Manuela Infante, born in 1980 in Santiago, Chile, is a preeminent playwright, director, screenwriter, and musician. She holds a BA in Arts from the University of Chile and an MA in Cultural Analysis from the University of Amsterdam. With her stable group Teatro de Chile, Manuela Infante has staged plays such as Prat (2001), which took first place in the Víctor Jara Festival for Playwrights and Directors in 2002, Juana (2003), Rey Planta (2006), Ernesto (2010), and Loros Negros (2011). All works have been funded by FONDART (National Fund for the Arts). In addition, Infante has directed Fin (2008), co-produced and premiered at the festival of Modena, Italy and What’s He Building in There? (2011), created in residency at The Watermill Center, and premiered and shown in several spaces in New York. In 2012, she directed On the Beach, curated by Robert Wilson and premiered at the Baryshnikov Arts Center in New York, as well as Don’t Feed the Humans, which premiered in Hebbel am Uffer in Berlin, Germany. Three of her plays have been published in Chile and abroad. Manuela Infante also works as a professor in several theatre departments in Santiago, Chile. She was selected as Artistic Director of the XVI Playwright Selection 2014, organized by the Consejo Nacional de la Cultura y las Artes.
Infante is widely celebrated for feminist re-envisioning of famous historical figures, combining slapstick humor, prose, and memorable mise-en-scènes for works such as Cristo (2008), based on the life of Jesus of Nazareth. She regards her plays as essays in a corpus of broader currents of thought that stems from theoretical writings, science, and cultural studies. She characterizes her work as “a kind of ‘irresponsible philosophy’; irresponsible in the sense that we strive from stealing from theory to make work, and not having to inscribe myself responsibly/responsively back into the academic corpus. My work is about letting ideas acquire a material life of their own, watching them find their way into the material world, into our bodies and our relations, and thus into time.”