El Refugio

THE SHELTER Premio Nacional de las Artes Escénicas para la Infancia y la Juventud 2011

AWARD for Best Show and AWARD for Best Performance by an Actress at FETEN 2011 (European Children’s Drama Fair). NATIONAL AWARD FOR DRAMA FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE 2011 (Ministry of Culture). Show for all ages (children 8 or over).

«I thought wars were something that happened to other people. Until I was nine, all I knew about wars was that they happened a long time ago in history or were happening somewhere far away.

Not even when the war was advancing slowly towards my hometown, capturing towns and villages in its grasp, did I think it was anything that could happen to me. It never even occurred to me that war could break out in my town, turning everything upside down and splitting my life into a before and an after.”

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Let’s talk about war. Or more specifically, about its effects on people … on children. Eva is a nine-year-old girl who, at the beginning of the war — any war — is trapped inside an old shelter that she can’t escape from. Time goes by and what at first seemed like a game, a mere anecdote, becomes permanent …terrible. Inside there, in a precarious situation and with no adult points of reference, everything is difficult and strange.

As the food and water runs out, so does her hope.

Eva writes letters to her parents that never reach their destination, she shouts although nobody can hear … she survives, although time leaves an indelible mark on her.

The worst wounds that wars leave children with aren’t those suffered by the bodies but those of being alone and uprooted, with no support, no care and no family. And, in the end, amid all the madness going on outside, she learns that children are good for nothing in a war. Nobody asked their permission to ruin their lives, destroy their innocence and end their happiness. They suffer alone amid the horror and the silence. That’s why this story is tender, sweet and painful all at the same time. Like truth.

We have built a show for children so that our children can empathise with other who, often on the other side of the world but sometimes just next door, suffer lives than nobody deserves to have. The show uses straight-talking, sincere language to tackle a stark subject from a realistic viewpoint, although humour and poetry are not lacking. A medium-length piece with drama that is mostly visual, the show takes place in a single space: an abandoned underground shelter with a single hole serving as the link with the outside world. In this isolated, rough place, the action takes place in three sections that in turn represent the three stages that the protagonist goes through.

In the first, everything is innocent and pleasant and seems almost like a game. The war has just arrived and Eva still isn’t sure how to deal with it. In the central section, the girl tries to keep living her normal life while she waits for the rescuers that never seem to arrive. In the final act, the cold, inevitable reality is all that is left to her.

Set in any war in any country at any time, it takes its inspiration from all the stories of children immersed in conflicts. A carefully dressed set, timeless wardrobe and dramatically stark lighting make up a show that is full of truth and sensitivity. Rosa Díaz.


Actress: Rosa Díaz
Machinist: Marisa Refoyo
Lighting and sound technician: Katia Moretti / Cristina Fernández
Set design: Carlos P. Donado and Rosa Díaz
Direction: Eskenitek S.L
Sound design and original music: Mariano Lozano-P
Lighting design: José Diego Ramírez
Props: Maite Campos & Arena en los Bolsillos
Wardrobe: Laura León & Ángeles Jiménez
Metalwork: Alejandro Cantos
Pyrotechnics: Pablo Carazo
Snow machine: Lucas Valentín
Backcloth and floor: Isa Soto
Video: Oscar Utopi
Graphic design: Casadelocos
Photography: Chicho
Directed by: Llanos Campos & Rosa Díaz
Production: La Rous Teatro with the Andalusian Cultural Institutions Agency

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Press cuttings

“A poetic, raw tale of a girl’s experience trapped in a shelter, her physical and psychological deterioration as the days go by and the bombing continues, the hunger, the loneliness, the fear. … The mise en scène is reminiscent of Buero Vallero’s wonderful Historias de una escalera. Sobriety, verisimilitude and bravery to face and take on that part of reality that we are scared to think about, much less expose to the view of those who don’t know that so much cruelty is possible in this world.” Cusamaco (cultural magazine), March 2011.

What’s the role of a little girl in a war? An impressive show that keeps you on the edge of your seat, but even so makes you crack a smile, because children are children and they are capable of playing in even the most extraordinary circumstances. A new jewel brought to us by this extraordinary, sensitive actress, here focusing more on the drama and leaving her other side as a puppeteer to one side. A show that reaches adults and children (aged 8 and over) alike, which makes you think and want to talk, ideal for the whole family to see together (but at a more adult time, like 7 p.m. for example), as well as to be seen and worked with in schools or at night for an adults-only performance. It’s a show that is necessary, very necessary in the times we live in. Hopefully it will be given many performances and reach as large an audience as possible. The well- deserved winner of the best show and best actress awards at Fetén 2011, the actress’s colleagues also deserve to share in the praise, particularly the apt original music by Mariano Lozano, the co-direction (the eyes watching from the outside) by Llanos Campos and the well-dressed set by Maite Campos and Iker Pérez. Cyberpadres. Ferran Baile (report on FETEN 2011).


Rosa Díaz’s has been working in drama since 1981. In 1985 she founded the company Teatro Fénix company in Albacete, and in 1988 joined Cambaleo Teatro in Madrid.
Between 1988 and 1992, in parallel, she worked with La Tartana Teatro and Comediants, participating in events including the Expo ’92 Parade.
After moving to Granada in 1993, she set up the company Laví e Bel, followed in 1999 by Lasal Teatro, where she worked as an actor, producer and director.
In recent years, especially since 2006, she has specialised exclusively in direction, working for such companies as Gar Producciones (San Sebastian), Vagalume Teatro (Granada), Teatre de l´Home Dibuixat (Castellón, including directing Piedra a Piedra, which won the FETEN award for the best short-format show in 1998 and was nominated for the Best Children’s Show at the 2009 Max Awards), Axioma Teatro (Almería) and Karlik Danza Teatro (Extremadura, with the show Niña Frida, nominated for the Best Children’s Show at the 2008 Max Awards), as well as the company La Maquine with El castillo rojo (The Red Castle).
Her first work after setting up her own company, La Rous, was La casa del abuelo (Grandfather’s House), which won the Best Show prize at the 2009 FETEN awards for children’s and young people’s drama in 2009.
Her second work as author and performer with her own company, La Rous, is El refugio (The Shelter), winner of the Best Show and Best Actress awards at FETEN 2011.
In 2011 she was awarded the National Lifetime Achievement Award for Drama for Children and Young People by the Spanish Ministry of Culture.

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Running time: 60 minutes

Recommended ages: Children aged 8 and over and all ages

Audience capacity: School performances 250 children. Family performances: 325 people.

Minimum stage space: Traditional theatre space: 7 m wide, 6 m deep, 4.75 m high.


Technical needs:


-Power supply:  25 Kw (min) / 40 Kw (ideal)

-Connection type:     220 V or 380 V + earth

-Lighting desk and dimmer: Min. 24 channels (2000 W per channel)



-Power supply: As available and adapted to the size of the space.

-CD player with autocue.

-Mixing desk min. 2 channels

-PA system and stage monitors.



-Load-in:   Time: 35 mins. approx.

Needs: 2 people to help.

Set build: Equipped spaces: 5–6 hours

Needs: 1 electrician and 1 set builder

Running time of show: 60 minutes.

Set breakdown: Estimated time: 90 minutes approx.

Needs: 1 technician and 1 set builder.

. Load-out: Time: 35 mins. approx.

Needs: 2 people



– Black chamber for traditional theatre space and black backdrop.

– Pole in centre of stage space for fitting an overhead spotlight and two machines (snow and leaves).

– Fire alarms disconnected (The show features pyrotechnics involving a shotgun.)

– 2 dressing rooms with shower.

– Parking for the van: Mercedes Sprinter TDI van. Mixed. 5.9 long x 2.4 high x 1.9 wide.


Technical contact : Katia Moretti. Mobile: +34 617 57 33 21

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