The Watching Machine / La caixa màgica

The Watching Machine / La caixa màgica

by Macarena Recuerda Shepherd
school performances

14/11 - 18/11/22

Show completed


Mon. - Fri. 09:30 and 11:30

Tue. 22/11 workshop
09:30, 10:30, 11:30 and 12:30

Running time

45’ / 45’ (workshop)


Montjüic. Espai Lliure


No words


€7 students (workshop included) / capacity 56 people


Hearing assistance via mobile phone

Recommended ages

+10 (middle cycle)

Show included on

El Lliure del futur


by the Educational programm

The artist Macarena Recuerda Shepherd uses the device of La caixa del Lliure for primary education to explore the optical illusions of light, shadows and reflections, in this show that is presented only in school functions.

The machine of looking was the name given to those objects of the nineteenth century that, through mirrors and shutters, created optical illusions. In the piece The Watching Machine / La caixa màgica, the artist will imagine that the machinery generating illusion is La caixa del Lliure itself. With it and other devices, you will play with the light, shadows and reflections created by the body to carry out optical effects and experiment and reflect on what is illusion, what is representation and what is theatrical convention.

Focusing on the perception of the viewer, on the convention of the two levels that we commonly find on a stage, reality and fiction, the artist will build two narratives. On the one hand, the body and objects in the space before the public who observes them. And at the same time, that of another reality that is told on the walls and in the reflections, as in the myth of the cave of Plato: another construction and another reading of the images that we see.

In addition, on 22/11 in the morning we will offer the experimental workshop Let’s open the box! Performative illusionism for primary school conducted by the artist. In small groups, attendees can discover this educational proposal, play with it and understand some secrets of the magic of the theater :

  • Optical illusions with the body by object. The perceptual laws will allow us to create multiple characters of subtle aspects. Giants, dwarves, beings with various limbs, headless...
  • Shadow work. The Chinese shadows start from a popular game based on the theatrical optical effect of interposing hands or other objects between a light source and a clear surface (screen or wall), so that its position and motion projects shadows that represent static or moving figures.
  • A shadow is just a projection. From this concept, we will create a sequence of images to build a small film.

Macarena Recuerda Shepherd is a visual and scenic artist who has created numerous works in prestigious theatres and entities in the last 10 years. She is the founder of the Colectivo Estraperlo, a platform of new creators difficult to label.

Didactic objectives of the show
  • Referring to facts, concepts and themes: Discover optical illusions and possibilities of magic, and reflect on human perception, representation and theatrical conventions.
  • Referring to procedures: Generate surprising optical effects that stimulate visual experience and sense of sight, imagination, creativity, sensitivity and curiosity, from a stage box.
  • Referring to values, attitudes and norms: Value the performing arts as a form of expression. Show curiosity and interest in the world of theatre and visual and plastic arts. Learn to be knowledgeable, sensitive, respectful and aware spectators of the performing arts.

Didactic objectives of the workshop
  • Discover the game possibilities of La caixa del Lliure. Understand theater as a multidisciplinary game with bodies, colors, lights, sound, objects, spaces... Promote discovery, experimentation, mental representation, communication, coexistence, autonomy, imagination, expression... Awaken the senses and investigate the creative possibilities of the body.

Original idea and performer

Macarena Recuerda Shepherd

Conceived by

Jorge Dutor, Ana da Graça, Macarena Recuerda Shepherd and Miriam Ubanet

Stage manager

Sara Serrano


Teatre Lliure and Macarena Recuerda Shpeherd & co., Eusko Jaurlaritza and Antic Teatre

La caixa del Lliure

idea Dadà.

design Joan and Marina Baixas