Nightmares, Anxiety, and Butterflies are a trilogy of unique miniature theatre pieces designed for one spectator at a time. Just put your headphones on and take a peek through the looking glass. Theatre in Miniature has been performing all week as part of the Impact 19 Festival. Tess Martens interviewed the creator Roberto Sainz de la Peña.
Martens: What’s your relationship with miniatures compared to average or large scale? What makes you choose to work with miniatures?
Sainz de la Peña: Because the miniature characters, miniature sets make kind of relationship with the spectator where they can make a connection with the child inside. Because everyone romances themselves, that they play with toys and make stories. They connect with the child inside. I tell different stories, in my trilogy, I have a horror story. It’s okay because people think it is funny because it is with tiny things, tiny monsters. But at the same time, it is a double performance because one person at a time is watching in the box but the crowd is questioning how you are performing. When I do it in the street, I catch the attention of people on the street; random people. They say, “What is going on in this box? What is going on inside? Why is the person enjoying watching. This is the miniature relationship.
Martens: What got you into puppetry?
Sainz de la Peña: When I was really young, I always loved the puppets. I got the chance to study miniatures with a Brazilian puppeteer. My teacher, Luciano Bugman, taught people how to create these shows. I think I was in the right moment and place for learning. Now, I have three plays. So I have to teach my plays to other people. In this case, I am performing with a friend. We are switching between one play and another play. So I love puppetry. I mean It makes me feel complete that I can paint, I can design, I can create, I can perform, you know? I can make objects for the miniature plays like LED lights. So it makes me feel complete. I like puppetry and I prefer miniatures and I like to perform for one person. Too many people is intimidating. I prefer the intimate instead of the big show. It makes me feel uncomfortable that everyone is watching. So when the attention is in the box, on the puppet and you are not important for the spectator. I also think people are grateful for the creativity and all the additions you are putting on.
Martens: My last question is what do you bring from yourself to your miniature plays?
Sainz de la Peña: Everything. I mean especially in art, I think every single sign and face you are building is comes from your unconsciousness and the stories are the same. It is very intimate for me because it is inspired in my dreams, in my nightmares, in my insecurities, my fantasy world, everything comes from my subconscious. It makes me really love being at my desk drawing, creating little lights, I really enjoy it. It is really intimate. Especially when you are traveling in other countries and they do not speak your language and it is hard to make people know more about you and the arts. The people can get to know you through your art. “So, okay, I cannot talk with this guy but I saw his nightmares, I saw this, I saw that of his. I don’t need to talk any longer with the guy. I saw the play. So I know how he is thinking, feeling, I know what he likes sharing with people from different ages, different countries.” Also, my miniatures have only music, so that everybody, from everywhere can understand and get the meaning, the feeling. At least the feeling. This is important. Both the people and my feeling, watch with headphones. Now you are mine, completely mine. So I am going to share something very important and intimate about myself. I am proud to be a part of this.