“It is not easy to define exactly what La Rendija is,” Raquel Araujo and Oscar Urrutia say about the contemporary theater group that has 35 years of national and international presence. They also agree that the main perk of its innovative tradition is that there is always something new to surprise us.


“Art should always have that special quality that leads us to discover something,” says Oscar, a filmmaker and producer at La Rendija. “From the element of surprise in terms of creative searches, we propose a spearheading idea that leads to an encounter with the unknown”.


La Rendija started out as a risky artistic movement in the early ‘90s in Mexico City. At the Ex Teresa Arte Actual, “we shared experiences with installations by Helen Escobedo, Marcos Kurtycz, Felipe Ehrenberg, Eloy Tarcisio, Lorena Wolffer and Verena Grimm. At this point in time, we were closer to performers than to the theater people”, recalls Raquel, the group director and stage creator. 


Like all passionate risks that are taken at the right moment, La Rendija would soon turn into a reference point for contemporary theater, coming to be defined today as “a laboratory of artistic creation,” says its producer. “The challenge for everyone involved is to know the proposal that is going to be explored”, she continues. “It is non-conformist theater. We do not want it to look like theater.”


Teatro la Rendija by Pepe MolinaThose looking for other forms of scenic coexistence, soon become fans of La Rendija. “The spectators show up at the theater not knowing what they are going to see, but confident it will be something interesting”. Raquel and Oscar alike have revisited classics from a contemporary perspective —from Sor Juana and Shakespeare to Edgar Allan Poe and Oscar Wilde— and created their own artistic discourses.


Raquel thinks that “theater needs to be a habit that we recognize for its particularity. It is not like changing channels on the TV. The theater is a living experience, something significant for the people, something we are betting on.”


This is the vocation that gave birth to this group. Oscar remembers the beginnings of the group: “the ex-convent in Santo Domingo in Mexico City had a wing that wasn’t in use, it had once been a forum. The first members of La Rendija used it. This was an opportunity that they had been given and they had to use it”. This was the involuntary birth of the vocation of using and taking advantage of spaces, something that would end up being called “site-specific performance”.  


Divino Narciso by Miguel Barreto“We added our grain of salt to the revitalization of the alternative space movement when we opened our doors in 2004 in a space called Escena 40 Grados, one street away from the Paseo de Montejo.” Raquel considers these spaces used by independent theater to be a Yucatecan tradition, “but I feel that this place renewed the vocation for theater that had started in spaces like El Tinglado and La Casona that had disappeared years before. 


This is how La Rendija coexists in the same universe of theater in Yucatán, together with the Cultural Center Yol-Izma (Hunucmá), the Xocén Indigenous Theater Laboratory, the collective Zutut’ha (Sotuta), the movement for spaces in traditional backyards, or the Imagine Cultural Center (Tecoh) to name a few.  


In the words of their producer, if you have 100 square meters of open space and electricity, you have the ingredients to produce a memorable event. “The space for the presentation is an integral part of the production and not just the place where we have to do theater”, stressed Oscar.


“When we do cultural tourism, it is quite beautiful to be able to go to artistic expressions that bring us closer to the cultures. To live and experience human expression is quite fascinating”, adds Raquel, reminding us that La Rendija is part of the Escena Iberoamericana stage network. Their doors are always open to creators from other countries as well as other business people in the Yucatán peninsula to strengthen the cultural economies in post-pandemic times.   


With new proposals constantly, the theater seats of La Rendija are known to be among the most coveted by the explorers of scenic art in Mérida, Yucatán. Stop by and check out their program. We’ll see you on the other side! 


Teatro de la Rendija
Calle 50 #464 x 49 y 51, Centro
Tel. 999 329 1212
IG and FB: TeatroDeLaRendija



By Dave S. Mayoral
Dave Mayoral (1998) thinks it’s difficult to write in the third person without laughing in the attempt, but his background in Modern Language and Literature, Contemporary Art History, and Cultural Management tends to help him a lot…


Photography by Pepe Molina, Miguel Barreto, Stef Rivadeneyra, José Jorge Carreón and Teatro La Rendija for its use in Yucatán Today.

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