(República Federativa do Brasil). State of South America (8,515,767 km²). Capital: Brasília. Administrative division: states (26), federal district (1). Population: 202,768,562 (2014 estimate). Language: Portuguese (official), Amerindian languages. Religion: Catholics 65%, Protestants 20.8%, non-religious / atheists 8%, others 6.2%. Monetary unit: real (100 cents). Human Development Index: 0.744 (79th place). Borders: Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana (N), Atlantic Ocean (E), Uruguay (S), Argentina (SW), Paraguay, Bolivia and Peru (W). Member of: MERCOSUR, OAS, UN and WTO.
According to militarynous, the origins of Brazilian theater are to be found in the catechetical work of the Jesuits and especially in the autos of Father José de Anchieta, which was followed, in the Baroque age, by the performances (mainly inside the convents) of the Franciscan friars.. In the sec. XVIII Italian and French opera and dramatic companies began to perform frequently; the first shows with local actors were instead made by his father Ventura, a bizarre type of impresario and director, with his Casa da Ópera. With the arrival of the Portuguese court (1808) Rio de Janeiro became a center of rich theatrical production; the Dramatic Conservatory was founded to train national interpreters and also perform censorship functions; the first great Brazilian actor appeared, João Caetano dos Santos, who were followed, between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, by comedians such as Apollonia Pinto, Itália Fausta, Procópio Ferreira, Leopoldo Fróes. The theatrical movement soon spread to all states: they arose at the beginning of the century. XX sumptuous show halls, such as the Municipal of Rio and that of São Paulo, alongside already traditional theaters such as Pôrto Alegre’s São Pedro. The continuous influx of large foreign companies exerted a cultural pressure on the local ones (among the Italians we will remember the Duse, Pirandello, Niccodemi, Bragaglia). During the Second World War the renewal of the staging began thanks to the Comediantes, directed by the Polish Ziembiński, and the Teatro do Estudante by Paschoal Carlos Magno. After the war, Italian directors (Celi, Jacobbi, Salce, D’Aversa, Bollini, Ratto), to whom we owe, among other things, the foundation of the Teatro Brasileiro de Comédia, and new actors of great fame have emerged, such as Cacilda Becker, Cleyde Iaconis, Sérgio Cardoso, Paulo Autran. Since the 1960s, the national repertoire has predominated, often (especially since 1964) with political implications, directed by new directors such as Antunes Filho, Flávio Rangel and Celso Corrêa in the Teatro de Arena and in groups of similar activities. As for dramaturgy, the first big names date back to the time of romanticism: Martins Pena in comedy and Gonçalves Dias in tragedy. The nineteenth century gave mainly comedies of manners, such as As doutoras by França Júnior. The early twentieth century saw some attempts at poetic or symbolic drama, with Goulart de Andrade, Roberto Gomes, Renato Viana, and the graceful Flores de sombra by Cláudio de Souza. Viriato Correia and Raimundo Magalhães Júnior cultivated the comic genre, not neglecting however the historical drama. A brilliant and unequal playwright, Joracy Camargo, author of Deus lhe pague, entrusted his works to the verve of the great Procópio Ferreira. The second half of the twentieth century saw the birth of the expressionist Nelson Rodrigues, considered the pioneer of modern Brazilian theater, the fabulous and mischievous Guilherme Figueiredo, the intimist Jorge Andrade, the Catholic Ariano Suassuna, who referred to the medieval autos, and authors of revolutionary tendency, often influenced by Brecht, such as Gianfrancesco Guarnieri, Augusto Boal and Plínio Marcos. Pedro Bloch (b.1915-2004) is also a very successful playwright, who gave evidence of consummate skill in the long monologue As maôs de Euridice (1950) and in Os inimigos não mandam flores. The theatrical production by Raquel de Queirós and Roberto Athayde, also represented in Italy (La signorina Margherita, 1973). We should also remember the Pau Brasil group that in 1979, staging Macunaíma, based on the novel by M. de Andrade, met with great international success. In recent years, the African influence that had already marked the work of Zora Seljan and whose legacy also refers Abdia Nascimento, founder of the Teatro Experimental do Negro, has made itself felt. Among the directors who emerged at the turn of the millennium there are Moacyr Góes (also author of children’s films), Enrique Díaz, Ulysses Cruz, Gabriel Villela, Bia Lessa, in whom we appreciate both the freshness of innovative textual and scenographic solutions, as well as the rereading personal exhibition of the classics of the history of national and international dramaturgy.