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The Empty Chalices

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The Empty ChalicesThe play offers a look at the Uruguayan poet Delmira Agustini through the eyes of the American writer Judy Veramendi, who was captivated by the suggestive works that the poet created.

"Intense and exquisite, the work enthralls the audience from the first moment to the last…" (La Raza, Chicago, May 2003)

"Delmira comes alive in a play written by a 'gringa'" (El Observador, Montevideo, Uruguay, March 2003)

"Playwright Judy Veramendi shows an unusual dedication to the life and art of Uruguayan writer Delmira Agustini—and it's wholly warranted… Hearing Agustini's imagistic, word-drunk paeans to 'the ineffable' is immensely rewarding." (Chicago Reader, May, 2003)



Full production of "The Empty Chalices/Los cálices vacíos" premiered in Uruguay on March 21st, 2003.

The play "The Empty Chalices/Los cálices vacíos" is not an adaptation of the poetry of Delmira Agustini. It is a look at the life and passion of the poet, created by the American writer Judy Veramendi and directed by Elena Zuasti. The role of Delmira Agustini is performed by Veronica Cassiols; her mother, Cristina Morán, the father, Hugo Blandamuro, and her friend, María Eugenia Vaz Ferreira, is performed by Alexandra Montalvo.

“Perhaps because she hasn’t lived the myth of Delmira Agustini in Uruguay, Judy's vision of Delmira is much more accurate than ours. She portrays Delmira in her human dimension, in her light and her shadows, as a woman condemned to a fatal destiny, which as in a Greek tragedy, has been determined before the beginning of time”.

The Director, Elena Zuasti



The premiere of “The Empty Chalices/Los cálices vacíos" in Argentina was on August 23rd, 2004.

The play “The Empty Chalices/Los cálices vacíos" in Argentina was directed by Fernando Armani and adapted by Martin Ohrnialián with a live performance of the UNGS chamber orchestra directed by Nere Arceo and Gerardo Muller.

Two actresses performed Delmira’s role: Malena Armani as the child Delmira and Silvina Pérez as the adult Delmira. Her mother was Graciela Caruso, María E. Ferreira was performed by Florencia Fernández, Leonardo Gil was Enrique Job Reyes and André Giot de Badet was performed by Facundo Salinas.

“It is through Judy Veramendi’s dramaturgy that the story of another incredible woman, the Uruguayan poet Delmira Agustini, is revealed to us. I must make this analogy since I feel that both women sought answers, desperately sought answers, to their deepest questions, to understand the reality that contained them. Delmira Agustini sought them writing poems that reveal these anguished yet beautiful quandaries. She also sought answers by passionately and lovingly surrendering her body, her heart, and even her young life; her premature and tragic death is proof of this. She left us a bequest, a beautiful inheritance, her marvelous poetry. Judy Veramendi took charge of this bequest and she has determined, I believe, to continue with her search. We have been very fortunate; thanks to her dedication we came to know Delmira Agustini.”

Fernando Armani, the director


The Empty Chalices PlayUSA

Full productions of "The Empty Chalices/Los cálices vacíos" premiered in Chicago from April 25 to May 18 2003.

The performance is about the life and poetry of Delmira Agustini and was presented by the Aguijón Theater Company. The show achieves a lovely harmony among the acting ensemble and evokes a deep emotional response enhanced by the music composed especially for the play by Elbio Rodríguez Barilari.

Rosario Vargas, the director, chose actors with a homogeneous acting style that maintained a harmonious rhythm and focus, a harmony occasionally interrupted by Osvaldo Calderón as Enrique Job Reyes, the vulgar, ordinary husband of Delmira Agustini. The actors who are performing in Spanish as well as English are: Jorge Aviles, Marcela Muñoz, Marisabel Suarez, Ivan Vega, Beatriz Velasco and Augusto Yanacopulos.

The most important aspect of the message of "The Empty Chalices" is the social-historical environment in which the poetess lived. Of particular importance are the peculiarities of Agustini's family, which certainly facilitated the conditions in which the author could write and publish her works in the suffocating environment characteristic of turn-of-the-century Uruguay.

Excerpt of review by Eduardo Alegría

In "La Raza", Chicago, May 2003