Cristina Castrillo was born in Córdoba, Argentina, in 1951 and attended drama classes at the city’s university of the arts in 1969/70. She was the founder of the “Libre Teatro Libre”, one of the most celebrated troupes in Latin America at the time. In 1980, having left her homeland to escape the military dictatorship, she continued her work with the Teatro delle Radici in Lugano, which remains a key centre for the theatre scene in Switzerland’s Italian-speaking Ticino region to this day. Since 1990, the Scuola Laboratorio Internazionale has brought together theatre practitioners from a wide range of linguistic and cultural backgrounds to explore aspects of drama such as personal, physical and emotional memory: the focus of Castrillo’s theatre is on the actors as ‘radici’, or ‘roots’.
In a career as actor, educator, author and director spanning more than 40 years, Cristina Castrillo has created over 30 plays, from “Tracciato a Matita” (1982) to “Amori” (2013). Her solo “Sul cuore della terra” from 1988, which she has performed at countless festivals in Europe and Latin America, was adapted for TV in Ticino in 2001. Performances of her works and workshops have taken her to 37 countries in Europe, South America, Africa and Asia. She also has publications to her name: “Attore-Autore”, “I Sentieri dell’Acqua”, “Trilogia dell’assenza” and “Voci peregrine” are collections of the texts and performances of the Teatro delle Radici up to 2010.
“Cristina Castrillo receives the Swiss Theatre Award 2014, together with prize money of CHF 30,000, for her tireless work as an actor, director and lecturer. Originally from Argentina, she has exerted a lasting influence on the drama scene in Ticino with her Teatro delle Radici, which was founded in Lugano in 1980. Her politically committed works have gained her worldwide attention. Through her Scuola Laboratorio Internazionale project and her publications, Cristina Castrillo makes a valuable contribution to the development of an ethically oriented theatrical idiom.”