Wednesday, 15 September 2010 20:20

Deus ajuda os bão (1991)

Based on a text by Arnaldo Jabor, Deus ajuda os bão continues the adventures of Zé da Silva, the protagonist of A história do homem que lutou sem conhecer seu grande inimigo, who stands as a symbol for the Brazilian people. In this political tale, unemployed and living in the favela, he finds himself hindered from building a door to protect his shack. This problem starts out a journey in which Zé da Silva will go from door to door, climbing the ranks of Brazilian society — the speculators, the intellectuals, the government, the landowners — ending up in the USA, in search of a solution for his problem. The voyage of Zé da Silva sheds light on the mechanisms of power in a country as dependent as Brazil, in which the issue of land reform plays a central role. He returns to the favela with the consciousness that, together with all other exploited people, he has to fight for his rights. Deus ajuda os bão is designed as a farce and filled with irony, accentuating the economic and political drama in which the majority of the Brazilian population lives.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010 19:15

A saga de Canudos (2000)

Through masks and puppets, music and dance, A Saga de Canudos tells the story of the construction and destruction of the city of Canudos in one of the deadliest civil wars Brazil has ever seen. The performance recuperates the political aspects of the 19th Century movement led by Antônio Conselheiro. Plagued by hunger and oppression, thousands of sertanejos gathered around this legendary figure. The land, the herds, the tools, were all collective property, the tasks were distributed according to each one's capacity, and decisions were taken collectively in daily meetings. Their motto, however — "The land has no owner. The land belongs to all" — was considered a direct challenge to landowners, the government, and the church. Official historiography has painted Antônio Conselheiro as a fanatic, but this play presents him as a man conscious of his historical role, a man who fought against slavery and against the monopoly of the land, who challenged the church and the government, and who led the peasants in defeating the National Army several times.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010 14:22

Os Sertões: A Terra (2002)

From 2000 to 2007, Teat(r)o Oficina Uzyna Uzona worked on the staging of Euclides da Cunha's epic book, Os Sertões, which describes the 19th Century War of Canudos in the Brazilian "sertão," lead by Antônio Conselheiro. The final result was a pentalogy, formed by the plays A Terra (2002), O Homem I (2003), O Homem II (2003), A Luta I (2005), and A Luta II (2006), totalizing 27 hours of theater. Os Sertões reads the episodes of the war in light of past and present Brazilian history, and in relation to the struggle of the group against media mogul Sílvio Santos, who wanted to tear down the historic theater to build a shopping mall.

In A Terra, the first impact is the geography of the sertão. Euclides da Cunha describes each part of the sertão in the first part of his book, revealing to the reader an x-ray of the region. In the play, a carnival opera, an epic Brazilian musical, the actors are the earth, the vegetation, the wind, the animals, the rivers, the drought. It reveals the most intimate secrets of nature, that also vibrate in the human and trans-human arteries. When this work returned as a musical overture to the whole pentalogy, enriched by the experience that the subsequent works brought to the creators and to the audience, it gained an updated insight into the human interference in the environment. Destructive power is proportional to financial power, and the discussion about the way space gets occupied was brought to the forefront, including the real-estate boom that surrounds today not only Teatro Oficina, but the whole world, now hotter and more arid.

Additional Materials

iconOs Sertões: A Terra, program with script (POR) (3.57 MB)

Published in Teatro Oficina: Works