Federico León

Federico León

The protégé

Published in 2003

Federico León’s many talents mirror those of his mentor, the multifaceted Robert Wilson. For León is a mould-breaking playwright, director, actor and producer whose work is gaining recognition in his native Argentina and beyond.

When commenting on the most rewarding moment of his time with Wilson, León says: “I can’t point to a single moment. The rewarding thing was the accumulation of impressions. At a certain point, I began to understand. One day, the penny drops.”

León, aged 28, began experimenting with theatre in his teens and sharpened his skills at film school and at the Escuela Municipal de Arte Dramático (Metropolitan School of Drama) in Buenos Aires. Despite limited financial support, this precocious dramatist has helped develop Argentina’s avant-garde theatre, teaching and nurturing students at the Falsa Escuadra theatre, which he runs.

León has written four plays, three of which he has directed. These prize-winning dramas are regularly staged at international arts festivals. One of the plays Mil quinientos metros sobre el nivel de Jack (1500m Above the Level of Jack), has been performed hundreds of times since its debut in 1999, invariably causing a stir for its setting: a bathroom. León also wrote, produced, directed and appeared in the 2001 feature film, Everything Together. “I think the kind of theatre I create is closely related to cinema art,” he explains.

For León, working in the theatre means being involved in all aspects of the production. Although the young Argentinean prefers to write and direct his own material, his most recent play, El Adolescente had its European première in Brussels, Berlin and Amsterdam in spring 2004. In July and August 2003, it played at Buenos Aires City Theatre San Martin, before returning to Europe in the autumn.