When speaking or writing about the history of theatre in Cuba, one has to definitively refer to the life and work of one of the most celebrated and beloved actresses of Cuba's theatre scene, Corina Mestre.
Aside from the many awards, recognitions and medals this unmatched woman boasts, the city of Camagüey decided to award her the "Espejo de Paciencia", which is the most important institutional acknowledgement that the local Directorate of Culture grants in this Cuban province.
"I believe that this award is due to the patience of all these years", said Mestre all delighted and half jokingly. The actress also noted that she has always been close to the National Theatre Festival which is permanently held in Camagüey, and added "I've always defended this city as the permanent venue for this festival, and it's fair to keep it here".
Those present in the Teatro Principal gave a standing ovation to Corina Mestre, a professional who is undoubtedly a behemoth of performing art whether on the stage of a theatre, or behind the lenses of a camera.
Since she was 14, Corina Mestre found out that art would be link to her life for ever, and then the seed of this business was planted on her. Today over four decades after that day, the fruits of her career are more and more valuable.
"After 44 years entirely dedicated to theatre, I remember many plays with passion, because -as a matter of fact- all have marked my life. However, "Don Gil de las Calsas Verdes" was my first play working for Teatro Estudio. In that theatrical production, I played the role of a fountain, so I only had to go "glu, glu, glu", that was fun. So, that was my first play, but after taking to the stage I knew that I would dedicate myself to acting".
Because of her experience in this field, Mestre was chosen chairwoman of the commission that assessed the plays that are taking part in this Festival.
"The selection process of the productions was hard, above all because we didn't have too much time to evaluate the theatre groups willing to participate".
"We decided to do a very strict selection, without making concessions, and I believe that we did so. Although we are not perfect and perhaps someone does not agree, but we were indeed demanding".
"There is no a single criterion of selection, there is no a specific topic to take art, so it is quality what rules and based on this we make the selection".
The actress highlighted the aesthetic and conceptual quality of many of the plays that take part in the Festival.
Pleased because of the highest organizational level of the 14th National Theatre Festival, Mestre highlighted that "one can see people with willingness of doing things in spite of living a very difficult moment".