what I learned from a decade of fear

06 DOF int2 toastjam web

Guilt isn’t what it used to be. Is empathy?

Can we feel trust in a world obsessed with security? Set inside a mix of live security footage, Beatriz Pizano tests her friendship with Lyon Smith by pulling incriminating details from his average life. From interrogation to confession, Aluna stages a modern eulogy for the human costs of our collective safety.

Directed and designed by multi-award winning artist and Aluna Artistic Producer, Trevor Schwellnus, this daring piece showcases Aluna’s continuing commitment to risk and experimentation. After successful development through a Theatre Centre Residency, and presentations in New York City (La MaMa ETC), Bogotá, Colombia (Festival Alternativo), and Montreal (The Hemispheric Institute’s Encuentro), the piece returns for its Toronto premiere at Aluna Theatre.

Thursday – Friday – Saturday at 8pm, Sunday at 2:30pm: Oct. 30 – Nov. 30

“The two actors are so sincere in their speeches and interactions, have such strong chemistry, that we can almost – not quite, but almost – be lulled into accepting some pretty outrageous statements. That’s part of the power of this show, a Möbius strip that turns on itself at the end, blending politics and emotions in an unusual theatrical package.”
– Jon Kaplan, NOW magazine

 “It’s not often that a show so rooted in the scariest sorts of political misappropriation of power offers thoughtful character development and humour as well.”
– Dani Phillipson, Royal Holloway University, UK

“A fresh, visceral interrogation of how fear terrorizes us into building prisons and fortresses that confine our minds and others bodies.”
– Helene Vosters, performance artist

“In only 65 minutes this remarkable performance piece sums up the contradictions in modern life ten years or more since the “War on Terror” was launched.  What the piece shows so graphically is how we have become inured to the idea of unremitting violence committed in the name of safety without any evidence that we actually feel safer.”
– Christopher Hoile, Stage Door

“Both Beatriz Pizano and Lyon Smith give strong performances that make you want to watch them… The show is a skillful interrogation of a concept that is inescapable in our modern world and it presents a variety of valid insights that can help us to better understand and to overcome it.”
– Jeremy Gardiner, Mooney on Theatre


Created and performed by:  Beatriz Pizano, Trevor Schwellnus, Lyon Smith
Director / Scenographer:  Trevor Schwellnus
Sound Design:  Lyon Smith
Choreography consultant:  Ame Henderson
Costume consultant: Erin Gerofsky
Assistant Director: Sebastian Marziali
Production assistant: Jessica Zepeda
Surtitle translation: Carlos Gonzalez-Vio and Olimpia Boido
Producer: Sue Balint

Read the director’s notes.

This production is tour-ready with a team of four.

The Refuge of Freidel (El Refugio de Freidel)

friedel red pants 680 photo by Beatriz Pizano

Liliana looks at her own experience as a Colombian refugee through texts from her director, the controversial Colombian theatre-maker, Freidel, who was brutally assassinated in Medellin in the early 90’s.

A collective creation by Liliana Suarez Henao and Beatriz Pizano.

Toronto Premiere at the Aluna Studio in May 2014.

Nohayquiensepa (Nooneknows)

How do we deal with the death of strangers? Nohayquiensepa is a multidisciplinary presentation inspired by events in a Colombian river town on the fringe of great violence. A fresh integration of video, story, and movement through collaborative creation.


A powerful dance/theatre piece about the struggles of the indigenous women and the genocide of the Mayan nation in Guatemala between 1978 and 1984.