Sustaining the sky | Cibele Forjaz
Since I can think I have always wanted to do theatre…
As a child I wanted to ‘play theatre’ like anybody who wants to be an astronaut to land on the moon and, who knows, instead of putting there a Brazilian, American or Soviet flag dance for everybody on earth to see it in a full moon night. ‘Playing theatre’ was like being a traveler and being able to go around the world to know all the peoples there are or will be there, all of them very different from each other. The world is diverse and we are obliged to choose to be some ONE, a person with an identity and coherence. I wanted to ‘do theatre’ in order to be everything I wanted to be. It was a way of also being a historian, a dancer, an anthropologist, an educator, a scientist or a hippie, even if out of time, howl at the moon and be the dream of a mandarin or the very mandarin himself who dreams of other possible worlds. In short, it was a way of building a life full of transformations. There are many ways of theatre in a single Theatre.
WHY THEATRE? BECAUSE THEATRE IS IMAGINATION, GAME AND PLAY.
Later, in college, came the passion for light … For the editorial function of the light-design which articulates time and space: the point of view, the dramaturgy of seeing, the writing of a scene, the weaving of languages … I dedicated myself to the techne of theatre. I became a lighting designer and director. I learned ways and means of telling stories. Theatre is also a craft. There are many ways of theatre in a single Theatre.
WHY THEATRE? BECAUSE THEATRE IS A CRAFT TO BE LEARNED, ONE LANGUAGE AND MANY IDIOMS.
A few years later, in 1990, I saw Zé Celso on stage for the first time. The director of As Boas, (The Maids) by Jean Genet spoke directly to the audience, he actually did not speak, but screamed, presenting the ‘Society of the Spectacle’, tearing down the mask of cordiality to rub the violence of the Brazilian inequality in the faces of the audience… a multi-ethnic, multi-lingual country which only recognises itself through a neo-liberal representation of a court of an enslaving class in their luxury penthouses in Rio de Janeiro.
There, in the Teat(r)o Oficina, I received a punch in my stomach and I understood the transforming power of theatre to pierce the armour not only of the actors but also of the audience. Theatre makes the contradictions of our times visible, provoking critical reflection and revealing deep scars of a civilisation built on the foundations of class, sex or race violence. Theatre is a Molotov cocktail for the polis. As Hamlet says to his actors, the play‘s the thing wherein I’ll catch the conscience of the king. There are many forms of theatre in a single Theatre.