D. Maria Theater wants to “feed” the hunger for theater in Portugal and starts Odyssey in the Azores


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The artistic director of the D. Maria II National Theater, Pedro Penim, believes it is necessary to “continue investing” in theater production in Portugal, in order to “feed” the “hunger for theater” that exists in the country.

“We noticed that the occupancy rate at the D. Maria II Theater went up after the pandemic, but we have to continue to invest, in order to feed the hunger for theater that exists in Portugal,” said the artistic director, talking to journalists today in the city of Horta, Azores, at the launch of the National Odyssey in the region, which that institution intends to take to the entire country, including the autonomous regions.

For Pedro Penim, this national tour that the D. Maria II Theater has been on since January, on the pretext of the restoration work being done on the building in Rossio, Lisbon, also shows that the theater “can reach more people,” as long as there is support from the local authorities and other cultural institutions.

“In the shows we have already held in the north and center of the country, we have already counted 19 thousand spectators. We are now in the Azores and we still intend to go to Madeira, the Alentejo and the Algarve,” explained Pedro Penim, adding that the intention is to bring the theater closer to the people, also assuming itself as a project of territorial cohesion.

Sónia Teixeira, member of the Board of Directors of Teatro D. Maria II, considers, for her part, that this National Odyssey represents a great challenge, especially in terms of logistics, and in an archipelagic region such as the Azores.

“It took a lot of planning and the support of the municipal councils and the Regional Directorate of Culture of the Azores,” stressed the administrator, noting that insularity has its costs.

At Teatro Faialense, in Horta, the show “The Misanthrope” by Moliére will be presented this weekend, in a comedy adaptation by Hugo Van Der Ding and Martim Sousa Tavares, with staging by Mónica Garnel.

This will be followed by performances in Angra do Heroísmo (Terceira island), on July 15, and in Ribeira Grande (São Miguel island), on July 22.

Parallel to this theater show, Plato’s Discos will also develop, in the same locations, a project of participation with the local community, called “Canta Conto Conta”, which involves a partnership with the cultural institutions of each municipality.

The D. Maria II National Theater will also present an exhibition in Ribeira Grande, between July 8 and 29, called “Who are you?”, curated by Tiago Bartolomeu Costa, which brings together documentary materials (costumes and costumes, photographs, sound and audiovisual records) on the social and political history of the country, from the dictatorship to the present day, based on the theater’s archive and repertoire.

In Ponta Delgada, the show “Casa Portuguesa”, by Pedro Penim, will be presented, in addition to several training courses for cultural professionals, integrated in the “Nexos” training program.

The Azores are the third region of the country where Teatro D. Maria II’s National Odyssey passes through, after the first six months of the year in the North and Center of the country, in a tour that has already involved 54 municipalities and thousands of participants and spectators.

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