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Robson Corrêa de Camargo (Universidade Federal de Goiás , Brasil)
Brazil: 50 X Beckett

    The goal of this presentation is to make a comparative analysis of different versions of Waiting for Godot (Esperando Godot) performed in Brazil since 1955, when it was first staged in São Paulo city. The distinguished versions and translations of Waiting for Godot show a very opened interpretation of Beckett’s work, emphasizing its importance at different periods of Brazilian theatre. The lack of rigid control from the copyright societies and the search for new stage perspectives by Brazilian directors enlarged the boundaries of Godot in this country. Focusing on the images (video and pictures) and directors’ and actors/actresses’ perspectives found in newspapers, recordings and personal interviews, I show a variety of Beckett’s understanding in Brazil in contrast with critic’s opinions, scholars’s work and Beckett’s own ideas. I discuss specifically three performances: the first by Escola de Arte Dramática (EAD, School of Dramatic Art), staged in 1955 at Teatro Brasileiro de Comédia (TBC, Brazilian Theatre of Comedy), built in a “traditional” way, directed by Alfredo Mesquita, who saw Godot in its Paris’s premier (TBC and EAD were starting points on the so called “modernization” of Brazilian stages). A second performance that I study was directed by Flávio Rangel in 1969, during the hardest years of dictatorship. This one places Beckett’s play at the center of the media because it was performed by Paulo Autran (Wladimir) and Cacilda Becker (a woman playing Estragon), top Brazilian actors. A third mise en scéne that I discuss was staged in 1977, played only by women and directed by Antunes Filho, considered an important theatre director. Antunes Filho transformed the act of “waiting” on a political metaphor of hoping for democracy, during the starting years of the massive fights against the dictatorship. These three performances of Godot show the role of Beckett’s play in the building of contemporary Brazilian theatre.

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