HOUR OF THE WOLF
Off-Broadway in NYC
'Hour of the Wolf'
challenges common perceptions
about what constitutes theatre.
Written by Jesús Quintero
Starring Jesús Quintero
SANDPOINT, ID (NOV 8, 2012)
By David Gunter
Bonner County Daily Bee
After his Off-Broadway tour in New York City, International Theatre Director Jesús Quintero is presenting his original work, Hour of The Wolf in Sandpoint, ID.
Hour of the Wolf tells the story of a man on the year anniversary of his loved one’s death. Plagued by insomnia and bouts of fitful unrest, the man’s already fragile mental state takes a turn for the worse during the Hour of the Wolf. Inspired by Ingmar Bergman’s film of the same title, it explains:
‘The hour of the wolf is that hour between midnight and dawn. It is the hour when most people die, when sleep is deepest, when nightmares are most real. It is the hour when the sleepless are haunted by their greatest dread, when ghosts and demons are most powerful. It is the hour when most children are born.’
The Hour of the Wolf is a performance that combines all of Quintero’s theatrical explorations for the last decade. The performance will incorporate the sounds of live singer and composer, Alysoun Johnston, the profane poetry of Charles Bukowski and the delicate imagery of poet/lyricist Silvio Rodriguez. Using elements of ritualism, movement, and song, Hour of the Wolf, is more interested in creating an experience for the audience rather then putting on a show. Quintero, who wrote and performs the piece explains, “It’s not a show; It’s a happening. It’s the most personal and risky performance I’ve put on in all my years of theatre.”
Educated as an Actor at the renowned Teatro Libre of Bogota, Colombia, Mr. Quintero has more than 20 years of international experience in Theatre. Though mostly recognized as a Director/Actor, Mr. Quintero has also worked as an Educational Director that includes work with Special Education Students, University Assistant Professor, and Playwright. He has been fortunate enough to take his work internationally to places like Colombia, Mexico, Cuba, USA (New York, Pennsylvania and Florida), Poland, Italy, Denmark, France and Brazil. Mr. Quintero was the Theatre Arts Training Director, Summer Camp Director, and Actor with The Playground Theatre, Miami, FL from 2005 to 2011 and since 2009 proud member of Actors’ Equity Association in USA.
‘Hour of the Wolf’ is a man’s rite of passage
BY MIA LEONIN
SPECIAL TO THE MIAMI HERALD
Every aspect of Hour of the Wolf, a Spanish-language solo performance by Jesus Quintero, challenges common perceptions about what constitutes theater.
One enters the performance area through the side door of a simple one-story house nestled into the quiet North Dade neighborhood of El Portal. The long, narrow room is softly lighted with dozens of candles, and the studio’s walls are filled with scribbles and drawings, some evoking the whimsy of childhood, while others, emblazoned with streaks of paint, exude rage and chaos. Approximately 20 chairs line three-quarters of the room. There is no stage, no dividing line between spectator and actor. To one side sits cellist Joseph Valbrun. The portly form of Quintero rests, motionless, in the middle of the floor next to a large rustic wooden cross.
Inspired by Ingmar Bergman’s psychological horror film of the same name, Hour of the Wolf, as described in the program, tells the story of a man overcome by insomnia and personal demons on the anniversary of his wife’s death. This synopsis might give the impression that the piece is a dramatic monologue. On the contrary, the performance is steeped in ritual and movement. Informed by Quintero’s extensive research into the work of experimental-theater innovators such as the late Jerzy Grotowski and Eugenio Barba of Denmark’s renowned Odin Teatret, the piece draws on improvisation and rigorous physicality to transform song, prayer and poetry into a metaphor for the demons we face when we confront mortality.
Quintero is an actor and educator at Miami Shores’ PlayGround Theatre, and his intensive vocal training is crucial to this emotionally powerful performance. His register and timbre can lurch from romance to rage in a matter of seconds, as it does when he transforms the festive mapale, an Afro-Colombian rhythm, into a disturbing diatribe by chanting, shouting and stomping the percussive sound violently into the hardwood floor with sooty feet.
Hour of the Wolf’s teeth gnashing could come off as a Faustian parody if the 50-minute performance didn’t feel so personal. I can’t think of many male actors willing to dip a toe into the emotionally turbulent waters of serious solo performance. Whereas in other local productions Judith Delgado and Angelica Torn have stripped bare the psyches of famous women such as Frida Kahlo and Sylvia Plath, Quintero takes things a step farther by using himself as material. The performance works because of Valbrun’s enigmatic live music, the Afro-Colombian rhythms of Quintero’s lament and the innovative improvisation he uses to transform everything from prayer to lullaby into an emotional touchstone in one man’s inner journey.
Hour of the Wolf is more than ritualized performance. It is Quintero’s rite of passage as an actor and a man.
The Hour of The Wolf Review
LAMENT IN A PAINTED ROOM
by Roger Martin on March 05, 2011
The rapid whispering is almost inaudible. It's coming from the large man pinned beneath the heavy wooden cross set on the floor. The cross is made from four by fours and bears blazing candles. The man is wearing an unbuttoned red shirt. His massive chest is covered in black hair. He wears black pants. The soles of his feet are black. His head is shaven and his short dyed ginger beard gives him a wild and Nordic look.
The whispering grows louder, the man slowly forces himself out from beneath the cross, he is chanting, faster and faster, perhaps a prayer. A young man at the end of the room slides his bow across a cello's strings, a disembodied woman's voice floats profanely in the air. A young man, also unseen, recites poetry. Bells ring. There are bloody handprints tracked across the low white ceiling and the walls of the long chamber are festooned with colored drawings, ribbons, a blue sundress, a child's jacket. Large, staring eyes are everywhere. A bottle of wine, a glass, more burning candles in apparent votive offerings.
We have been led in from outside to take our seats against the walls of the performance space at the JQ Studio and we're watching Jesús Quintero perform The Hour of The Wolf, his remembrances of the dances, chants, prayers, songs and emotions he has experienced that comprise this abstract portrait of a man on the anniversary of a loved one's death.
It is a strange evening, not commercial theatre, but plainly theatrical. And engrossing. Quintero does not meld with the cello, played beautifully by Joseph Valbrun, but rather fights it, as he does with the taped voices of Stephanie Ansin and Troy Davidson as they read the poetry by Charles Bukowski and Silvio Rodriguez. Quintero dominates the room as he dances, struts, glides, prances and roars across the floor, in and out of the candles, sailing over the cross, crooning lullabies to a beribboned wooden staff, slapping himself hard on his balding head, slinging the crossbeam across his shoulders, (we read “love me” “forgive me”), caressing a wig wearing rock, washing himself, drinking red wine, smiling grotesquely in the shadows. And all the time raging.
The spoken poetry is in English, but Quintero uses Spanish throughout the piece. And this makes no difference, for the power of his performance is such that even for an English only person such as I, nothing is lost.
The Imposing Internationalist
by Roger Martin on February 20, 2011
Miami Theater Critic
He roared into my front drive bestride a gleaming white and chrome Softail Heritage Harley Davidson motor cycle, a large man with driving ambition. He stands six feet and squashes the scales at 245 pounds and has a smile every bit as big. He's Jesús Alexander Quintero and he's dropped by to tell me about the Hour of the Wolf, his latest original piece.
But I'm more interested in the man than the piece, prying first into his birth place “In my parents' home in Bogota, Colombia. By my grandfather,” he laughs. (Laughing and smiling seem to be a constant.) “He delivered me, 36 years ago. And yes, my grandfather was a doctor.”
His father, also Jesús, now a criminal law professor in Barranquilla previously worked for the Colombian government and Jesús well remembers being escorted to school by armed bodyguards. His mother, Clara Inez Hernandez, is a teacher of fine arts in Bogota and he and his mother have shared the stage. Jesús' younger brother, Julio is a lawyer and bank VP in New York City and the baby of the family, his sister Paola, is an architect in Bogota. And to finish the Colombian connections, his Godfather was Julio César Turbay, former President of Colombia.
Jesús grew up destined to be a lawyer, but after four years of law school and philosophy he suddenly switched to the theatre and another four years later received his Master of Arts in Theatre from the renowned Teatro Libre in Bogota. His father, of course, was upset at his leaving law and it wasn't until he sat through a six hour production of Orestiada and was first on his feet to applaud his son that a reconciliation occurred.
Jesús Quintero is now the Artistic Director of the JQ Studio where he will be performing the Hour of the Wolf and his road from here is an ambitious one indeed, as he sees his studio gaining recognition as an artistic community by not only participating in international events and by serving as a point of contact among members of the global artistic community but also by building a professional network among artists all over the world.
His theatre experience to date augers well for this dream as he's worn many hats in quite a few countries. Internationally he's been an educational director, theatre director, special education theatre director, producer, assistant director, technical director, university assistant professor, playwright and actor in Colombia, Mexico, Cuba, USA (New York, Pennsylvania and Florida), Poland, Italy and Denmark. Jesús is currently the theatre arts training director, summer camp director, and an actor with The Playground Theatre in Miami Shores.
He is now a United States citizen and is also a member of Actors’ Equity Association.
He has almost 3000 Facebook friends and three cats. And if you want to get into the mind of this man just ask him their names. They are Horacio after the Roman poet, Leonardo from da Vinci and Oscar from Wilde. And if that doesn't tell you enough, when I asked him to tell me a joke he quickly came up with, “How many surrealists does it take to change a light bulb?”
Silence on my part.
“The fish,” he laughed.
Stunned silence on my part.
“It's surrealism,” he said.
I changed the subject.
“Tell me your dream.”
“To be able to see that theatre as an art form is not in a moment of crisis but is in a moment of transition. My biggest ambition is to be part of that rebirth.”
“And your mental state?”
“My biggest problem is to be in the present, because I am always making compositions. As we sit here I see the blue sky, the water, I smell the grass and the trees and hear the birds and these make me happy. Other times, other places, they make me feel sad.”
“So tell me about the Hour of the Wolf .”
He handed me a slickly colored post card promoting the show. Both sides featured a close-up of a beautiful woman.
“I thought this was a one-man event,” I said.
“It is, but I put Carolina on the postcard because she is more beautiful than me. Hah.” Pause. “The reason is that the show is about the beauty and darkness of life, love and death.”
Inspired by Ingmar Bergman’s film of the same title, Hour of the Wolf tells of a man on the one-year anniversary of his loved one’s death. Plagued by insomnia and bouts of fitful unrest, the man’s already fragile mental state worsens during the “hour of the wolf.” Bergman's movie tagged this hour “as that hour between midnight and dawn. It is the hour when most people die, when sleep is deepest, when nightmares are most real. It is the hour when the sleepless are haunted by their greatest dread, when ghosts and demons are most powerful. It is the hour when most children are born.”
And from the pr Hour of the Wolf will incorporate the melancholic sounds of live cellist, Joseph Valbrun, the profane poetry of Charles Bukowski and the delicate imagery of poet/lyricist Silvio Rodriguez.
Jesús Quintero says that Hour of the Wolf will be an experience for the audience that combines all his theatrical explorations for the last decade. “It's not a show. It's a happening. It's the most personal and risky performance I've put on in all my years of theatre.”