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Performing Arts

If Silence Knew at Wuzhen Theatre Festival


Oct.23, 7pm
Oct.24, 2pm / 7pm
Oct.25, 7pm
Venue: Ancient Courtyard Theatre
Duration: 50 minutes
Without lines, without subtitles

If Silence Knew, as part of the Specially Invited Plays section, will take place at the splendid stage of the Wuzhen Theatre Festival, in the ancient town with thousands of years of history.

About If Silence Knew

Created as part of an extensive study on playwriting without words, this performance, precisely because it avoids words, is dedicated to them. It tries to tell, with and through silence, the voices that live in it, the lost words, those we have not the courage to utter, those which, if expressed, would lose the emotion that accompanies them.

What we will never be able to say.

Overused words, words tired out by time or by the total absence of meaning. Constructed like a small poem with no name, this performance passes through naivety and dreams; images written with smoke, as eloquent as a silent scream and as delicate as the flight of a feather. After “On the Heart of the Earth” and “Umbral”, Cristina Castrillo is back on stage, alone. As a way of living and conceiving this profession once again.


Creator, Director and Performer: Cristina Castrillo, Teatro delle Radici
Assistant: Bruna Gusberti
Scene props: Sandro Carettoni, Massimo Palo, Elvis van der Meyden,
Gigi Boccadamo, Pier Suriano
Tailoring: Atelier Celia
Photos: Martina Tritten
This project has been supported by Pro Helvetia.

About Cristina Castrillo

Over four decades of dedication to professional theatre: from the foundation, in the seventies, of Libre Teatro Libre, one of the most famous Latin American companies in Argentina, to the birth of the «Teatro delle Radici» in Switzerland in 1980.

The versatility of her work (as an actress, a teacher and a director) has led her to put into practice the fundamental aspects of her approach, both as regards her performance and that of other actors.

Dedicating all her efforts to the research of elements that are the basis of an actor’s training, she has contributed to the creation of collective and individual shows in which the actor is always at the very heart of the inventive process.

In 2014, Cristina Castrillo received the Swiss Theatre Prize assigned by the Federal Office of Culture (FOC).

She writes in various theatrical reviews in Europe and Latin America.

About Teatro delle Radici

Teatro delle Radici was founded in August 1980 in Lugano, Switzerland by Cristina Castrillo as a Cultural Association. The company has made more than 30 productions since then.


In an atmosphere so delicate that it moves you to tears, as if suddenly we were all back in that place ‘where we had once been’ (…) We had already been there before the silence, and now we have to go back, catching a word pervaded by that pre-human quality (and because of this perhaps even more human) (…)
This piece is a limbo, a zone suspended among impalpable dimensions…

— Corriere del Ticino-Svizzera

With the innocent restlessness of a clown, the precise wonder of a magician offering tiny miracles, this time Cristina Castrillo goes in search of the lost word (…) An upbeat piece, of narrative leanness, as short as it is intense in essence, which conveys through silent gestures another world, a world of words.

— Giornale del Popolo-Svizzera

What happens in this intense hour is the highly detailed and precious exploration of an autobiographical use of expression, mute, but actually deafening with sense that no words can support and contain. A challenge well met, therefore, for Cristina Castrillo who, with no words on stage, has given us back a tale of life.

— La Regione-Svizzera

With this meaningful artistic work of extraordinary poetic tension, Cristina gives us an original study of the innocent word, an example of the possibility to express oneself differently through an absence in search of meaning.

— Azione-Svizzera

The image, in its simplicity, is shocking (…) Then, in the midst of silence, action breaks out: the fingers of a hand that in a subtle movement holds us all in poetic tension, which is prolonged in each repetition, in each image. So powerful is the gesture when it conveys meanings that speak personally to each spectator, as if softly telling a secret.

— Il Telégrafo-Ecuador


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