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The Love-Story of Romeo and Juliet (1998-99), directed by Elza de Andrade, is a stage production of a Brazilian textual variation of the story of the star-crossed lovers. In 1996, the Brazilian playwright Ariano Suassuna adapts João Martins de Athayde’s chapbook (folheto em cordel) Romance de Romeu e Juliêta [The Romance of Romeo and Juliet] for the stage. This new variant, entitled The Love-Story of Romeo and Juliet [A história do amor de Romeu e Julieta] by Suassuna, acquires new contours in the process of transculturation. Athayde retextualizes and recontextualizes the story to the backlands of Northeast Brazil, where medieval codes of values still used to prevail at the beginning of the 20th century. In his adaptation for the stage, Suassuna recreates the folheto em cordel (chapbook), inserting elements derived from Iberian and Brazilian popular culture, mainly mamulengo puppetry, Iberian poems and popular songs, and dramatic strategies such as the play-within-the-play, narrators, foreshadowings, besides the addition of erotic dimensions. The ludic, comic and erotic dimensions introduced by Suassuna are foregrounded in Elza de Andrade’s production.
Text: Ariano Suassuna
Director: Elza de Andrade
Cast: Alexandre Barros, Anna Paula Araújo, Ângela Blazo, Bruno Balthazar, Fábio Cordeiro, Flávio de Souza and Rodrigo Machado.
Costumes: Marcello Costa.
Setting: André Sanches and Daniel Leão.
Lighting: Thomas Ribas de Farias.
Soundtrack: Elza de Andrade (melodies that recreate Iberian poems of the XV and XVI centuries, and popular Brazilian songs and music).
Musicians: Lisa Kuernerz and Éber Freitas.
Assistant Director: Fabio Cordeiro
Production Director: Angela Blazo.
Production notes provided by Anna Stegh Camati