Teresina S.A (Teresina Inc.)
Teresina, S.A., is a thirteen chapters situation comedy, twenty-five minutes long each, recorded for TV3 in 1991. The action takes place in a building block where some of the neighbours play the leading roles. It develops during a whole year.
Teresina, diminutive for Teresa, is a named used by La Cubana to describe a whole set of characters (men and women) with a common behaviour facing life that has turned into a somewhat inner philosophy, a way of life: we could say that to be a “Teresina” it is to have a peculiar concept of life, a particular lifestyle.
Teresina S.A. portrays some situations that are rapidly identified by everybody, very familiar, provoked by a universe of Teresines, no matter the sex, the age, marital status, or social condition. Teresina S.A., is then a sincere homage to all mothers, aunties, uncles, neighbours, friends, shop assistants, boys and girls that are latent “Teresines”.
The leading Teresines of the serial are three single sisters from Gràcia (a neighbourhood in Barcelona). Their parents made the promise that was if “providence” wanted to give them children, that they would call the girl Teresa, after the mother and if it were a boy, Tomàs, after the father. But “providence” gave them three girls, and the three were christened as Teresa (Teresina, Maria Teresa and Tere) and later on a boy was born, and was to be called Thomàs.
The parents were tailors and worked in the household. All the family worked together and gave some extra work to some neighbours. After a while, the “prêt-a-porter” broke the tailor made clothing down; and when the parents died, the girls decided to change the direction of the homemade company.
Instead of sewing they will undertake any kind of trading, they could do anything, from making teddy bears to wrapping up envelopes, gluing buttons, paper-made flowers… But in any case, they ought to keep to the family tradition: the three of them working together at home and giving the extra work to the neighbours. “Teresina, S.A.” is then the name of their company, established at home and of undeclared capital. Tomàs, the youngest brother, (who is also single) is the only one who works elsewhere, because he is responsible for collecting the payments from the clientele.
All the neighbours in this building block have worked at some stage with the Teresines in their place. Pepe and Rafa (a homosexual couple living in the fourth floor), Eugenio the hairdresser, Angelina (married to a guard and living quite to all appearances), Rosita (a mature spinster who finds no problem toying with men), Paca (a Valencian widow who is very spirited and hyperactive) or Montserrat (lifelong friend of the Teresines who married behind schedule), etc…
One chapter of the serial for each month of the year, starting and finishing in August, and each chapter is named after the main event of the current month, always related to the kind of order they take up.
Chapter 1: Major festivity
Story line: It is the introduction chapter. It is august; the last day of gràcia’s festivities and the whole neighbourhood is getting ready for the final theatre show. Teresines’ flat is chosen to do the rehearsing. From this chaos we are going to meet all characters that, for some reason, are related to the teresines’ world.
Chapter 2: Halloween
Story line: Beginning of autumn. Inside the teresines’ flat there is a good bunch of neighbours working frenetically in order to finish as quick as they can the order they took on for the all saints festivities. This task they’re doing will generate all kinds of comments about such a date. At the same time, all neighbours are quite worried because there is a stench of gas coming from the stairway and this creates a psychosis of an explosion.
Chapter 3: Fool’s day
Story line: Mid november. A very special order. They have to work on a material that is common on fool’s day. At the same time, there is a meeting of all neighbours into the teresines’ flat, to gather in some kind of neighbour’s assembly. They have to choose a new president this time. This provokes many amusing reactions.
Chapter 4: Christmas
Story line: It is december and as always, teresines receive many orders on such special dates. The orders pile up but they have keep working to do them all. The main discussion, obviously, goes around christmas time. Simultaneously, they have a new neighbour in the building. All women want to know about him. The teresines, very welcoming, take him in.
Chapter 5: Carnival
Story line: It is january, and in the teresina’s place, there is so much sewing going on, as they are making some fancy dresses for the big shopping centres. They love carnival, and have decided to make some fancy dresses for the whole vicinity. But in the block a big event is about to take place: a wedding. Angelina’s and sebastian’s daughter is getting married.
Chapter 6: Easter
Story line: It is february, and it’s very cold. Few days before easter. The teresines receive a very special order: they have to embroider a shroud for the virgin mary statue from an easter fraternity from some andalusians living in catalonia who are longing for their traditions. The virgin mary has to try out the shroud. So they bring her in the flat. There starts a funny chronicle around the lady who is virgin mary’s custodian.
Chapter 7: Palm sunday
Story line: It is march. The teresines are making the palms for palm sunday. Pepe and rafa, the homosexual couple living in the fourth floor, ask the teresines a very special favour. They love doing favours, but this time they really don’t know what to do. They finally acceded.
Chapter 8: The “fallas”
Story line: It is still march. Few days left for st. Joseph’s festivities. In the block were they live there is a stench of gunpowder. They are getting ready with an order of chinese pyrotechnic rockets. Paca, the valencian neighbour from upstairs, is the president of the house of “falleros de gracia”, and with her peculiar way of doing things, she gets ready for the “plantá” (fixing) of a “falla” (valencian cardboard-made models to burn as a bonfire) in the middle of plaça del sol.
Chapter 9: St. George
Story line: The night before st. George. The teresines are packing red roses in plastic boxes. Some supermarket is going to be giving them out to customers the morning after. One of the sisters, la maria teresa, reads an advertisement from the paper where it says that, using a computer system, they can tell you who is your ideal companion. In addition, they find it. Finally it is rosita the lucky woman who gets hold of the companion.
Chapter 10: By May, communions
Story line: It is clearly may. The teresines have to hurry to paint by hand some religious pictures that they should be finishing. Tere, the youngest sister, has the flu and they have to call for the doctor. Montserrat, an old friend of them, has gone holidaying to majorca. A letter has gone, by mistake, to teresina’s mailbox. It is an awkward letter which explains many confidential details about montserrat.
Chapter 11: San Fermín
Story line: As every year, in june, the teresines receive the order to make some red scarfs for the “sanfermines” in pamplona. It is coincidental that the older sister, teresina, is celebrating her saint’s day in st. Teresa of portugal day. All neighbours congratulate her. But in the apartment beside a brothel has begun its activity.
Chapter 12: Tourism
Story line: It is july and the heat arrives. The teresines are making the final touch of an order of spanish souvenir dolls, dancers and bullfighters, for a souvenir shop. And seeing that the neighbour shoe shop painting the place, they decide to paint the flat too. Living with the painters, the order of the “dancing-dolls” and themselves make the place to reach a point where, with such “explosive mixture”, an uproar is about to happen.
Chapter 13: Major festivity
Story line: The cycle draws to a close, it is august again. A whole year has gone by. The major festivities are close and the neighbours decide to dress up the streets. Teresines’ place is chosen as workshop where to assemble the adornments. For the major festivity’s first dance, the committee has hired a very famous artist (núria feliu). Due to some problems, they are forced to improvise some dressing rooms.
BROADCAST: From March 31st 1992
SCRIPT: La Cubana with the collaboration of Lluís Arcarazo and David Castillo
Maria José Pérez
Direction: Jordi Milán
Production: Rita Managuerra and Eugeni Margalló
Edition: Enric Banqué
Wardrobe: Teresa Icart
Characterization: Joan Alonso / César Olivares
Hairdresser: Enric Zaragoza
Stage Design: Castells Planas