Photo by Tanja Tiziana.
CHICHO is a solo show written and performed by Augusto Bitter. It follows an "ashamed-queer-Catholic-man-boy" from Venezuela hilariously attempting to feel beautiful despite his warring identity politics. It is an exploration of a diasporic experience that meticulously presents the disparity between a Queer-ibbean coming-of-age journey in Canada and the worsening socio-economic crisis in Venezuela.
CHICHO is Bitter’s first work in a series of personal responses to the complex humanitarian emergency plaguing Venezuela. The piece wrestles with the privilege of his emigration from Venezuela, the guilt he has internalized, and the identity crisis it has triggered. It touches on what it means on a personal level to belong in neither country— a tourist on both lands, at home somewhere on an imagined border— and be subject to racial and sexual discrimination, both external and self-imposed. It juxtaposes Bitter’s personal journey with the disintegration of his birth country, viewed from afar. While Venezuelans protest and line up for eight or more hours for staples like cooking oil, eggs, or flour... Bitter buys fresh avocados for a theatre piece that is subsidized by a government that supports his voice.
The Venezuelan Crisis
Venezuela currently faces 1,300,000% inflation, forcing 87% of the population into poverty and 3 million to flee. The Venezuelan dictatorship does not recognize the crisis as such, forming a sphere of social control under the optimistic umbrella of “Chavismo” socialism. The crisis continues to evolve as Juan Guadio steps in as interim president and the two vie for control of the country.
Our team is committed to contributing to the people actively working to help Venezuelans in this crisis. For the run of CHICHO at Theatre Passe Muraille, we are collecting funds for Venezolanos Por La Vida— an organization that coordinates, collects and safely sends medical and surgical supplies and medicines to health service providers and Human Rights Organization across Venezuela and neighbouring countries. We will also host a benefit performance catered by local Venezuelan restaurant Arepa Café. It will be held on March 13, with 100% of the proceeds being donated to Venezolanos Por La Vida.
CHICHO has been developed in-residence at Theatre Passe Muraille with support from Diaspora Dialogues. The project would not be possible without the support of Aluna Theatre, Factory Theatre, and Buddies in Bad Times Theatre. CHICHO has been written with support by the Ontario Arts council and the Toronto Arts Council with funding from the City of Toronto. It is produced with support from the Toronto Arts Council with funding from the City of Toronto and the Canadian Council for the Arts.
Photography by Dahlia Katz at the 39th Rhubarb Festival
Print materials designed by Brendan Peters. Photos by Tanja Tiziana. Video by Hoffworks.
Photography by Graham Isador
"Up-and-coming actor on making it in show business" (University of Toronto: Faculty of Arts & Science Alumni News)
My Gay Toronto - CAMINOS Festival Interview with Drew Rowsome
CHICHO (Workshop Presentation) at Aluna Theatre's 2017 CAMINOS Festival
October 5, 2017
New, complete 90min archival footage coming April.