django in Pain premiered in New York City in October 2021 to rave reviews. The Spanish version, Django con la Soga al Cuello, has been presented in Mexico and Argentina, where it received more than 6000 views in just three days.

“In a world that seems to give us lots of reasons to give up, Django in Pain is a cry of hope.” — Juan Carlos Araujo, Entretenia.com (translated from Spanish)

Artist Statement

The way that the piece was created is in itself an exploration of the timeless questions about creativity and collaboration within the constraints of isolation and the healing powers of art in times of inner turmoil.

Django in Pain is an uplifting tabletop puppet show that deals with depression and suicide ideation in a way that is at the same time deeply personal and universal. The main characters, a Playwright and Django—a puppet loosely inspired by musician Django Reinhardt—are both struggling with different levels of depression. Hopefully the playwright will find a way to give Django’s journey a happy ending. Or is it the other way around?

By stripping the theme of depression and suicidal thoughts from the shame and prejudice that still surrounds it, we hope to offer both complexity and understanding of the issue in a responsible and respectful way.

The unusual creating process and the hybrid “theatrical-cinema” digital result is our creative response to the challenges we face as theatre artist in unexpected difficult times.

Our aim is that Django’s journey brings hope, happiness, and life to those in despair.

Download artist biographies

Date & Duration
4 to 15 January 2023
60 min with no intermission

Location
Digital table-top puppet theatre via video on demand

Price
$15

Accessibility Features
Closed captions in English. A version with audio description is also available.

Rating
NC16 (Some Mature Content)

︎ Website
PorPiedadTeatro.org
PlayCo.org

︎ Facebook
@PorPiedadTeatroProducciones
@ThePlayCompany

︎ Twitter
@PorPiedadTeatro
@PlayCompany

︎ Instagram
@PorPiedadTeatro
@PlayCompany

Share
︎ ︎