Helena Tornero IN RESiDENCE at the School Vila de Gràcia

Identitat F [Identity F] (based on Goethe's Faust)

Identitat F [Identity F] (based on Goethe's Faust)
Theatre play

Helena Tornero proposed to make a version of the myth of Faust with the pupils based on the play of the same name by the German author Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Seeing their interest in writing a contemporary version of Faust for young people, moreover, Tornero proposed that the pupils should also write their own version of the myth, feeling that this was the best way of discovering all that is involved in writing a play for the theatre.

However, this reworking of Faust was not intended to be the result of a faithful, academic reading of Goethe's play: rather, it should emerge from the pupils' own interests and concerns. Accordingly, after a reading of an extensive summary of the work, she asked them to summarise the play in their own words. This provided a way of appropriating the myth. Next, focusing on two of the main themes in the work, love and success, Tornero asked the pupils to think about a series of questions related to them. The next step was to get the pupils to go out into the street to choose a passer-by and, based on their imagination of him or her, to write a fictional life of them. This was a “character safari”. Each of these characters was given a monologue (that is to say, their own voice) and then dialogues began to be constructed between them. In this way, the pupils experienced the whole process of going from an initial idea to a dialogue. The resulting work, excerpts from which were performed on the day when the In Residence project was presented, was entitled Projecte Faust o Aquesta és la teva vida, fes el que vulguis amb ella [The Faust Project or This is Your Life, Do What You Want with It].

At the same time, Helena Tornero began to create her own version of Faust, occasionally sharing the writing process with the pupils. After an initial reading of the scenes she had written, she answered the pupils' questions and discussed her doubts and uncertainties.

Presentation at Espai Jove La Fontana

Once it was decided to present a performance of a selection of the texts written by the pupils at the end of the academic year, the work sessions were moved to the Espai Jove La Fontana, which lent the group its theatre free of charge. 

Helena Tornero suggested that the pupils themselves should appear on stage and, generally speaking, despite some initial reluctance, they all threw themselves into it.

At the presentation, which took place on May 13, the pupils were able both to hear their texts read by others (Tornero herself and the teacher, Mercè Pau) and to perform as actors themselves, culminating the process of writing a theatre play, the end goal of which is for the piece to be performed on stage.


Theatre play

This play is the result of Helena Tornero's work with a group of third-year ESO secondary pupils.

F is a girl at a train station. She is alone. Then M appears, showing friendliness to F only to disappear. Literally. And everything seems the same. As always. As always? Are you sure?

What would you do to get what you most want? Do you really know what you want? Freedom, to party, drugs, rock'n'roll? Boys? Girls? Love? Success? To disappear?