CaltechLive! Presents Herbert Siguenza’s “A Weekend with Picasso”

Herbert Siguenza’s A Weekend with Pablo Picasso, Directed by Tim Powell and Todd Salovey. A feature film produced by San Diego REP. March 6–21, 2021 on-demand

PHOTO: Daren Scott | News | Herbert Siguenza in A Weekend with Pablo Picasso

CaltechLive! presents the film adaptation of Herbert Siguenza’s solo show A Weekend with Pablo Picasso for on-demand viewing beginning March 6 through March 21. Written and performed by Siguenza, the one-man show on which this film is based has played to sold-out crowds across the nation. It was produced by San Diego Repertory Theatre.

On opening weekend, CaltechLive! hosts two free live talk-backs with Siguenza on Saturday, March 6, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, March 7, at 4 p.m., PST.

“Even though many audiences have a long history with Siguenza from his work with the satirical Latinx performance group Culture Clash, A Weekend with Pablo Picasso will be a revelation,” says Michael Alexander, director of public programming at Caltech. “Siguenza’s fine acting and painting skills are on full display as he masterfully captures both Picasso’s free-spirit character and painting style right before our eyes.”

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Picasso was the first rock star artist — a ferocious pacifist, obsessive art maker, flamboyantly opinionated philosopher, and self-proclaimed clown — who relished expounding his passionate views about love, death, war, beauty, eternity, and creativity. Siguenza creates a joyful and mesmerizing portrait of the maestro as he dances, sculpts, shares secrets, clowns, draws, and impersonates a matador while he embodies the father of modern art.

With amazing skill, Siguenza draws and paints in real time during his performance as he takes the audience back to 1957 to spend three days with the genius inside his private studio on the southern coast of France for an unforgettable weekend. Siguenza stitched together his masterful script from Picasso’s own writings.

“Anyone expecting a politely informative docudrama from Herbert Siguenza’s one-man show A Weekend With Pablo Picasso is in for a shock — in the best possible way,” wrote Los Angeles Times’ theater critic Philip Brandes during its original run. “Siguenza turns in an assured, charismatic and well-researched performance as the complicated Spanish expatriate who became the most influential artist of the 20th century. Siguenza’s secret weapon, however, is his talent as a painter in his own right. A lifelong admiration for Picasso led him to create the show, and his ability to paint credibly in his hero’s style makes for a visual tour de force as the artworks come to life.”

In 2010, Herbert Siguenza wrote this original play and starred as Pablo Picasso. San Diego REP hosted a three-week workshop that quickly became a sensation, playing at sold-out houses across the nation. The film adaptation was directed by Tim Powell and San Diego REP associate artistic director Todd Salovey.

A Weekend with Pablo Picasso available for on-demand streaming from March 6–21, 2021. Running time: 85 minutes. Tickets are $35 per household connection. More details about the film streams by day and time, are available at


Siguenza was born in San Francisco, California, in 1959. Of Salvadoran descent, he spent a portion of his life living in El Salvador with his family before returning to California as a teenager due to civil unrest taking place in the country at the time.

He was originally trained as an artist and print maker, attending California College of Arts and Crafts after returning from El Salvador. He served for 10 years as the art director at La Raza Silkscreen Center  La Raza Graphics in San Francisco. From there, he moved into performing arts and became involved with Teatro Gusto, performing in places like the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts.

Siguenza began his acting career in 1984 when he co-founded Culture Clash with Ric Salinas, Richard Montoya, José Antonio Burciaga, Marga Gómez, and Monica Palacios. Together, the group toured the country performing Chicano theater with social commentary through the use of satire. Siguenza, Salinas, and Montoya still perform together today.

In addition to A Weekend with Pablo Picasso, Siguenza wrote and performed ¡Cantinflas! about the Mexican comic, co-commissioned by the Alley Theatre in Houston and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco.

Other work includes Steal Heaven and El Henry (winner Best New Play San Diego Critics Circle), an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Henry IV presented at the La Jolla Playhouse in June 2014, and Manifest Destinitis, which premiered at the San Diego REP during its 2016–2017 season. In 2016, Siguenza began a three-year playwright residency at the San Diego REP as a part of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s National Playwright Residency Program, administered by HowlRound.

Siguenza served as a cultural consultant to Disney/Pixar’s hit animated film Coco, ensuring an accurate depiction of the Mexican culture that it explores. He is also voiced the great-great-granduncles, Tío Felipe and Tío Oscar.

He is currently working on writing Birthday, a dark musical centered around deceased people coming back to life for 24 hours on their birthdays. This show is a departure from his previous work in its macabre content matter.