Cuba Headlines

Cuba News, Breaking News, Articles and Daily Information

Children on stage
The only Cuban theater company made up by children, La Colmenita (The small beehive), will take on stage on the year 2008 a show centered in the work of the famous singer and composer Silvio Rodríguez, and it will also use the stamp of the extinguished Grupo de Experimentación Sonora del ICAIC, which was conformed by Leo Brouwer, Pablo Milanés, Sara González and Eduardo Ramos, among other personalities of Cuban popular music.

Among the projects of its founder and director, Carlos Alberto Cremata, there is a tour of the Bravo to the Patagonia as a tribute to Latin American music.

It is, he says, a twenty minute version with the best known childrens tale of every country we are to visit, a sort of small staging with a structure similar to the Ajiaco de sueños, the original recreation of three classical tales from literature: Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella and Puss in Boots.

Ajiaco... has been applauded inside and outside of Cuba since its premiere in 2003.

Made up by more than fourteen actors between three and fourteen years of age, La Colmenita became in the year 2007 the first theater group on a world level that received the title of Ambassadors of Goodwill from UNICEF.

Without any other recent staging, La Cenicienta según Los Beatles (Cinderella according to the Beatles), fulfills another old dream: the right to a full participation of children, promoted by that organization belonging to the United Nations. Under equal conditions, theater made by children and dedicated to them.

If I had been a carpenter, I would have built a wooden beehive, declared the creator. Theater is nothing more than a pretext; it is a present from my teacher, the actress and director Berta Martínez (National Theater Award 2000), who conceives it as a group of bees who build their own house.

That was the seed of a team that comes together- since their origin- to do a collective and individual good, as the Cuban National hero, José Martí, would have wanted it.

For Tin, as those closest to him call the artist, the good is something which is very high spiritually, it is to take away from us something that we like a lot in order to give it to someone who needs it more, without feeling the lost.

In this way we can summarize the work with disabled children from the Havana school Solidaridad con Panamá; or the happy days with the AMICA association in Cantabria, Spain; or the exchange with the Pequeño Teatro de la Gente made up by poor children from the city of Daka, Bangladesh, just to cite some examples of altruism.

Maybe for that reason, still in our times, after having existed for seventeen years, La Colmenita knows no privileges.

In Cuba there are children who are extremely talented and thousands of them have knocked on our door, but I tell them: your place is in the art schools. I am more interested in working with those that behavioral problems, with those who have a critical problem, he points out.

Cremata has added to his shows, in different ocassions, children who have some motor, visual and auditory disabilities, Downs syndrome, cancer, mental retardation and cerebral paralysis, among other anomalies. Such work has given the company the title of Center for Health Promotion, recognized by the Cuban Public Health Ministery in 2006.

La Colmenita is an oasis where people may share among friends, as well as a vehicle to travel all around the country and all over the world, with unforgettable life experiences. Everyone has its place there: the child gets multiplied on stage and once he comes down from it, he is still the same as always, although if anyone feels he is more important than the rest, he/she suffers the most feared punishment, the so called vacations, which are an obligatory rest away from the stage.

According to Cremata, the biggest challenge is the communication between himself and his young artists. The discipline required for the theater is higher, and even though he does not know of the word patience, he can only reach an unspoken agreement with the children in order to take his creations forward. There is a strange chemistry between the children and myself in order to understand the game, he highlights.

Nobody understands better than a child that a broomstick might be his horse; it is Stanislawskis magical yes, what he asked for the super-actor is in the infant, absolutely authentic and coherent, he points out.

Apart from the many tours to the provinces and to foreign countries, La Colmenita, has its permanent venue at the Sala de la Orden Tercera de San Francisco de Asís (Third Order Room of Saint Francis of Assisi) in the convent under the same name, in Old Havana.

I never wanted a place of my own in order not to loose my freedom of movement; we are a group of adventurous sportspeople who like to travel around in tours, specially around the country. On the other hand I was afraid of the huge shows that have nothing to do with theater, but now, when I see the room filled with children who are the main characters of everything that goes on there, I have ended up accepting it.

The singular collective also has a web site in Internet with current information, which can be accessed through the address For now on, we have many tools for a better life, to increase the quality of life, and there is a huge mine of textswaiting to come on stage, ends up Cremata.


Related News