The play ‘Petróleo’ brings an external view of masculinity to Temporada Alta

The Argentine company Piel de Lava premieres in Temporada Alta with the work Petroleum, a comedy where four actresses explore the corporeality and performativity of masculinity, to investigate the construction of gender roles and stereotypes. The play, written and directed by the same company and Laura Fernández, can be seen at the Salt theater on November 4 and 5.

The project “began as a playful experiment and later we understood that trying to imitate male roles had a lot of thought behind it,” the company explained. Thus began a study aware of gender and, above all, how masculinity occupies spaces and varies depending on the context of sociability.

The project began as a playful experiment and later we understood that it had a lot of reflection behind it

lava skinArgentine theater company

“For this reason we decided to embody four workers in a very masculinized job: oil extraction,” add the interpreters. And so began the caricature of the four characters who have to live together in a trailer that is located next to an extraction well in Patagonia, where they work. Very harsh working conditions and the isolation that periods of extraction entail are the main axes on which the actresses begin to build the relational dynamics between them, based on myths and stereotypes of masculinity.

With this scenario, the Argentines exploit the possibility of building a layer of humor, consistent throughout the work, around how the four men relate to each other, “playing the macho role,” they explain.

gender stereotypes

Argentine women exploit the possibility of building a layer of humor around how men relate to each other

However, the work does not intend to make a simplistic parody of masculinity, but rather to explore the corporeal and discursive distances between the different gender roles. “In the beginning, as women, we felt an immense abyss when it came to approaching masculinity,” the company highlights. Still, as the rehearsals progressed, they realized that they found themselves inside those male bodies. “It was even liberating in some sense”, underlined one of the actresses, “because in hegemonic masculinity, bodies occupy space with much more freedom”.

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Silvia Oller

This is how it is presented Petroleum Lava Skin and Laura Fernandez. A company of four actresses who have been working together for twenty years and who have fascinated the Argentine independent scene with five plays and a film. Now they arrive at the Temporada Alta festival in the middle of their first European tour. They have already passed through Seville, Cádiz and Badajoz; and after their performances in Girona they will perform at the 40th Madrid Autumn Festival.

The play ‘Petróleo’ brings an external view of masculinity to Temporada Alta