Forte Casa Teatro, a group of actors from São Paulo, in southeastern Brazil, was invited by the organizers of the Cairo International Festival for Experimental theater (CIFET) to participate in the next edition of the event, which should be held from October 10th to 21st in the Egyptian capital.
The invitation is for staging the play "Alembrar" (To Remember), written and performed by the group, which debuted last year and ran until early 2008 at theater Denoy de Oliveira, in the central region of São Paulo.
"For this particular play, we did much research on Brazilian popular culture. It speaks of memories, tradition and roots," said the director Rebeca Braia.
In the play, actors tell the story of a fictitious city, "Vila Longe" (Faraway Village), in which inhabitants are losing the memory of their beliefs and habits when they are confronted with a natural catastrophe: a nearby river invades the village.
According to the synopsis for the play, an ancient legend stated that the river was made of tears from a lady for her deceased boyfriend, who had turned into a fish. According to the story, on the day the people lost respect for the waters, they would invade the city.
Without the memory of their traditions, the population proceeds with their daily lives, hoping that the catastrophe will not occur, or that help will come from outside.
Despite containing elements of Brazilian popular culture, the text is based upon novel "O outro pé da sereia" (The other foot of the mermaid), by Mozambican writer Mia Couto.
"At the festival, most groups will be Arab, and theirs is a very strong culture as well. This contact will be very enriching to us," stated Braia. "We will be able to assert our identity, and at the same time open up a window to other peoples," she claimed.
For that to become a reality, however, the group needs support. According to Braia, the event's organizers are going to pay for lodging and transportation costs in Egypt, but the group is seeking sponsorship in order to purchase the air tickets.
Besides the director, the four actors and actresses that stage the play and two technicians should travel too. The play, according to the director, features lots of music. In addition to the sound effects, the actors sing and play onstage. "It is not just a musical, but singing is one of the elements included," she asserted.
The group, which counts on 10 members, was formed, according to Braia, in 2002. Some of the members met while undertaking the Performing Arts course at the School of Communication and Arts of the University of São Paulo (USP) and had already performed abroad in Santiago de Compostela, Spain. Ever since, the group staged six different plays, and is now preparing the seventh.
It was the group itself that sought the festival's organizers, and forwarded promotional material for the play. The answer with the invitation arrived approximately three weeks ago. According to Braia, the event will feature artists from 20 different countries. The festival is held annually since 1989. This year's will be the 20th edition.
Forte Casa Teatro
Denoy de Oliveira theater
Telephone: (+55 11) 3289-7475
í‰rika Coracine (actress and producer)
Cellular: (+55 11) 8119-1123
Anba – www.anba.com.br