Interview with Beth Lopes, conducted by Marcos Steuernagel, Special Collections Fellow at the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics. This interview is a part of a series curated by the Hemispheric Institute, articulated around the question 'What is Performance Studies?' The series aims to provide a multifaceted approach to the often difficult task of defining the coordinates of both a field of academic study as well as a lens through which to assess and document cultural practice and embodied behavior. The contingent definitions documented in this series are based on the groundbreaking experiences and the scholarly endeavors of renowned figures in contemporary performance studies and practice.
Beth Lopes is artistic director, researcher and professor at the graduate and postgraduate studies in Performing Arts, University of São Paulo. She has developed research and texts related to the creative process of the actor, drama and spectacle, on the following issues: incorporation, action, physical presence, memory, subjectivity and the grotesque. She completed two post-doctoral degrees: the first in Brazil, was on the presence of memory in contemporary spectacle; the second one was focused on the forms of performance art today, supervised by Richard Schechner at the Department of Performance Studies, NYU. She is founder and artistic director of Theatre Company in comics (1989) and more recently, part of Performa (2009). Her artistic proposal is recognized by the visceral work of the actors, the drama and the visual power of the presentations.