Denise Stoklos: Mary Stuart


Photo/ Foto: Marlène Ramírez Cancio

Mary Stuart

This imaginary encounter between Queen Elizabeth and her imprisoned rival, Mary Queen of Scots, is one of the signature pieces of Brazil’s most brilliant solo performer. Stoklos’s ‘essential theater’ combines mime, vaudeville, Brechtian techniques, and a medley of languages in an intensely physical style of performance that dramatizes the obstacles to human communication. Mary Stuart jumps between past to present, moving from Shakespeare to Sarajevo to Rwanda in a comment on ‘the tragedy of power in human history,’ a tragedy that ‘keeps repeating, repeating every day.’


Denise Stoklos began her career in 1968 as a playwright, director and actress in Brasil. In 1987, while visiting New York for four months on a Fullbright, she created "Denise Stoklos in Mary Stuart" for La Mama Theatre. Since then she has world premiered plays in New York each year. These include "Hamlet in Irati" and "Casa". In 1992 she created "500 years - a fax from Denise Stoklos to Christopher Columbus," in 1993, the romance "Tomorrow will be late and the day after tomorrow doesn't even exist," in 1994, her version of the Greek myth "Un-Medea," in 1995 "Elegy," (with the participation of her two children Piata and Thais), and in 1996 "Heavier than the air/Santos Dumont." In October 1997 "Civil Disobedience" based on Henry Thoreau's text premiered in Parana and Rio. In 1999 she created "Dissonant Voices" for the 500 year anniversary of the discovery of Brasil, which was perforformed in many cities. In 2000 Ms. Stoklos created and performed "Louise Bourgeois: I do, I undo, I redo" in New York city, with scenography exclusively created and built by the great sculptor Louise Bourgeois. In the first semester of the year 2000 Ms. Stoklos was a professor at New York University, invited to teach her "Essential Theatre" for Masters and Ph.D. students at the Department of Performance Studies. She has published seven books of plays. Denise Stoklos' theatrical proposition is outlined in "The Essential Theatre", a theatre made with only the actor's instruments: body, voice and mind/intuition. Ms. Stoklos performs her plays in Portuguese, Spanish, English, French, Russian, Ukrainian and German. Since 1986 Ms. Stoklos has performed frequently in important international events in thirty-one different countries.