The lights on the facade invite you to enter. Outside, a group of young people take advantage of the open space to smoke. Before entering, the temperature check and hand sanitizer are a prerequisite. Inside, couples at four tables near the bar and the box office wait for the show to begin.

In Pop Up Teatro Café, (Circunvalación 405 between Ébanos and Diagonal, Urdesa), it would seem that they never had to close due to quarantine, but the masks of the staff and the public remind us of the current reality and restrictions in capacity for the operation of this type of establishments. “We officially open on Friday the 17th, after listening to the already official decree by the Government, that theater and cinema spaces can now function. We are grouped there ”, he explains Ricardo Velástegui, director of Pop Up Teatro Café.

Between 10 to 12 people, in the five microtheater rooms (which measure between 4 by 3 and 4 by 6 meters) sit in plastic chairs keeping distance between them, even if they attended as a couple or in a group. Each of them with their mask. On Thursday night, the work with the most presentations is Toxic, directed by Velástegui and with text by Jose Rengifo.

From 19:00 to 21:30, the actresses Emma Guerrero and Valentina De Abreu They play two friends sharing and deciphering the negative aspects of a romantic relationship, in the middle of a red stage protected by an almost imperceptible plastic curtain, which allows them to act without a mask for the different costume changes they require and separates them from the viewer.

“It is a bit strange because you are used to feeling the closeness of the public, to interacting with them. It is something to which we must adapt, but it is a decision we made to be able to act without difficulty during the work, "says Abreu.

In Toxic and The post is mine (with Blanca Fariña and Axel Zoller), for example, there is a separating plastic curtain. In others, like Good vibes, the actress Tite Macías appears with a mask while in Feminazi, of Willy Mejía, the protagonist Arianna Mejía He goes on stage with a visor that covers his face.

"Everyone enters with a mask, this plastic makes us feel more normal while we act, yes it has been strange because in the end people always asked for a photo and now we no longer do it because we have to keep our distance" says Guerrero. Both underwent COVID-19 testing, prior to testing.

“It was not thought that way (the work), but the truth is that it was a challenge and I always believe that art emerges in the most unexpected and creative ways, in the most complex moments. Yes, the process of adapting to the mask has been complicated, but it is also true that it allowed us to work more on the corporality of the character because as they cannot see half of the face, it is necessary to express the emotions with their body, "he says. Bárbara Fernándes Sabaté, who wrote and co-directed Good vibes with Sebastián Mosquera. (I)

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