Season was brought forward, starting on August 6
The São João Theater Centenary celebrations continue until March 2021, with an intense program that includes a “compliment” to the artistic directors who visited the Casa and who contributed to the creation and development of the theatrical fabric of Porto and the country.
They are Nuno Cardoso, who took office at the beginning of 2019; Nuno Carinhas, who served as artistic director between 2009 and 2018; and Ricardo Pais, the “ideologist” of the first National Theater created in the North and after April 25, responsible for the direction of the Teatro Nacional São João (TNSJ) for 12 years.
From August 2020 to March 2021, the program includes 15 premieres, three own productions, four international productions and more than two dozen co-productions, in addition to reinforcing the Educational Center's proposals.
After suspending the program foreseen for the spaces managed by TNSJ - which also includes the Carlos Alberto Theater (TeCA) and the São Bento da Vitória Monastery - between March and July, the institution guaranteed the rescheduling of all co-productions for this new season of 2020/2021 and also the hosting of new national and international shows.
The Centenário do São João has the support of BPI and the “la Caixa” Foundation, the first patronage agreement established in eight years and which involves an investment of 100 thousand euros in 2020 and provides for the possibility of renewal until 2022.
Application of a strict contingency plan
The TNSJ bet on a strict contingency plan that guarantees the safety of the public, artists and collaborators.
The main measures include the rigorous disinfection of rooms and common spaces, through nebulization techniques using a disinfectant solution certified for this purpose; the reduction of the capacity of the rooms: 200 people at TNSJ and 100 people at TeCA, applying the principle of two places between spectators (or groups of cohabiting spectators), and signage created for the purpose that allows maintaining social distance . Before the start of the rehearsal period, the casts of actors and interpreters will be tested at covid-19, while the TNSJ team has already undergone serological tests.
The control of the rooms will be done strictly, with the support of the room assistants.
São João also offers disinfectant gel in several points of its buildings and guarantees the systematic disinfection of sanitary facilities. It is mandatory, both for the public and for the whole team, the use of personal protective equipment.
Kicking off the season with the Teatro da Palmilha Dentada
The start-up takes place next month, on August 6, with the debut of The Bourgeois Fidalgo, from Molière, a co-production of the Porto company Teatro da Palminha Dentada and TNSJ that will be on the scene at TeCA until 23 August.
Then follows São João's own production, Castro, by António Ferreira, staged by Nuno Cardoso, which premiered at Teatro Aveirense, when the Centenary started, reinforcing the Casa's decentralization policy. The first “exercise” of the almost resident TNSJ company takes the stage of São João between August 20 and September 12.
Castro then, it continues a long season out of doors, with performances at Convento São Francisco (Coimbra), on October 15th, and at Theatro Circo (Braga), on October 23rd. At the beginning of next year, the show can be seen at the Centro Cultural de Belém (Lisbon), between the 21st and 22nd of January, after which it embarks on international “flights”, performing, between the 5th and 6th of February, at the Théâtre National du Luxembourg.
António Ferreira, Jean Genet and Samuel Beckett in their own productions
After presenting himself as artistic director of TNSJ with one of the matrix texts of theatrical modernity - The Death of Danton, by Georg Büchner - and, shortly after revisiting a canon of classical Portuguese dramaturgy in Castro, director Nuno Cardoso stages one of Jean Genet's most ambiguous and terrible works: The counter, mix of erotic comedy, metaphysical drama and funeral farce, to be presented between 4 and 21 November, at TNSJ.
On March 7, 2021 - one year after the commencement of the São João Theater Centenary celebrations -, the TNSJ debuts, Waiting for Godot, by Samuel Beckett, who will remain on the scene until March 27, World Theater Day.
Casa's own production is staged by Gábor Tompa, president of the Union of Theaters of Europe (UTE), an institution that brings together some of the most important European theaters and of which the TNSJ is the only national representative.
Porto companies make their debut at the city's National Theater
In addition to The Bourgeois Fidalgo, the spaces managed by Teatro São João also host the “rescheduled” premieres of the shows of some of the most emblematic companies of the city Invicta.
In an ASSÉDIO and TNSJ co-production, the director Nuno carinhas returns to, together with João Cardoso, debut Backstage Comedy. Starting from the most represented Anglophone author in the world, Alan Ayckbourn, and recovering the translation by Paulo Eduardo Carvalho, from 1997, the show now gains a second life in Porto.
Over the next eight months of programming, it will be possible to understand, under a new perspective, the work Antigone, by Sófocles, with the Teatro Experimental do Porto or “travel” to Florence in the XNUMXth century to reflect on the fragility of the human condition in the face of power and its capacity for concealment, with Lorenzaccio, from the Bolhão Theater; celebrate the two decades of existence of the company Circolando, with 20.20; explore the Portuguese Sign Language as a primary communication vehicle, with Language, of the Structure; watch the end of it, with the English Family the Flying Suitcase; or be transported to a large recording studio, with The Three Sisters, from Ensemble - Sociedade de Actores.
The return of The Look of Ulysses and the celebration of union across borders
Thanks to the international program The Look of Ulysses - initiative promoted by TNSJ and supported by the NORTE 2020 operation - it will be possible to watch the creations of essential names of European theater. Bajazet, considering the Theater and the Pest, by Frank Castorf, historical director of the Volksbühne theater in Berlin, proposes a theater of the word from the texts of Jean Racine and Antonin Artaud.
The national debut takes place at São João, on December 17th and 18th. Between January 8 and 9, the TNSJ welcomes I wanted to see you, a biographical story of a father, based on a son’s turbulent childhood memories. The show features interpretation and staging by Stanislas Nordey, director of the Théâtre National de Strasbourg.
As part of the already historic Porto International Puppet Festival (FIMP), TeCA receives KAMP, a creation by Herman Helle, Pauline Kalker, Arlène Hoornweg, which has remained in repertoire for 15 years. The show of the company Modern Hotel, which proposes a trip through the daily life of the concentration camp in Auschwitz-Birkenau, can be seen on the 9th and 10th of October.
As a result of the cooperation agreement signed between the Ministry of Culture and Creative Industries of Cape Verde, the Ministry of Culture of Portugal and the TNSJ, KastroKriola, by Caplan Neves, staged by Nuno Cardoso, is presented between March 7 and 9, at Salão Nobre.
The project culminates an artistic residency of Cape Verdean artists and technicians at TNSJ, working closely with Nuno Cardoso and the São João team.
Chekhov Marathon with Tónan Quito and Ricardo Pais return
With more than 20 co-productions planned until March 2021, the TNSJ stage is preparing to welcome Tónan Quito's new creation, which once again “uses” Anton Tchékhov, this time adapting four of his pieces, to present Life will swallow you up.
The marathon show, which calls for the largest pieces of the Chekhovian repertoire, is divided into two parts that are alternately performed on the stages of São João (18 and 19 September) and Rivoli (17 and 19 September).
After presenting one of the most remarkable productions of TNSJ, Infinite Tourism, on the day that the Centenary celebrations kicked off, Ricardo Pais returns home with maybe… Monsanto.
This “choreography” of signs, gestures, images and sounds, which represents immense sadness and at the same time the joy of being Portuguese, results from an expedition through the historic village of Beira.
The show, which features actress Luísa Cruz and fado singer Miguel Xavier, takes the stage of São João from December 3 to 5.
Mythical dance cycle! returns in january
Since 1996, with several intermittences, the Dancem! returns next year.
Dancem! 21 brings together three shows that somehow work with an idea of landscape.
Em Lying Sounds, a children's play by Sofia Dias & Vítor Roriz, a false but natural soundscape is created by a foley, an artist for whom sounds are moldable matter.
Choreographer Né Barros pursues a recurring research around the landscape and the body as a landscape in Snow. Autopsy, by Olga Roriz, internalizes the pain caused by a human hand inscribed in six landscapes of the planet (Chernobyl or the threatened Antarctica, for example) in the initial soils of its interpreters.
One hundred years of São João to discover in December
In December, the TNSJ inaugurates an exhibition on its 100 years, which will contemplate several thematic axes - from architecture to the history of the building and its uses, including the relationship with the city and the country's history.
The closing of the exhibition, in March 2021, will coincide with the publication of a catalog, which will establish in book the work done and the visual and literary archive that was the object of treatment and exhibition, mobilizing written documents, testimonies, photographic records and found objects .
Editorial momentum does not stop: Forklift ongoing
The TNSJ also sets in motion, in this new season, the Forklift, a new collection that brings together titles of history and theatrical aesthetics, essay and biography.
The project proceeds with two titles: The Disavowal of Knowledge in Shakespeare's Seven Plays, by Stanley Cavell, American philosopher who masterfully guides us through the intricacies of a “map of skepticism” that covers the destinies of some of the most immortal characters in universal theater; and Watch the Falling Snowby Roger Grenier, a book shamelessly rendered to the pleasure infused by Chekhov's work.
Bet on the educational project
In the centenary year, the educational project of the TNSJ continues to be reinforced.
Among the various initiatives scheduled, such as shows, readings, workshops or training actions, the results of the Sub-18 and Sub-88 Theater Clubs will also be publicly presented, with Once Upon a Time, on December 11th and 13th, at São João.
The project Visits, which mobilizes students, teachers and the artistic team of TNSJ, starts in November and will have the theme "Freedom", with public sessions scheduled for April 24 and 25, at the São Bento da Vitória Monastery.
The entire TNSJ centennial program can be consulted here.