09-23 April 2014 CCBB Rio de Janeiro

Love, war, corruption, power, liberty, transformations. Why is Shakespeare still our contemporary? Twenty years after the first Forum Shakespeare at the Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil in Rio de Janeiro, we return for another series of workshops, lectures, debates and masterclasses to celebrate the 450th Anniversary of the World’s Playwright. The Forum brings together actors, directors, academics and the general public for a free creative and academic programme, which includes an exhibition of Brazilian photographer Ellie Kurttz’ work for the RSC and Shakespeare’s Globe.

Watch the video here

09-23  April

Photography Exhibition

09.00 – 21.00, Gallery A, Second floor

Brazilian photographer Ellie Kurrtz is one of the UK’s leading theatre photographers. The exhibition contains photographs of key productions by the Royal Shakespeare Company,  Shakespeare’s Globe and leading international theatre companies, as well as exclusive images from the backstage world. Gringo Cardia – one of Brazil’s leading scenic and visual designers – has curated the exhibition and created a stunning environment to experience the theatrical world of Ellie Kurttz.

09 April

Shakespeare, Our Brazilian Contemporary

19.00 – 21.00, Teatro I

A roundtable bringing together leading voices from Brazilian theatre to talk about the importance of the world’s most famous dramatist. Chair: Paul Heritage, Professor of Drama and Performance, Queen Mary University of London and Artistic Director, People’s Palace Projects. Speakers:  Amir Haddad, Diretor, Tá na Rua; Guti Fraga, President of the National Foundation of the Arts [FUNARTE], and founder of Nós do Morro. Special participation: Greg Hicks (actor) and Bárbara Heliodora (critic and translator)

10 April

Translating Language and Culture: From Othelo to The Tempest

19.00 – 21.00, Teatro I

Shakespeare’s dramatisation of translation and cultural exchange find some of their greatest expression in ‘Othello’ and ‘The Tempest’. In this dialogue Aimara Resende and Jerry Brotton will explore the early historical roots of the plays’ fascination with cultural difference and translatability, and how they are expressed in contemporary Brazilian culture, discussing Paulo Afonso Grisolli’s OTELO DE OLIVEIRA and Augusto Boal’s A TEMPESTADE. Chair: Bia Lessa, theatre director. Speakers: Dr. Jerry Brotton, Professor of Renaissance Studies,  Queen Mary University of London, and one of the directors of Global Shakespeare; Dr. Aimara da Cunha Resende, President of the Brazilian Centre of Shakespeare Studies  (CESh)

11 April

Shakespeare Beyond Shakespeare

19.00 – 21.00 

A conversation about the translation, production, perception and transposition of Shakespeare’s work to other cultural contexts. Chair: Heloisa Buarque de Hollanda, writer, broadcaster and academic, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. Speakers: Aderbal Freire Filho and  Enrique Diaz, (theatre directors) and Geraldo Carneiro  (poet, lyricist and translator).

14 April

Shakespeare Forum Masterclass

19.00 – 21.00

A unique opportunity to see actors and directors from the Royal Shakespeare Company in action, opening up the rehearsal room to the public. Chair: Paul Heritage, Professor of Drama and Performance, Queen Mary University of London and Artistic Director, People’s Palace Projects.With prize-winning English actor Greg Hicks and the Capoeira Master Mestre de Carlo Alexandre,  theatre practitioner Michael Corbidge, and the participants from the Forum Shakespeare workshops.



Workshops for actors, 10 – 14 April

I. Greg Hicks  (actor with Royal Shakespeare Company) and Mestre Carlão (Capoeira Master)

Using the techniques and philosophy of the afro-brazilian art of capoeira, this workshop will explore and deepen the actor’s capacity for true spontaneity of spirit, feeling and bodily response in relationship to another in performance. The group will discover how the syncopations of afro-brazilian music can unlock the actors relationship to Shakespearian verse; the actors will learn to play basic rhythms on the pandeiro (tambourine) and apply this musical flexibility to the spoken word. The repertoire of movement within capoeira constantly demands a deconstruction of habitual predetermined physicality. Exploring this landscape the group will see the world UPSIDE DOWN – they will be in constant fluid motion. The game of capoeira is a progressive dialogue of question and answer-”body chess”-synchronised within a complex rhythmic arena. There will be individual and partnered exploration of MACBETH within this frame, aiming to discover a mix of form, unpredictability and acute receptiveness in performance. The week promises provocation and risk, taking actors and directors into what could be a new landscape of perception…  a new key to unlock the mystery of Shakespeare.

II. Michael Corbidge (Associate Practitioner with the RSC)

This workshop is an opportunity for actors and directors to experience a visceral connection to sounds, words and text allowing words to live in space un-hindered by expectations. Using a tried and tested toolbox of exercises that slowly build, this workshop will free sounds and words without looking for an immediate sense or emotional logic. These exercises build and remain a way into text before we approach it in a more academic way. This is a chance for actors and directors to also explore ‘Actioning’ and ‘Rhetoric’ in a safe, unthreatening and fun environment.

Workshops for School Teachers – Teaching Shakespeare in the classroom, with Michael Corbidge, Vik Sivalingam and Helen Leblique (RSC), 12 & 13 April

This course is designed to give teachers and practitioners the pedagogical skills and confidence to transform a classroom into a dynamic rehearsal room. Flexible pathways are explored, to activate teaching strategies and insights into Shakespeare’s text, language and context.

Academic Seminars with Dr. Jerry Brotton, Professor of Renaissance Studies,  Queen Mary University of London, 10, 11 & 14 April

Back to the Source: Shakespeare’s sources are integral to his dramatic action and genre. This seminar will explore an unfairly neglected early work, The Comedy of Errors, a comedy rich in source material. We will read the play alongside its biblical source, St Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians, and ask what Shakespeare includes—and omits – from his source, and why.

Revision and division in King Lear: Recent Shakespeare criticism and performance has turned its attention to variant texts—the existence of multiple versions of plays like King Lear in Quart and Folio versions. This seminar will discuss the consequences of such variation on interpretation and performance by looking at the beginning and ending of King Lear.

Othello: Race, Religion, Sexuality: As a tragic protagonist, Othello usually dominates questions of race and religion. But what about Desdemona? This seminar will focus on Act IV scene 3, the famous ‘Willow Song Scene’, to examine what happens to Desdemona’s race, religion and sexuality in the latter stages of the play.


Special thanks

Marcelo Mendonça, Francisco Raposo, Caroena Neves, Giselle Sampaio, André Giancotti, Bianca Mello, Daniela Chindler and the team from Centro Cultural do Banco do Brasil.

Richard Masters, Graham Sheffield, Luiz Coradazzi, Neil Webb, Liliane Rebelo, Vanessa Gabriel-Robinson and the team from the British Council.

Paula Walsh, British General-Consul in Rio de Janeiro, and NneNne Iwuji-Eme, First Secretary, British Embassy Brasília.

Guti Fraga, Ana Amélia, José Maurício Moreira, Antônio Gilberto, Clauser Macieski, Norma Dumar and the team from  FUNARTE (National Foundation of the Arts)

Gringo Cardia, Jackson Tinoco, Patrícia Façanha, Sabrina Faustini and Flávia Castro.

Cicely Berry CBE, Luciana Bezerra, Nara Keiserman and Numa Ciro.