What happens to stories and words when they are passed on from person to person? What powers are activated in this sharing? What new possibilities will the words bring? In By Heart, Portuguese playwright and actor Tiago Rodrigues – acclaimed voice of the international scene – teaches a poem to ten people. Giving no context, no preparation, he simply invites them to join him on stage and learn verses by heart in front of the audience. As he teaches the words to be memorized, a mix of stories starts to unfold: anecdotes at times private, at times public, at times real, at times fictional. Stories and characters intersect and unexpected connections emerge. By Heart is a piece about the importance of transmission, about the invisible smuggling of words and ideas that only keeping a text in your memory can provide. It’s about a theatre that recognizes itself as a place that deals with what you can’t measure in meters, euros or bytes.
Tiago Rodrigues is the artistic director of Teatro Nacional D. Maria II in Lisbon since 2015. He is an actor, playwright and director whose subversive and poetic theatre has made him one of Portugal’s leading artists. After working with the Belgian company tg STAN, in 2003 he creates, with Magda Bizarro, the company Mundo Perfeito. Conceived through collective processes, the work of the company (more than 30 plays created between 2003 and 2014) is produced by renowned platforms such as the Alkantara Festival, Kunstenfestivaldesarts or Festival d’Automne à Paris and tours in countries such as Portugal, Belgium, Brazil, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Lebanon, the Netherlands Norway, Romania, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom and United States of America. Rodrigues also collaborates with artists from Belgium, Lebanon, the Netherlands and Brazil, teaching for Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker's contemporary dance school PARTS, Brussels, and curating community art projects. In 2018, he was awarded the XV Europe Prize Theatrical Realities. Deeply rooted in a collaborative theatre tradition, his recent works manipulate documents with theatrical tools, challenging our perception of social or historical phenomena.
Written and performed by Tiago Rodrigues
Text with fragments and quotes by William Shakespeare, Ray Bradbury, George Steiner, Joseph Brodsky, among others
Set, props and costumes: Magda Bizarro
English translation: Tiago Rodrigues, revised by Joana Frazão
Technical direction: André Pato
Production management: Nicolas Roux & Lucila Piffer – OTTO Productions After an original creation by Mundo Perfeito
Executive production on the original creation: Magda Bizarro, Rita Mendes
Co-producers: O Espaço do Tempo, Maria Matos Teatro Municipal performance Created with the financial support by Governo de Portugal | DGArtes
duration 90 min. without intermission