Author | Photo Brefny Caribou

Brefny Caribou On ‘The Solitudes’: A Magical, Powerful Performance Two Years In The Making

The Solitudes premiered at Harbourfront Centre last night, offering a look into the forces that threaten to separate us from the spaces we call ‘home’. 

Echoing the sentiment “I return to the place where I was born, and realize that it is no longer home”, The Solitudes features eight women following the thread of history and the bloodlines that brought each of them to this land, to this moment in their journeys towards home. Is home a house? Is home a “homeland?” This is Aluna’s most ambitious production to date, with a collective creative team led by Aluna artistic director Bea Pizano, alongside ensemble members Brefny, Lara Arabian, Liliana Suarez, Janis Mayers, Rosalba Martinni, Michelle Polak, Sofia Rodriguez, and Rhoma Spencer. Inspired by the women of Gabriel Garcia Marquez’ One Hundred Years of Solitude, the play is a provocative, humorous, and charged performance that will take your breath away.

We asked co-creator and performer Brefny Caribou about the production. 

Brefny Caribou

SDTC: When did you first encounter One Hundred Years of Solitude? How have your impressions of the book changed over time?

BC: I remember first attempting to read One Hundred Years of Solitude during my BFA at the recommendation of a friend, and it was, truthfully, beyond me. It is a novel so rich in imagery and poetry and I felt so lost in my attempt to enter that world at the time. Coming into this project, of course, reading the novel as a collective was our vert first task. Being able to read a few chapters at a time, digest them, share our favourite moments/images/lines opened up my imagination and my understanding of this world of magic realism. Now, I am absolutely in love with One Hundred Years,  Gabriel Garcia Marquez (the author), and Macondo (the fictional town that One Hundred Years centers around). It is a privilege to have been able not just to read the novel but talk, dance, embody, deconstruct the characters and world of the piece. It feels so familiar now, personal.

What themes were you wishing to bring to the fore with this performance?

What is most important to me about the work that we are doing comes from our individual journeys within the piece. All we have to offer are our stories, perspectives, and how we embody the essence of Macondo. A reflection on the chaos that has brought us all here to this moment in time. Love. Hope. Transformation.

How did the individual performers help shape this play?

We are eight women with distinctly different experiences. This is the richness of our piece. We don’t all feel or think or act in the same way. Different training, experiences, backgrounds, and voices. The best of what we bring to this process and piece is ourselves.

Walk us through your approach to creating The Solitudes. 

This process has taught me so much as a performer and creator. We slowly built a bridge between the fictional world of One Hundred Years and our personal histories. The distillation of images into movement. Making our own TEDTalks. So many conversations. Recording everything. Improv pile-ons. Writing prompts. Training together. Building the ensemble. The collective unconscious. And the luxury of time.

What will audiences experience with this play?

I hope they are entertained. I hope they see themselves reflected in moments. I hope they laugh. Come and see what I have been going on about for two whole years!

The Solitudes runs at Harbourfront Centre Theatre from January 7th – 18th. Grab tickets here.

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