Hector Quintero in memory: saving a lost interview

Hector Quintero in memory: saving a lost interview
Fecha de publicación: 
9 October 2023
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In 2023, one year before he was rightly presented the National Theater Award, I interviewed dramaturge and actor Hector Quintero for the radio news program Haciendo Radio, in Radio Rebelde. It was a live interview, one of those Saturdays in which we enjoyed more time to make long interviews. I took some notes, I saved them in my laptop, and these notes were treasured for twenty years.

A few days ago, I found that document, saved in a very hidden file from an old drive. So, I have decided to transcribe it now as a tribute to a man who loved theater above all things, or better say, he “loves theater with the same strength I love few other things that keep me alive.”

—You are a very popular dramaturge, even though some say it in a pejorative way…

—I do not care about the tone since I do believe I am popular. And I am very proud of it. I was bothered before, I was angry about that label on me, as a costumbrist man. But over the years I realized that honoring the living heritage of my people is some big. And that is what I have done with my theater. I have not been a great philosopher. I have not been a great intellectual among playwrights. But the audience can perceive the philosophy of everyday life, of survival, my neighbors, of everything we have had to live. I am popular, yes, I am honored. But it does not mean I have made concessions to mediocrity or vulgarity, which is quite different.

—What does musical theater mean to you?

—The musical, the bufo, the vernacular…these are the roots of our theater. And that is not something under discussion.

—You are a versatile artist…

—I am a man of theater, of staging…And I am so whenever I write, direct, or play. And there are muses for every trade. I think muses have been good on me. Of course I am not saint. There are people who love me and others hate me…There are reviewers who love me and others simply do not.

—What do you think about your legacy?

—Others shall judge me. Please do not put me on that spot. I do know I have always been a decent man, a decent artist. And that is a huge virtue in art.

Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Díaz / CubaSí Translation Staff


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