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Ensaio. Hamlet. (2004), a collective experiment by Cia. dos Atores, directed by Enrique Diaz, tore Shakespeare’s Hamlet (1604-1605) to pieces to explore contemporary issues emerging after the election of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the first candidate the Workers’ Party (PT) elected for president in Brazil. Specific topics from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, such as power, misconduct, incest, fratricide and madness were appropriated and used as material to create new scenes pregnant with contemporary signifiers. The different scenes, developed in rehearsals through improvisatory processes, were then used in the final spectacle. Like the playtext, the spectacle is saturated with motifs of performance and performativity. Diaz is held in high regard as a theatre auteur in Brazil. He uses improvisation as a basis for creativity, whether in his one man shows or in the work he has developed with the actors of the Cia. dos Atores [Company of Actors], his collaborators and co-creators. Words do not come first, but intuitive practices and theatricality, not included in the playtext, are privileged. Although the starting point for his work is multiple and disconnected, he then organizes the ideas into a form which trades in thematic and visual connections. He exploits the stage in order to create striking transformational effects, often using the most ordinary objects and technologies.
The production premièred at the Espaço SESC Copacabana in Rio de Janeiro in 2004. It toured in Brazil and abroad, mainly in New York, Paris, Bogotá and Barcelona and, in 2006, it successfully participated in a festival of Brazilian Theatre in Germany (Theatre and Performance from Brazil).
Translation of Shakespeare’s Hamlet: Millôr Fernandes
Director: Enrique Diaz
Assistant Directors: Daniela Fortes and Mariana Lima
Scene Direction: Márcia Machado
Scenography: César Augusto and Marcos Chaves
Scenography Assistant: Marcelo Nicolau
Props: Natália Lana and Patricia Muniz
Special Effects: Fernando Sant’Anna (animation of Yorick)
Costumes: Marcelo Olinto
Costumes Assistant: Patrícia Muniz
Seamstress: Macedo Leal
Lighting: Maneco Quindaré
Lighting Assistant: Fernanda Esteves
Hair and Makeup: Ricardo Moreno
Soundtrack: Felipe Rocha, Lucas Marcier and Rodrigo Marçal
Body Movement Direction: Andrea Jabor
Choreography: Andrea Jabor and Cristina Moura
Body Language Assistant: Cristina Moura
Photos: Paulo Lacerda
Cast: Bel Garcia, César Augusto, Felipe Rocha, Fernando Eiras, Malu Galli and Marcelo Olinto.
Substitution Cast: Angela Rebello, Enrique Diaz, Susana Ribeiro, Emílio de Mello and Saulo Rodrigues.
Production: AR Productions, Cia. Dos Atores, Serviço Social do Comércio (Belenzinho, São Paulo, SP)
Executive Producers: Elisete Jeremias and Henrique Mariano.
Assistant Producer: Mariana Rodrigues.
Stage Manager: Elisete Jeremias.
Stage Manager Assistant: Clarissa Mastro.
Awards: Prêmio Shell and Prêmio Qualidade Brasil.
Production notes provided by Anna Stegh Camati.