- Nestor Amarilla
Amarilla in 2010
Born July 24, 1980
Colonia Genaro Romero, Coronel Oviedo, Caaguazu, Paraguay
Occupation Playwright, director, producer Information Genre Drama and comedy Influences Anton Chekhov
Nestor Amarilla writes for theater and television. His most known work is "Saved by a Poem." According to Reuters, he is reported to have been nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature of 2010. The low odds given by betting company Unibet for Amarilla being the winner led journalists to believe that the Paraguayan was a favorite among the nominees.
Childhood and education
Nestor Amarilla was born on 24 July 1980 in a small rural farm 300 km. from the main city of Coronel Oviedo. His parents are Juan de la Cruz Amarilla, who died in 2008,and Herminia Acosta de Amarilla. Both of his parents did not finish their elementary education. Nestor has two brothers and they are Ignacio y Rafael.
Being the son of a peasant, Nestor lived a simple and humble life. Nestor grew up with out running water, electricity nor television. Only after he turned 7 years old, did he first wear shoes, walking to school and in a parade celebrating the anniversary of the independence of Paraguay. During the Stroessner era, it was mandatory to participate in the parades to celebrate the independence day. From the beginning, Nestor stood out in school because of his ability and interest in the arts.
In their community, Nestor's father was known to be an anti Stroessner. Thus, remembering many of the different situations his father went through. When Nestor was 7 years old, he accompanied his father to one of their secret meetings that took place. He remembers "I insisted so much in going with him to their secret meetings, that my father didn't have a choice, but take me along. The meeting location changed three times so Stroessner's informants wouldn't find out about the meeting place. The meeting was short and simple. There was a small table covered with a cloth and one candle. 30 to 40 people sat around the little table and they discussed a book one of the attendants had read. The book was titled "Democracy." Back then, I thought the name was a woman's name."
Nestor met a Peace Corps volunteer working near his hometown when he was 13 years old. Her name was Kristin Callahan. Nestor made a deal with Kristin that he would teach her the Guarani language and she would teach him English. Together they created a newspaper for the local people to read. This newspaper was called "Kokue Poty" and they also decided to teach English to local people interested in learning the language. The most important thing that Nestor learned from that volunteer was to dream and believe that anything was possible in life. Then, she encouraged him to investigate about the American Field Service (AFS) about the possibility of studying in in a foreign country. After manfully competitions and after moving to the city of Coronel Oviedo, Nestor was rewarded a full scholarship to study in the United States.
At 17, Nestor left Paraguay for the first time in his life. He came to the United States before he visited any other foreign country. He lived with the Stillson family in Fridley, Minnesota for one year where he finished his secondary education. He graduated with honors especially in the areas of theater and music. At his host families' insistence, Nestor returned to Minnesota to study in college in 2000.
While he was singing with the well known choir VocalEssence, he met the director of the Wallin Foundation. The director was very impressed by the young aspiration to succeed and by his amazing background, that she offered him a full scholarship to finish his college career at any university of his choice.
Nestor chose the Metropolitan State University in Minnesota. Convinced that he wanted to study television and mass communication, he chose the career of television and dramatic arts. Two years later, one of this professor suggested that he changed his focus into writing authentic plays that can be carried to the stage. Discovering this new endeavor, Nestor concentrated on acting and directing. In 2005, Nestor graduated from Metropolitan State University with a bachelor's degree in Theater & Mass communication. His parents traveled all the way from the rural country home to see Nestor graduate and receive the award as the honor student in his department.
With two degrees and three plays produced by the University, Americana Rose, Ripped Dress o Vestido Roto y La Pruebera, Nestor started writing theatrical pieces for the theaters of the Twin Theaters. He wrote and directed the play Saved by a Poem at the Theatre Festival organized by Teatro del Pueblo. The same year, he co-authored the play "Born in Iraq" and it was presented at the Mixed Blood Theater in the Twin Cities, MN. . Both plays were of a great success.
As he returned to Paraguay, Nestor assisted Mario Ferrero in Cuentas Claras on SNT, produced by Augusto Barreto. In 2008, he was hired as the Director of Fiction for channel 13 by the Chena Company. That same year, he directed the famous and successful show called Ninera de Adultos where he was also the co-writer of the show. The same year he was named the Director of the Fiction department and he also directed the talk show called Ellas.
At the end of 2008, Nestor was fired by the Chena Company for not complying with their rules and guidelines to be followed in order to air a show. The Director, Nestor, considered this action, as being censored by his boss. In his book, the author, mentions that he has pending legal action against the Chena Company. Until now, nothing has been settled between the two parties.
As a sign of protest, still going on in his country, Nestor directed "Fecha Feliz" the Spanish and Guarani version of "Saved by a Poem" in Asuncion at the Latino Theater. This play tells a true story of his family during the dictatorship during the Stroessner regime. With the intent of boycott the directors of the Canal 13 tried to stop the premier of the play Saved by a Poem. So, the play's premiere was taken place on February 6, 2009, three days later after it was first scheduled. The play received many good reviews and was highly claimed that Nestor was asked to present the play again at the Teatro Municipal de Asuncion on March 8. This date celebrated the day of the Women.
On July 2009, the same day he 29 turned years old, his most polemic and most criticized work Che, Che K-nal premiered. Che, Che K-nalis a comedy show that tells the life of a chief, who misunderstood his wife request to buy a TV. Instead of buying a TV, the chief, the husband, bought the whole channel to please his wife. The critics, mostly of them belong to the media, did not find it particular humoristic. What the author tried to convey through this play was the usage of power in the media in order to degrade the women. Later on, the author sued the Chena Company for defamation.
Going back to what the author loves the most, which is drama, the author published the book "Fecha Feliz" It is this the book that has been reported to be one of the reasons why he has been nominated by a Linguistic Professor and a Human Right Fighter from Paraguay for the Nobel Prize of Literature of 2010; one should notice that there are hundreds of nominations each year, and only very few of them are considered seriously by the Swedish Academy. The editorial company Servilibro, published the new version of the book Saved by a Poem in three different languages. Also, the well known site of Amazon.com features this book on its website.
On April 19th 2011, Nestor Amarilla launched his newest book LA PRUEBERA. and premiered the same work on stage that same night. The editorial company Servilibro published this book for Paraguay. The Spanish Embassy sponsored the production of the play on their main stage Juan de Salazar in Asuncion.
- "Rosa Americana" (2004) Theater Underground (EU)
- "Vestido Roto" (2005) Teatro de las Americas (Paraguay)
- "Ripped Dress" (2005) Theater Underground (EU)
- "La Pruebera" (2005) Theater Underground (EU)
- "Saved By A Poem" (2006) Teatro del Pueblo (EU)
- "Born in Irak" (2006) Mixed Blood Theater (EU)
- "Fecha Feliz" (2009) Teatro Latino y Teatro Municipal (Paraguay)
- "Che, Che K-nal" (2009) Teatro Latino (Paraguay)
- "Saved By A Poem"
- "Fecha Feliz"
- "La Pruebera"
- ^ http://www.reuters.com/article/2010/09/29/us-nobel-literature-preview-idUSTRE68S2X020100929 Poets poised for Nobel glory; Swede is favorite
- ^ http://www.lostiempos.com/diario/actualidad/tragaluz/20101002/escritor-paraguayo-de-30-anos-es-el-favorito-para-el-nobel-de_92365_178053.html
- ^ http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2006/07/05/borniniraq
- ^ http://www.ultimahora.com/notas/192738-D%27Oliveira-dejo---Fecha-Feliz-por-exigencias-de-su-canal
- ^ http://archivo.abc.com.py/2009-02-01/articulos/491890/doliveira-fue-obligado-a-dejar-elenco-de-teatro
- ^ http://minnesota.publicradio.org/collections/special/columns/state-of-the-arts/archive/2010/03/paraguayan-nobel-nominee-got-his-start-in-st-paul.shtml
- ^ http://video.latam.msn.com/watch/video/juego-de-palabras-nestor-amarilla/16j8wyjk3
- ^ http://www.ultimahora.com/notas/421551-Una-pruebera-de-vivaz-energia-llega-a-las-tablas
- ^ http://www.abc.com.py/nota/la-pruebera-se-presenta-en-version-libro-y-obra-teatral/
- ^ http://www.lanacion.com.py/articulo.php?la-pruebera-se-estrena-hoy-en-el-salazar&edicion=2&sec=9&art=19998
- Nestor Amarilla official website
- Vargas Llosa "merecía hace tiempo" el nobel, dice autor paraguayo Amarilla - AFP (French Press) October 7th, 2010.
- Paraguayan Nobel nominee got his start in St. Paul - Minnesota Public Radio, St Paul, MN. (March 2, 2010)
- Poets poised for Nobel glory; Swede is favourite. Reuters - Sept 29th, 2010.
- Den ofrivillige lågoddsaren - Dagens Nyheter of Sweden, October 6th 2010.
- Escritor Paraguayo de 30 años es el favorito para alzar el Nobel de Literatura - El Mercurio of Chile, October 2010.
- Nominan a un paraguayo al Premio Nobel de Literatura - El Mirador News, Mew York, NY. (February 19, 2010)
- "Born in Iraq" gives a different perspective on conflict - Minnesota Public Radio, St Paul, MN. (July 5, 2006)
- Paraguayan Metropolitan State University student rolls difficult and impoverished life experiences into intriguing plays -
The Metropolitan, St Paul, MN. (September 2005)
- Political Theatre (a Teatro del Pueblo festival at Intermedia Arts). Liberator Magazine, Minneapolis, MN. (March 2006).
- Interview with Nestor Amarilla: nominated for Nobel Prize for Literature at Politablog
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
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