The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center in New York City presented Female Voices from Brazil with Ana Maria Gonçalves, Cidinha da Silva, and Marcia Zanelatto livestreamed on the global, commons-based peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Monday 6 November 2017 at 6:30 p.m. EST (New York) / 5:30 p.m. CST (Chicago) / 3:30 p.m. PST (Los Angeles).
The Segal Center brought together three contemporary female playwrights at the forefront of Brazilian theatre. Known for their political and daring narratives Ana Maria Gonçalves, Cidinha da Silva and Marcia Zanelatto tackle the subjects of race, gender, and equality in Brazil’s current turbulent socio-political climate.
The event was co-curated by Isabella Pinheiro and the Evoé Collective as part of their ongoing Brazil Reads Brasil series, dedicated to staging Brazilian plays in English.
Excerpted readings from The Body’s Night by Marcia Zanelatto; Got Pregnant, Gave Birth to Horses and Learned How to Fly Without Wings by Cidinha da Silva; and Diverse by Ana Maria Gonçalves, directed by Tia James. Followed by a panel discussion with the playwrights and the Evoé Collective, moderated by Frank Hentschker.
The Body’s Night
Clara and Isabel are beautiful, young, talented, and in love. But the meaning of life is questioned when one of them is diagnosed with a degenerative disease. With the support of the doctor and friend, Paula, Isabel deals with the reality, finding new limitations of power and courage that she never thought she would have.
Got pregnant, gave birth to horses and learned how to fly without wings
The drama reveals the daily routine of six black women who live in the same apartment building.
They have no interaction nor do they know each other, however, their similar yearnings “reveal the private truth of a buried affection.”
The play captures the day to day of the couple João and Márcia and their efforts to stray away from the prejudices of a racist and sexist society. Encouraged by João, a black 28 year old, Márcia, 40 years old and of mixed race, slowly begins to reclaim her black roots. While he tries not to be intimidated by Márcia’s past, she questions whether he has lived through enough to soon become the father of her son.
Ana Maria Gonçalves was born in Ibiá, Minas Gerais, in 1970. She worked in Marketing until 2001, when she moved to Itaparica Island and wrote “Ao lado e à margem do que sentes por mim” and “ Um defeito de cor” , winner of the Casa de las Américas Award (Cuba, 2007). She has been published in Portugal, Italy and U.S., where she also taught courses and gave seminars about race relations. Ana was also a resident at universities like Tulane, Stanford and Middlebury. Today she lives in São Paulo, where she writes for theatre, film and TV.
Cidinha da Silva is a Brazilian prose writer and playwright from Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais. Author of 11 books among them chronicles for adults, short stories and romance for children and adolescents. She organized two fundamental works on contemporary race relations in Brazil: Affirmative actions in education: Brazilian experiences (2003) (Ações afirmativas em educação: experiências brasileiras) and African racial relations: inputs for public policies of books, reading, literature and libraries in Brazil (2014) (Africanidades e relações raciais: insumos para políticas públicas na área do livro, leitura, literatura e bibliotecas no Brasil).
Marcia Zanelatto lives and works in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She writes for theatre, television and cinema and teaches script writing. Her work often engages with ideas of racism, public security, and sexual and gender identity. She has received several awards, including the Brazil at Scene Award 2009 (Prêmio Brasil em Cena) for the play Time of Solitude ( Tempo de Solidão ), the Sexuality, Violence and Justice in the Favelas Award from the Ford Foundation with the play They ain’t Got No ( Eles não usam tênis naique); and the 2014 Theatre Producers Association of Rio de Janeiro Award (Prêmio APTR) for Best Author, with the play Frumpiness ( Desalinho ). In 2016, the Royal Exchange Theater, Manchester, UK, commissioned a new work for the Birth Festival, which resulted in her play The Birth Machine. Her work has been translated into English, Spanish, French and Swedish.
Evoé is an artistic collective created by four Brazilian female artists – Bárbara Eliodorio, Isabella Pinheiro, Laila Garroni and Ma Troggian – based in New York City, whose main objective is to promote Brazilian culture abroad through the production of stage readings and the creation of original contents.
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