In By Heart, a poem is taught to ten people who had never seen the show before and had no idea that they were about to memorize something in front of an audience. Tiago Rodrigues teaches them lines while he tells stories about his grandmother and reads excerpts from other texts, from George Steiner to Boris Pasternak. Learning something by heart is described or perceived as an act of resistance, and Steiner is quoted: “When ten people know a poem by heart there is nothing the KGB, the CIA or the Gestapo might do. This poem will survive.”
Stage director: Tiago Rodrigues
Text: Tiago Rodrigues with quotes from William Shakespeare, Ray Bradbury, George Steiner, Joseph Brodsky, and others
Set design and costume design: Magda Bizarro
Production: Mundo Perfeito
Rayner, Francesca. “Dehierarchizing Space: Performer-Audience Collaborations in Two Portuguese Performances of Shakespeare”. Multicultural Shakespeare 15.1: 27-41. https://doi.org/10.1515/mstap-2017-0003 Web.
Production notes provided by Maria Sequeira Mendes, Assistant Professor, School of Arts and Humanities – University of Lisbon.