Online Workshop & Reading

27th-28th July, 30th July 2020


As part of Head for Heights’ International Online Workshops during the Covid-19 pandemic, Head for Heights continued working on their initial week-long workshop in December 2019 and reading with Out of the Wings at King's College London, on Andrés Kalawski's Mistral, Gabriela. The workshop was directed by Sue Dunderdale, with actors Pepa Duerte and Carolyn Pickles. Andrés Kalawski also attended.

The translation of Andrés Kalawski’s 2019 play Mistral, Gabriela (1945) came about, because it brought together two passions: working on new dramatic writing that poses unexpected questions for our here and now, and the study and translation Gabriela Mistral (1889-1957), the first Latin American winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature (1945). The play was first performed at the GAM in Santiago, directed by Aliocha de la Sotta, with Solange Lackington as Gabriela and Valeria Leyton as
Alicia, her kidnapper.

Mistral, Gabriela takes place in Brazil, just as Mistral learns that she has won the Nobel Prize, a fact that she learns from Alicia, the young woman who is leading a feminist activist group that has kidnapped her with the aim of making her their mouthpiece. They want her to defend women’s rights, to be bolder and less ambiguous in some of her political statements and in her acknowledgement of her sexuality and, in doing so, to be an ally of the militant group as they seek to change history.

Head for Heights are excited to continuing working on this play post Covid-19. Our work with the text, unit by unit, action by action, revealed a complex relationship that was both individual and collective, personal and historic. The question that started to emerge was:

What happens when a woman you think can give you so much

actually gives you exactly what she can, which just isn’t enough?


Directed by Sue Dunderdale

Translated by Catherine Boyle

Dramaturg: Karen Morash

Produced by Annafrancesca Tonna


Pepa Duarte as Alice

Carolyn Pickles as Gabriela



'Congratulations to the actors, it was so moving!'

Audience Member

'Such a great reflection of Mistral, female and generational realtionships. Beautifully translated and interpreted...thank you so much for zooming it'

Audeince Member

'Beautiful translation'

Audience Member

This workshop and reading was generously funded by Arts Council England and supported by King's College London.

Andrés Kalawski’s participation in the original workshop was generously funded by the Office for the Arts and Culture of the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile.