Stadium Theatre Program and Administration – dedicated to Oswald de Andrade on his 50th anniversary of eternity; dedicated to the author of the article “ON GOOD THEATRE”, PUBLISHED DURING THE Second World War in the book “L A N C E H E A D”, in an edition organized by Oswald himself, where he re-arranged articles and conferences of the period from 1943 to 1944. “If tomorrow the production means shall be unified – what seems possible – it won’t be difficult anymore to re-educate the world by the screen and by the radio, by the Shock Theatre, by the Stadium Theatre. So I object to these boys who cultivate the Chamber Theatre instead of a theatre that is healthy, popular, social, or simply modernist, a theatre that has at least one advantage: it may change things. More than grandiose, more than collective, more than near to the genuine origins of theatre – a people’s feast and a big catharsis…” “All the equipment of the machine era, so as Stravinskis populism, Poulenc’s locomotives, Shostakovitchs machine-guns in the music, Fernand Léger’s monumental architecture and Meyerholds productions do propose Stadiums for our times, turning tomorrows theatre into reality, a theatre as it has been in Ancient Greece, a theatre for the peoples will and for the peoples emotion.”
From the play of 1937, “T H E D E A D”:
THE POET – “I’ll live in the Ágora. I’ll live in the Social! Released! The day will come when my closed abscess will open itself on the main square! I’ll expose myself to large masses…” (Oswald de Andrade)
“THE MAN AND THE HORSE”, 1934
This play by the Poet of Anthropophagy is the materialization, devouring, updating, and total surmounting of Maiakovski’s, Meyerhold’s and Eisenstein’s Constructivist Theatre dramaturgy at the beginning of the Russian Revolution, blended with the Great Rituals that shape the Brazilian Mixed Races culture. The great success of its reading enacted by 150 artists at the Teatro Sérgio Cardoso in 1985 inspired the Teatro Oficina Uzyna Uzona to take up the fight for a Stadium Theatre of our times. It will be part of the Stadium Theatre repertoire of the Oficina, after its inauguration with the play in five parts on Euclides da Cunha “Os Sertões” that was born in the track of Oficina’s barracks. Euclides da Cunha’s epic will be staged at international theatre festivals, if possible in Stadium Theatre form. It will be recorded on DVD at the Shanty Town Hill, at the Cemetery of the Drowned Cathedrals of Canudos, at the natural topography of the “formidable AMPHITHEATRE” (*) in the saying of Euclides da Cunha, in the grandstands of the circle of knocked down mountains that surround, embrace and protect the arrayal area, the natural grandstands where the Army’s officers contemplated the spectacle of the Canudos Massacre.
(*) area excavated by erosion, in a more or less circular shape, at the slope of a mountainous elevation.
The Program, the administration concept of a Stadium Theatre surrounded by an Oficina Uzyna de Florestas park, originates in the same way as the Oficina Theatre Nr. 4 and all the preceding Oficina Theatre buildings, inspired by a specific dramaturgy, that is: by the plays of Oswald de Andrade, especially “The Man and the Horse”; by Euclides da Cunha’s “Os Sertões”; and most importantly, by the millionfold contribution of all great moments in which the theatre in its trans-humanity has existed as Public and Popular Art, as Carnival, as Socker, as Maracatú Pop, as Bass-Drum-Drome, as Electronic Reggae-Drome, as Rock RevoluSound etc., that has been practised in the present passed future of this art in Brazil, in the World and ar the Oficina Theatre. Above all, the concept of a Stadium Theatre in the city of São Paulo is connected to the reinvention of an Art. Its Urbane Architectonic Program and its Administration must be that of the completion of a Piece of Art, as is the present Teatro Oficina of Lina Bardi and Edson Elito. It has to follow the expression and the artistic needs of the production forces, as well as the will to power that the theatre in São Paulo was able to develop, despite the repression by the military dictatorship that has prepared the field for its rejection by the present dictatorship of finance and clientelism. Thanks to the machine power of human desire, the Oficina Theatre is living, is surviving, is trans-living over 43 years, proving that in the city and in the world exists the collective desire of reinvention of an universal, democratic, anarchic civilization of universal Brazilian mixed culture, as was the Hellenic culture, which was not a Greek national culture but a mixed culture of the peoples from Asia, Africa, Middle East and Europe. The anarchy, the creative energy, the madness that exist in literature, in the music, in the movies, in the plastic arts, in the orgiastic popular arts, in religions, in the ways of surviving and creating life, this all exist in the Brazilian Theatre as well. Its Original Scene is the devouring of the Bispo Sardinha by the Caetes Indians, corresponding to the devouring of the simplistic, dualist puritan culture of good and bad, and the fatal machine of the excluding capitalism that is hegemonic on the planet and comes from the Northern Hemisphere. The Stadium Theatre, the Sambodromos, the Terreiros, the soccer pitches, all these are manifestations of a culture that is eating the hegemonic culture through its erotic and aesthetic attraction, in daily life as well as in politics in a broader sense. They manifest the resumption of Human, Trans-Human Power, in face of the castrating structures of the Machination Power. The Stadium Theatre – although still being a bet on worthy ballast, also on the economic and mercantile value of the theatre, is a bet on the Trans-Humane Power of an Art outside the patterns, classifications, mercantile and speculative language. It may even be a revitalization of the Market culture itself, coming closer to the power of invention and creation of the human that plays, that bets on life as it is, without religious, politic, monetarist or tax Messianism. Let us now turn to the Desire for the Program and the Administration.
PROGRAM & ADMINISTRATION – The urbane architecture of the Stadium Theatre, the Trans Shopping, the People’s University, the Oficina Uzyna de Florestas park, the surroundings of the Teatro Oficina and the Silvio Santos Group shall comprise all the not constructed or de-constructed or overthrown area of the block formed by the streets Abolição, Jaceguay, Santo Amaro, Japurá and Travessa do Bexiga, including the Minhocão viaduct in front of the Jaceguay street and the terrains which were left after the expropriation carried out by the city hall for the construction of the elevated roadway. There is no need to create a schizoid situation by dividing the project in two fields: one for the Shopping Centre and one for the Stadium Theatre. Paradoxically the origin of modern shopping centres were the Indies markets which so much have seduced the century of the so-called “discovery” of our land, the delicious popular Jewish-Arab markets, the Persian Markets, the Brazilian Fairs, the Big Soviet Shops at the beginning of the communist revolution that inspired the West, and Walter Benjamin’s doorways – the cross-streets all over Paris. Taking up these origins, we come to the Eternal Return. And thus, on the creation plane, the programs will copulate. What today is called Shopping Centre may become a TRANS-SHOPPING CENTRE that will take up the voluptuousness of popular fairs, such as the fair of São Cristóvão in Rio de Janeiro, the mixing “Mercados Modelos” of the Megalopolises, playing with the Proustian Chic of the restaurants of the belle époque jockeys, of the shops of bourgeoisie taste in exclusive luxury, serving as ramps for shows of fashion and celebrities in front of a multitudes that watch them before they penetrate in their nests of fashionable gossip. A democratic, fearless Low-Bixiga, where security is granted also by the Axé of the place, and a 24 hours open Santo Amaro Street becoming a meeting point for Idleness, a gossip street, a street of body to body information, the new Ouvidor Street of the 21st Century. Parking places as beautiful as the Moscow Metro, receiving the air from the street through ample ramps and air ducts. A new Logistic concept, including shop conglomerates, multimedia bookstores, restaurants offering fast and also well savoured food, centres for fitness, meditation, massage, acupuncture, beauty care, movie theatres with state-of-the-art technologies presenting diversified programs, including films from all over the world, non conventional spaces for conventions, houses in the Bixiga style and low height buildings hollowing out to the city. The same opening of the space of the Stadium Theatre to Nature, to mixing, to technology – that is the Trans-Shopping-Centre opening itself to the aesthetics of the pleasure of living and of being, disrupting the present phase of fear, segregation and agoraphobia.
SPECIFIC ARCHITECTURAL PROGRAM
1. AGORA CULTURAL SQUARE– MEMORY – PRODUCTION AND CONCENTRATION
On the streets behind the Minhocão viaduct, in front of the Oficina Theatre, in the terrains left by the Minhocão expropriation, to the left and right of the Adoniran Barbosa Street, there could be build two towers, of low height but with huge façades that will cause a visual impact on the traffic over the Minhocão as if they were Outdoors:
The MEMORY TOWER, to be located above Adoniran Barbosa street, in direction to Santo Amaro street, will keep an Electronic and Paper Archive related to the Oficina Theatre and to other Theatre Companies, especially the Teatro da Imprensa, and a partnership could be established with the archives of the Teatro da Cidade created by Maria Thereza Vargas and presently installed at the Centro Cultural de São Paulo. The archive needs to be equipped according to the possibilities given by the digital revolution regarding to the creation, working and maintenance conditions, in order to revolutionise memory in its passed, present and future values. It will obviously be open to the public present, as well as to the public on line via Internet, becoming a permanent source of production and creation of Memory and acting as vitamins to connect the archaic brain to the frontal lobes of the heads lobotomised by disinformation or by the explicitly un-forming education. Its façade could be a huge Electronic Panel with information of all what is going on in exclusive terms of the Theatre which is happening at that moment in the city, and secondly – but not less importantly – what is going on in the theatre of the world. It will be a production place of this specific field, generating products as CDs and DVDs, which will be sold above all in the Trans Shopping Centre shops. The Memory Tower will therefore also create wealth, economic value and revenue.
PRODUCTION TOWER – To be located below the Adoniran Barbosa street, in the direction of the Humaitá Street. This could be a small building, possibly of five storeys, with a bar on the ground floor, which will occupy 70% of its width, connected to the Teatro Oficina box office and possibly to the Stadium. There one will find all “pingas” and spirits of the world, all Popular-Bachhants, naturally also Coffee, Tea, Juice, Appetizers, Candies and Soft Drinks of different regions in the world. The initial inspiration came from the Poet Paulo Mendes da Rocha, who visualised at that place a mirrored bar with alcoholic drinks, such as vodka, sake, pingas, eau de vie, etc, as an counter-altar for Dionysius. A door will give access to the other storeys, to be used above all by those who work at the Oficina Theatre – but also by casts of other theatres, and who have no room for the following purposes: Production House; Rehearsal Rooms; a small hotel of three rooms for people who are performing sporadic work of short duration at the Oficina, or for employees who sometimes are forced to stay overnight because of the transport time schedules of São Paulo. On the roof, there will be a deck for meditation and psychophysic exercises.
COMMON FLOOR – The Urbane and Architectural Complex as a whole should have a distinctive flooring, as the famous flooring of the sideways at Copacabana or the floor of Sesc Pompéia, that will unify the buildings, but with variations of different plastic languages, just like a symphony, where the themes are repeated as bass voices. On the floor, tracks could be designed to guide de public, beginning for example at the Metro stations of Praça da Sé, Liberdade and Anhangabaú to indicate the place, such as in London.
THE LOWER MINHOCÃO – The big grocery market that today occupies the lower area of the Minhocão could be transferred to the lowlands behind the crossing of the Jaceguay and Abolição streets, and be incorporated to the complex as a carved and lowered cement amphitheatre where the BARRACKS for the creation of ALLEGORICAL CARS as well as DRESSING ROOMS FOR ANIMALS will be located. Now and then it could be a place for special stagings, assemblies at the Agora and actor’s concentrations, in case of productions that occupy all the surrounding area of the Block and of the Streets. On the not lowered part there will be a Botequim Bar, with tables and chairs, as well as WC’s for Men, Women and Angels.
2.THE OFICINA THEATRE will keep its present configuration, but will open itself at its WEST LATERAL, leading to the Stadium strictly speaking, located between the Jaceguay, Abolição and Japurá streets. The Glass Windows could become doors, similar to those of the theatre designed by Niemeyer for the Ibirapuera Park, with lowered outside walls. All this without hurting the Cezalpina, the tree that has its roods in the garden of the Oficina and its crown in Silvio Santos’ property: a kind of forefront of the process. Thus, in some of the productions, the Teatro Oficina will become the “skene” of the Greek theatre, forming a single space with the Stadium. THE NORTHERN WALL should be brought down, giving way to the Japurá street, so that Oficina will stop being a cul-de-sac. Since the very beginning, Lina Bo Bardi has designed this theatre as a Passage Street, a Theatre with the feet on the Road, “leading to the Catacombs: the Silvio Santos Coliseum”. The assets of the stuff created in this place could not be contained in a cul-de-sac. Symbolically, the Terrain of a Modernist Carnival Devouring Culture can not be a way without exit in the Brazilian Culture. The Oficina is a Crossroads. It can have entrances and exits – mouths and arseholes – because it cultivates a culture connected to a world without organs and could not be walled in. It’s like an urbane flow that discharges in the Japurá street and flows into the AnhangaBaú of Happiness. Similarly the high walls of the light cabinet, the upper stage, the dressing rooms, at this Northern wing, could regain its initial design, in form of walls of glass open to light and to the surrounding landscapes. In this manner, the actors may prepare themselves seeing, being seen and communicating with the city. The building will thus undress itself even more towards the exterior, gaining lightness and fluctuating in it. These walls had been shut during the process filed by the Silvio Santos Group in the year of the Fall of the Berlin Wall, and now, with the creative peace sealed between Oficina and this group, this “wall” may also fall.
INSULATION – The Oficina Theatre will be acoustically insulated by highly specialized engineering techniques and visually by a curtain, or Venetian blinds, for the case of a coincidence of different spectacles or rehearsals at the Teatro Oficina and at the Stadium Theatre.
3. STADIUM THEATRE – The idea to have the Stadium Theatre turned towards West arose from the staging of “Os Sertões”, allowing the look from the Oficina to sunset, in consecration of Lina Bo Bardis Urbane and Architectonic Manifest: a Street that runs into the Apotheosis of a Coliseum full of holes, with a grandstand full of contour curves, partly carved in the subsoil depth, possibly accompanying the natural inclination of the terrain, which is a hill that slopes down from the Paulista Avenue to the Anhangabaú valley. This grandstand, this amphitheatre is inspired by the topography of Canudos, that was marvellously described by the poet engineer Dr. Euclides da Cunha and that is still alive in inner land of the Bahia state, despite the destruction of other Amphitheatre Stadiums of Natural Stone caused by the açude dam of Cocorobó. For the elevated grandstand, we don’t want to build tall walls, such as for an Arena or a Plaza de Toros. Rather, the vision that we formed during this process of 25 years is of a theatre partially resembling Beiruts battlement walls, in the way Lina has foreseen in her first drawings of the Oficina Theatre, but going further, as did the Greek theatres, deepening into the earth, carved in the soil. “Catacombs”, “coliseums”, as would say Lina, as also did Euclides, in reference to the landscape of Canudos. A Theatre carved into the Earth, with “swinging” stair steps, designed in “impossible volutes in incorrect curves” – such as those of the Igreja Nova de Canudos, the church that was projected by Antonio Conselheiro, the major architect of the Sertão – embracing the revolutionary Oficina Theatre, the street, the passage, bursting out to the Agora. A Theatre that got free from the city of bars, gaining space in the open city of São Paulo, breaking the walls of vertical planes, with entrances on the sidewalk level, as a pit, a potter’s field, that can be open to the Capricorn tropic skies on beautiful days, if the productions’ aesthetic desires wishes so, and can be closed, or semi-closed, in the shape of a retractable “Oca”, offering the possibility to have a transparent cover that allow us to sense and experience the light, the stars, the satellites, the planes and the rains, or of being covered by Round Projection Screens in the way of a Planetarium. With the evolution of the Apollonian Sports, a Stadium of our times demands a sophistication of its construction and the possibility of radical aesthetic virtualisation of the spectacles’ composition and functional programming of the building. In short, an intelligent building, that asks for that what Gropius began to imagine for his Total Theatre but was impeded by Nazism: a concept that integrates cinema into Theatre, bringing in the presence of the planet and the Globe through images. Maybe Gropius didn’t imagine a retractable roof for his Theatre, but he did imagine it circulating like the Globe – a splendid idea, which in the 30s determined a modern resumption of the architecture of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, esoterically built like a micro-cosmos. Piscator, who created the project together with Gropius, saw the world in its historical dimension, as shown in the atlas, with its division into countries and its geophysics. He didn’t yet see a theatre connected to sideral space. In the third millennium, this vision resumes Shakespeare: besides the historical-political space of the Globe, exists the Cosmic, Ecological space, the space of Infinite Layers of the Stratosphere. These spaces are very inspiring, both to the actors and audiences. In the hic et nunc, the actors connect themselves to the materiality of the glow of a star, emitting signs that appear at that very instant, of a full moon or of an eclipse, of the sun at midday or of sunset, or sunrise, as already happens today at the Oficina Theatre. Projections on spheric screens of this Oca-Dome is something that adds to the pursuit of contemporary Theatre to get connected, such as was the case with electric light in the passed century. Cyber universe exists in theatrical spectacle; so does the possibility of blending the virtual to the actual, to the bodies of the audience and the actors, dancers, clowns, musicians, DJ’s, etc. One major inspiration for the Stadium Theatre is the Circus, including its aerial life of trapezes, ropes, wires, funambulists… The four elements of Nature must be taken into account, that means, the possibility of full use of Fire, Water, Earth and Air in the underground space, on the soil and at the heights. Heaven-Earth-Hell. Ditches are of utmost importance. The free circulation all around makes sure that the strong part is not only in the central area of the arena, but all over the space, allowing Theatre to happen in all places, in fertile promiscuity with the public. The grandstands will often be the central focus of the theatrical action; so will the aerial space and the galleries of crossroads which shall open themselves to all corners of the adjoining streets in wide ramps, through which the daylight beam will flow in, at diurnal shows, and through which the breeze of the street will invade and refresh the place at night. We are talking about a tropical Stadium, open thus to the exterior, even in its depths. The ventilation of its entrances, window-doors and Coliseum holes that open out to the street will prevent it from becoming a hermetically closed black box. This is maybe the biggest contribution of Lina to the theatre architecture in the world. Her first drawings displayed holes – which she called Beirut – that allowed natural light and light of lamp posts to pour inside as LIGHTS OF GLORY, lights of Cathedrals, completely breaking up the dark country, with no light of its own, the country of the individual of Oswald’s “The Dead Woman”: “THE OTHER WOMAN – Practically this building has only closed casings! We live in a city with no direct light: the Theatre.” The Dead Woman, O.A. This play – about the Poet who is confined in the country of the Individual, of Grammar and Amnesia; who lives suffocated in the Black Box, in the Ivory Tower; who wishes to break out and come to the Agora – is another dramaturgic document on which is founded this New Theatre Pierced by the City and by Light, of which the Oficina was the beginner. Thanks to this place we were able to achieve ten years of very successful performances, where all the universal theatre could be seen again, through the interference of the City, through its First Nature, and through its Second Nature: the virtual one. Thus, the Theatre must be equipped with a contemporary “Magic Lantern”, a Svoboda without a Black Box. In Greece there were the so-called Bucoliuns – huge amphitheatres, where a sort of reality show took place, presenting a mixture of intimate, public and private occurrences, as an offering to the city. Today’s digital revolution tends to develop more and more the picking up technologies that amplify human capacities. Screens of high intensity and quality; the possibility of filming the performance in the dark, with eyes for things we don’t see; projections visible at intense sunlight; super-sensible microphones for sound set actions, that play with the energetic and climatic ambivalences created by the audience-actor relation experienced in sounding roller coasters – in big volumes, whispering, picking up silences of most diverse atmospheres, which are unpredictable when technology gets in contact with the always unpredictable life energy created by direct performances and by the fickle explicit presence of the universe. In the same way as Nature, the Theatre must be both Barbarian and Technical, by means of the second one, that is, the Cyber Nature. It has to be prepared to live recordings of performances, live sound recordings that will generate future CD’s as well as TV transmissions – hopefully by the SBT channel, and by the Internet and other sorts of Media, which will act as accomplices of the direct communication whilst becoming radical in the physical presence, in a same breathing together with the participating and acting audiences.
4. POPULAR UNIVERSITY OF BRAZILIAN ARTS AND CULTURES OF ORGIASTIC MIXED RACES – A Theatre that transforms itself while it discovers itself demands constant learning, and the creation of another theatre mentality, a mentality released from the hostage condition of what is classified as bourgeois or even petit bourgeois taste, or popular taste, in short, of any classification of classes and theatre genre. Theatre must be of interest to everybody, regardless of their social, ethnic, age, and religious masks… Native Indians, unemployed and employed people, children, elderly, adults, cultivated, uncultivated, pops, corny people, etc… The Theatre is precisely the place for the man-to-man encounter of humanity, paradoxically denuded of costumes in a Society of Spectacles, connected by the Eros of the “in me” in the multitude, by the excitement of being together, beyond the obstacles of the big theatre of social differences. The desire of being together is the aim of a collective desire which has its remote origins in the Orgy, in the Greek Eleusinian Mysteries. During the work developed together with the children of the Bixiga district, a project called “BIXIGÃO” – named after Oficina’s first written co-production proposal to the Silvio Santos Group – most of the involved 60 theatre performers learned to teach children and to learn from them, by expanding the conscience of the unconscious, compelled as they were to a theoretical and didactic reflection about what was being invented and what was being recovered. The performance of “Os Sertões” led to the study of the complex thoughts in Euclides da Cunhas work. The engineer and poet, mixed science with poetry and left a work which in itself is a University. That who reads “Os Sertões” several times will pierce the book from the beginning to the last page, and will be formed by contradictory and paradoxical thoughts of mixed languages, ranging from the ancient Iberian to Brazilian, from the language of the Sertanejos, of native Indians, of Africans, to the language of Geology, of martial arts, Anthropology, Sociology, History, Engineering, Botanics, military strategy, both the classical Western ones as that of the Eastern guerrilla, which was devoured by the military strategy of the Sertanejos. The positivist, illuminist colonial apparatus of the cultures of Europe and North America had previously dominated the author’s colonized brain. Suddenly, shaken by the crisis that followed after the contact with unknown geographic and human landscapes, the violence of war, the beheading by the Brazilian Army, his brain became wracked and he began to pass through the painful process of disenchantment with the Western culture, just like Joseph Conrad. At the same time, he began to perceive things in a non-colonized way, and he revisited the world with his own eyes, soul and eros, in all its complexity. A new mind was being developed. He began to see another kind of Brazil, the country that is a stranger to itself. Euclides was accompanying the Fourth Expedition to Canudos as a reporter of the Estado de São Paulo newspaper, and to him it seemed he was reaching Mars. He arrived in the backlands of Bahia, which had already been subverted by the followers of Antonio Conselheiro, the Counselor. One of the most sophisticated, global, cultivated head of Brazil suddenly exploded in the contact with the Country of Inner-Land and its powerful culture, a culture that was able to re-emerge after three expeditions of the Brazilian Army. This book is one of the most edited and translated Brazilian book – and maybe the least read – but in any case it is the first major interpretation of Brazil, or better, of both Brazilian countries. It inspired Guimarães Rosa’s novel “Grande Sertão Veredas” and the illuminating interpretations by Sergio Buarque de Holanda, Oswald de Andrade, Nelson Rodrigues, Darcy Ribeiro, Glauber Rocha. It was Lina Bardi’s dream that we should perform this work together. Those who traverse this book collectively, as we are doing since the year 2000, acquire the knowledge of a university, above all about the contemporary Brazil, where people have voted on behalf of big changes, and Oficina has opened itself completely to social inclusion, not out of an ethical duty, but out of an aesthetic wish and aesthetic necessity. People capable to survive under such conditions as the Brazilians do have big knowledge and want to get hold of all instruments of universal culture without having to submit to its canons. A new Theatre must defend new ideas; it should not be a theatre that aims to be a mirror of society, but an agent who creates a different civilization together with the present society. It has to study and at the same time be a source of multiple studies. The old theatre schools taught a theatre of “styles” and believed only in the Northern Hemisphere theatre. We were taught that the Brazilian theatre began with Anchieta catechizing Brazilian Indians. True is the opposite. The Indians devoured the priests and created a new culture. The theatre of Indians and Africans was already a theatre bound to life, witchcraft, hunting, fishing, harvesting. And Anchieta brought the mind shaping, “educating”, colonizing theatre which was very strong in Europe, but here it had to be devoured. Otherwise we would die as civilization. The old schools only reproduced and mimicked the body of the actor, rendering the actor cerebral, stiff and square. In the 20th century, the Russian theatre began to change the “represented”, “declaimed” theatre, establishing links with the animism of the Slovenian culture. The actor’s unconscious self was rediscovered, with the fourth wall being overthrown by energy – an energy that should seize the whole space, as did Cacilda Becker, and not remain only on the stage. Up to now, the schools stay restricted to the stage. Even worse: they seek the small TV screen. Countless theatre courses are nothing than a fraud; they give the actors a poor preparation so that they may be used as soap opera flock. Theatre schools should follow other principles. If theatre is poetics and studies, if it is an experience of the working art of human and beyond human power, then the theatre schools should not abide to coagulated and dead structures, to masked cover personages. They have to stop being a prep course and dare to perform the task of producing a civilization that gives way to all created human energy. All that is wasted through the exclusion by invented systems that negate the power of present life should become the main objective of the study of theatre. The theatre formation should have a university character in the medieval sense, not in the present mercantilist and careerist one. A University designed as a living and free nucleus which unites different kinds of knowledge, so that Theatre may become a Life University. It’s necessary to comprise all popular arts and its secrets, its religions, its gestures, its sambas, its maracatus, its swayings, its magic, its fights – all what gives way in the body to energies able to produce a theatre with much more dance, rhythm, music, a theatre that interacts much more with the environmental energy and is capable to transmute multitudes. It is important to learn how to work with the tactile technology, because theatre is tactile. We live in a society activated by the tact sense, by the dactylic. The virtual culture is digital – it’s the culture of the energy that transmits the fire which emanates from the finger tips, that comes from the body – and it’s necessary to apprehend what no school than not the school of life experienced in art can teach, in the own apprenticeship of life, in the delicacy of its deflowering, in the common work of Production, of experiencing the humane practice, of a great collective work that aims at the expression of a metaphor full of life, which transports us from one vital stage to another, from one society to another, from one civilization to another. This can be apprehended if one puts together all ages, all technologies, all religions, all kind of witchcraft, and no CHURCH whatsoever. It’s necessary to create a place where the scientific university thinking can freely mix with the corporal thinking, with the emotional, cardiac, erotic, intuitive reason, in all of its forms. The education that the debasement of art can bring is much more rapid, it travels with the speed of sound and of love. Isn’t the first synagogue of the Bixiga district the best already existing place for a university? And isn’t a Stadium Theatre its best campus? The university would begin already knowing and teaching that it’s stupid to destroy a synagogue filled with the axé energy left there by many generations. It’s like a terrain for the practice of Dybbuk, the incorporation work which is very close to theatre, as one can see from the theatre master work with that name. In this situation of war and destruction of monuments and places where collective love once could be, and which are discharged by the reconstruction of a totally outdated, cold architecture, a tomb-like architecture, with no vividness, with no axé energy – why not use a contaminated place to transmute it in a ecumenical place? The first play to be rehearsed in this course would be “The Dybbuk”. It would be a lesson of percussion, music, corporal art, meditation, all of it devoted to a theatre that manages to be the reverse of the spectacle society – its Double and its Reverse. Every human act is symbolic. The architecture of a city like São Paulo is also symbolic. It can no longer be a city razed to the ground. It is not a case of preserving, but of transmuting energy. Cultures, religions, brothels, theatres are energy mills, and therefore have to be transmuted. The Oficina Theatre has been a part of Tupy Indians tents, of senzalas , of quilombos , of massacres, lootings, landgrab, it has been a Roman villa, a factory of Christmas baskets, a spiritual centre with a Kardecist theatre of “mesa branca”. Today it’s an electronic yard, a Theatre of the electrocandomblaic Carnival Opera. There are places that absorb the spirit of time. That synagogue is like that, with its marvellous stained-glass windows. Recife has a much smaller synagogue – it is minuscule, but from there departed the Jews who founded New York. It has been totally preserved. There I saw life, intense life! The human energy in time and history is all recycling. We are always among the living ones, who inherited life from other living ones who later died but who have left life in everything they have touched, in what they have put their fingers on. This school could be a place for the formation of Stadium Theatre actors and of people to act in life, no matter where. It should be the evolution organism of this line of culture and theatre which is not hegemonic, but on the contrary is the one that can make the Theatre come back to its popular origin, to the incorporated party, the incorporated rave. I don’t know what will be its program, but the best would be to occupy the synagogue just as it will be left before an unwanted demolition. That their own architecture be discovered in the praxis, in the moment where favourable technical, digital and sensorial learning conditions begin to develop. Spaces like that may open themselves to nature, and allow this movement to find its programme. Not everything can be foreseen. I know it could be the continuation of the activities developed in the Bexigão, as a work in progress. Its occupation could be immediate, an occupation which will invent its own courses, together with the MEC [Brazilian Ministry of Education and Culture], in order to find its universal form, not necessarily a republican one, neither a monarchist, nor communist form…one to be invented.
5. THE “OFICINA UZYNA UZONA DE FLORESTAS” PARK – While we were producing “In the Jungle of the Cities”, Caetano Veloso, inspired by the poets from São Paulo, composed the verses of “Sampa”, in which he sings the Oficinas de Florestas, the Oficina Theatre, its fields and spaces, the Campos brothers; its Rain Gods, Jorge Mautner ; the New Quilombo of Zumbi … All this was prophetic. When the Minhocão raped the Bixiga district and Lina was picking off the refuse of the construction works to build the scenic architecture for the young Brecht’s play, a very strong awareness began to exist on the importance of the earth, on the importance of letting the earth breath. Our grandfather’s generation of immigrants had covered everything with cement – to them the earth was ugly and dirty. Lina said that under the cement was the “sertão”. Now the world begins to perceive ecology. One of the mythical plays in worldwide theatre is Chekhov’s “The Cherry Orchard”, a play that is celebrated by the world in this year of its centenary. The author was a physician and a great ecologist, and in the end of his play he shows the cherry orchard of a bankrupt aristocratic lady being destroyed and replaced by land parcels for property speculation. At that time, it seemed that the orchards would fatally be destroyed. The interpretations of this play violently refuted the author. They were of an axiomatic fatality; progress demanded it. In one century the world has been destroyed more than during its whole history. Today we all are aware of the fact that, especially in cities like São Paulo, we have to create orchards, forests, green spaces. The city has a exuberantly tropic vegetation, there is no sense in having it crammed with all this cement. The idea of a Stadium, of a Street Theatre, of a contemporary University, plays directly with the life of plants, flowers, fruit and animals. Since 68, humanity is returning to paganism and animism, and feels that life is not only in the individual cut-out of his or her body. The more we need technology – which through the cybernetic revolution reduces the space of machines and brings human beings back to a kind of work that blends with his life at home – the more we feel the necessity of green, as well as a not polluted air. Lucky of me to be writing in Paradise, from which I can see the Planetary crowned by Green. It’s just a little vase, compared to São Paulo, but for me it’s my sea. The spirit of Burle Marx must be re-incorporated. São Paulo needs the re-incorporation work of this entity. It’s time of Necessity of Green. It’s time do discover life where it really is. It’s dawning and I can hear the birds talking with the world. By chance I have a landscape in my modest apartment, and this changes everything. The Bixiga district needs a forest that should be a Workshop of Forests and should spread in this district as Busy Lizzies, and in many other places. This is the only possible reparation, after the Rape of the Minhocão. Let’s give it another use, and turn it green, paint it with saxifrages, golden and pink trumpet trees, coconut palm-trees, dumb canes, snake plants, grape-wines, mango-trees, weeping willows, juazeiros, opuntias, royal palms, as intended by Lina, and which were pulled out to build the Sala São Paulo – a subsidiary of Vienna – while could be an acoustic space that would not destroy the sonority, the rustling of those centenary trees.
6. THE TRANS-SHOPPING – It shall offer parking places, bars, restaurants of most diversified kinds, from the natural to the savagely carnivorous ones, ranging from the cheap boarding house meals of this region – where I have eaten very well in my youth – to the delicious food of Italian, African, Baiana, Pernambucana, French, Russian, Vietnamese and Chinese cooking; multimedia bookstores, massage parlours, houses for meditation and special treatments for the body, fitness centres allied to centres offering softer techniques, such as Power Yoga, boutiques for all different tribes, cellars with the best vines – in short, all the contemporaneous richness of the international and national cultural market, for all classes and all tastes. We want to create a surrounding of mixtures. There will be restaurants in the heart of the “sacolões” -the popular greengrocer’s – located in other parts of the Minhocão. Mixture is the calling of the Bixiga district. São Paulo is full of ghettos, ghettos of the rich and ghettos of the poor. Everybody craves for perversion – even if they don’t formulate or confess it – inserted in a Space of Mixture. The commercial surrounding of the Theatre is contemporaneously in agreement with this sometimes secret desire unknown by the segregation victims themselves: the bourgeois or the downgraded or declassed. A Low, a Point capable to join people from distant districts in the Mother District Bixiga. It’s a good idea to build houses in the manner of the former ones of Bixiga. It will also be possible to invent other ways, in accordance to what is wanted for the Stadium. To an Art that is Popular, Contemporaneous and Daring corresponds an Off Routine Entertainment, a Daring Trans-Shopping Centre, a place where you can feel that you are living in the present world and are breathing all its diversity. The Parking Places may convey something less ominous than usually. They could be beautifully illuminated and could be slit by subterraneous ventilation systems. The Teatro Imprensa itself could benefit from this integration and, of course, in view of the competence and the talent shown by Cyntia Abravanel, it could create wonderful performances for children at the Stadium, with the quality of her Monteiro Lobato shows. Kids will obviously love the Stadium Theatre. Nearby there should be day nurseries and places for the care of those coming to this Space, as well as ice cream parlours, electronic games, and everything that entertains a child today.
GENERAL OUTLINE – THE SILVIO SANTOS GROUP HAS ALMOST HALF A CENTURY EXPERIENCE IN TELEVISION COMMUNICATION AND BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION, AND WITH THE TEATRO IMPRENSA, IT IS BEGINNING TO PLAY AN ACTIVE ROLE IN THE THEATRE OF SÃO PAULO. THE MOST IMPORTANT LEGACY OF THE EXCHANGE BETWEEN THE OFICINA AND THE SILVIO SANTOS GROUP AND WITH THE PERSON OF SILVIO SANTOS WILL BE THE PRAXIS OF A REVOLUTIONARY THEATRE CULTURE EXPERIENCE ARISING FROM ALMOST HALF A CENTURY OF DIRECT PLAY WITH THE CITY OF THE OFICINA THEATRE, WHOSE ORIGINAL IDEA OF A STADIUM THEATRE WILL BE THE GREATEST CONTRIBUTION TO THE FUTURE PRIESTHOOD OF THEATRE AS ART, CULTURE AND RENOVATION OF BRAZILIAN AND UNIVERSAL LIFE. THE JOINING OF THESE TWO DIFFERENT EXPERIENCES MAY BRING THE THEATRE OF SÃO PAULO TO THE FOREFRONT IN THE WORLD.
1. Silvio Santos Foundation – The Administration would be assigned to a Foundation, possibly a Silvio Santos Foundation, that would become the economic and institutional basis for the independent functioning and program of the Stadium Theatre, the People’s Art University of Brazilian Popular Cultures of Mixed Races, the Uzyna de Florestas park and the Agora Cultural Square, incorporating the Minhocão by means of the two Towers, and the Barracks in their Lows. The Trans-Shopping Centre in the Santo Amaro Street would naturally be administered by the Silvio Santos Group, while, for the time being, the Uzina Uzona Association would be responsible for the Teatro Oficina. Or may be not, for it would be marvelous if one could find an organic entity in midst of the different ideas dreamed of by the parties that meet in this venture, which is extraordinary for Brazil. The mercantile and strategic necessities, the financial partners, public and private, national and international, of the Silvio Santos Group and of the Teatro Oficina create partnerships for the construction of a creative integration between the Trans-Shopping Centre and the Stadium Theatre, the Popular University and the Green Space, as well as their maintenance and expansion. 2. Objectives – The Foundation would be a specific contribution, by the economic and social forces mentioned above, to the cultural life of the city of São Paulo, with the aim of creating the Stadium Theatre, thus promoting a development which is contemporaneous with an Urban Art of the Living Together of the People. With “People” all persons are meant, i.e. the public that the Theatre is intended for: the Universal public, beyond differences of class and other differences. A new Annual International Festival of Stadium Theatre in São Paulo, that may have as headquarters the Teatro de Estádio, the Teatro Oficina and the Teatro de Imprensa – this is another objective of the Foundation that could bring in resources of all over the world. This festival would be like the Greek Dionisians, a World Theatre Olimpics. 3. Organs The Foundation will have: one Council, one President and two Executive Committees: one for Programming and one for Administration. The Council will be composed of a group of notables. Intellectuals, popular leaders of the Bixiga district, night professionals of the District. Their function will be to advise the President, based on the main line agreements of the Enterprise. The members – apart from Silvio Santos and José Celso Martinez Corrêa – are still to be determined, and shall comprise representatives of the Theatre Cooperative of the State of São Paulo, the City Hall, the Culture Department of the City of São Paulo, the Culture Department of the State, Funarte, Culture Ministery, and, above all, the representatives of the Theatre Live Movement of the City. The artistic General Management regarding the theatre artistic power will belong to José Celso Martinez Corrêa. The administration will be carried out by the Teatro Oficina Uzina Uzona Association, in connection with other institutions, forming a body organized by experienced theatre producers. The administration and the management guarantee the execution of the program, the organization of the foundation and its employees, and the adequate handling of the foundation budget, in accordance with the tax laws and the basic statutes of the new Institution. 4. Financing The Silvio Santos Group grants a yearly minimum sum, in an amount that is still to be determined for the first 5 years of the foundation. Other resources could come from percentages of the ticket sales of all events, of promotions and other sales. The foundation will be open to donations by third parties, and will seek partnerships for the production of specific events and festivals that extrapolate the financial possibilities of the foundation. 5. Constitution I think that this Stadium Theatre should be constituted on grounds of the confidence in the development, growth and expansion, mainly of the Scenic Arts, and above all of the Theatre Art. The Theatre envisaged by us is viscerally connected to Dance, Circus, Music, Singers, Dancers, Acrobats, Clowns, plastic Artists, artists of Body Art, DJ’s, musicians, Concretists, Electronics, WebArtists, in short, all that presents itself as Art in front of a live audience. There would be a box office with prices tending to be popular, without excluding commercial events that could bring the major revenues needed by the Institution. Nonetheless it shall not become a place for sales . The Art will not be misused for the primary purpose of selling, as is the case with TV. It will be necessary to invent that what formerly has been called Show Business, the business of show. Today it’s possible do business with business. There’s no interest in the Show, with the exception of some great names. It’s necessary to reinvent the economy of Art. One thing is for sure, the Stadium is being created to promote an Art which has already given a lot to this city and to Brazil, and which is born again with great power: The Teatro de São Paulo. Today our city assembles many collectives with a huge potential of explosion. The Theatre may be ruled above all by the new theatre groups of São Paulo, together with the Teatro Oficina, having more importance in the Council than the representatives of the Official power spheres. It has to be ruled by the actual cultural human Power. This art requires lovers. Impassionate persons. It is a space for the popular nobility of the Actual Cultural Power that can grant the space for the full exercise of this Art. All great Brazilian actors, celebrities or not, and all children that love theatre, the heirs of this place, could have the pleasure to act in this non-standard Theatre. Even Silvio Santos, in whom we could sense an Artist of present Body, alert to everything, that is to say, an Actor, in the direct contact, would be a glorious performer in this theatre, having the multiple presence of a Big Actor; without modesty, such as I, a Big Clown. The most difficult Art is that of the Financial Maintenance. It will not be the same as the Trans-Shopping Centre, but it will not be that of a Poor Art. The evolution of the Theatre may lead theatre to become a sport for multitudes, such as Soccer, which today is also a Culture. Hopefully an Economy will be invented for an Art that wishes to touch multitudes. Subsidies and incentives, coming from the Tax Exemption Laws, as well as from the participation of companies, which naturally are interested in having their product connected to an activity that can incorporate, in its own strong action field, in its own Stadium, a Marketing connected with explicit beauty to its productions. International Money of Big Institutions, since the city shall become an international touristic attraction pole, a city where the Theatre will not be a passion for sports or for art, but the Sport of Passion itself. The connection with SBT could bring enormous transformations for the Brazilian and international audio visual scene. I hope that it will happen, because I would love to give back, in multifold, everything that this city has given to me. São Paulo, October 11th, 2004 José Celso Martinez Corrêa President of the Teatro Oficina Uzina Uzona Association, and artistic director and actor of the Teatro Oficina. S H I T
Oca = designation of the round huts in which the native Brazilian Indians lived
Senzala = In the big farms and plantations, the slaves stayed in the “senzala”, while the masters lived in the “casa grande” (big house).
Quilombo = settlements founded by escaped slaves in the Brazilian hinterland
Kardecist = related to the spiritism founded by Allan Kardec in the 19th century , a doctrine that believes in communication with departed spirits and has many followers in Brazil.
Caetano Veloso, who comes from Bahia, is a singer and music composer, and is one of the founders of the Tropicalist movement in the 60s
The brothers Haroldo de Campos and Augusto de Campos founded the literary movement of Concretism in Brazil.
Jorge Mautner is a poet, composer and Singer and lives in São Paulo
Quilombos were settlements in the hinterland of Brazil where escaped slaves lived. Zumbi founded the big quilombo of Palmares
Burle Marx (1909-1994) was a famous Brazilian landscape designer, and also a painter, ecologist and naturalist.
José Bento Monteiro Lobato (1882-1948) was born in the state of São Paulo and wrote many books for children.