The third edition of the project O Público Vai ao Teatro (The Audience Goes to the Theatre) took place at São Luiz Municipal Theatre, in partnership with the 1st cycle Elementary School of São José – Passos Manuel School’s Cluster (Escola Básica de 1º ciclo de São José – Agrupamento de Escolas Passos Manuel) and the Higher School of Early Childhood Education Maria Ulrich (Escola Superior de Educadores de Infância Maria Ulrich), and sought to equate the previous edition’s experience, deepening the exploration of participative models of cultural governance.
Along the season 2019/20 three work groups were constituted: a group of participants, of the previous project edition, which integrated the Audience Commission; a group of children of the 4th year of the 1st Cycle Elementary School of São José in Lisbon and their teacher, who constituted the Critics’ Club; a group of students of the 3rd year of the degree in Elementary Education of the Higher School of Early Childhood Education Maria Ulrich (ESEIMU) and three teachers of that same school, who integrated the activities of the Critics’ Club.
If, on one hand, we’re interested in giving continuity to the regular work of accompanying the Theatre’s programming, opening contact spaces with the different teams implicated and sharing spaces of multiple reception experiences, it equally matters testing strategies of citizens’ engagement in the functioning of the cultural institutions and building senses of the common. Proceeding with this objective, the participants of the previous edition were summoned to build the Audience Commission – a permanent collective of audience involved in the regular functioning of São Luiz Theatre.
Once more, the Critics’ Club developed a work of accompaniment and reflection around the Young Audiences Program, enriched with the joint work dynamic with the students of the degree in Elementary Education (ESEIMU).
Thought to be developed along three seasons, 2019/20, 2020/21 and 2021/22, this edition of the project was suspended at the end of the first season, fruit of the uncertainty determined by the pandemic.
Coordination – Alfredo Martins, Anabela Almeida and Sara Duarte
Audience Commission Group – Ana Catarina Silva, Ana Teresa Magalhães, Carla Flores, Clara Agapito, Isabel Correia, Margarida Silva, Maria Margarida Galvão, Mariana Correia, Miguel Brinca, Paula Antão, Ricardo Correia, Renata de Sousa Brites, Vera Silva, Viviane Almeida
Children Group – Afonso Cruz, Ana Saraiva, Bernardo Graça, Bernardo Lourenço, Carolina Castro, Catarina Azevedo, Clara Chaves, Cristina Martins, Inês Sacramento, Joaquim Francisco, Jonas Moura, Larissa Gonçalves, Laura Cabral, Lisa Marques, Liv Gustafson, Luan Gonçalves, Maria Rodrigues, Maria Nunes, Mariana Costa, Mónica Gil, Anas Shahid, Pedro Aníbal, Santiago Carmona, Tomé Vicente, Vicente Pereira
Group of students of the 3rd year of the degree in Elementary Teaching of the Higher School of Early Childhood Education Maria Ulrich – Ana Carolina Pinto ngelo, Ana Cecília Martins, Ana Lúcia Alves Pereira, Ana Rita da Cunha Brito David Vaz, Ana Sofia Veringer Monjardino, Beatriz Esquível Rovisco Domingos Rocha, Beatriz Sofia de Noronha Rebelo, Catarina dos Santos Gião, Catarina Domingues Burnay, Inês Marques Costa da Câmara Pestana, Isabel Sousa Eiró das Neves Nelson, Joana Catarina Ferreira Simão, Joana Marques Aveiro de Almeida Madeira, Joana Mendes Guerreiro, Joana Pereira Chaves de Moura e Preza, Juliana Muxagata de Carvalho Vieira, Liliana Rodrigues Leitão, Lucília Sequeira Rocha, Madalena Mendonça Peixito Soares, Maria Alcobia Antão Aires Pereira, Maria Alexandra Aragão e Pina Martins, Maria da Graça Tavares Semedo, Maria Inês de Sousa Mourinho Sordo, Maria Luís Narciso Ferreira de Figueiredo, Mariana Barreto de Lara Pais, Marta Sofia Valverde da Silva, Rafaela Sofia de Almeida Barroso, Rita da Silveira Ramos Valada, Rita Fradinho Pereira, Rita Luís Antunes, Sara Isabel Martinho Lourenço, Sara Joana Marques Melo dos Santos, Tatiana Sofia Formas Tavares, Tranzina da Silva Brito, Verónica Brasil Avelar Flores Pereira
Teachers – Marta Guerreiro (Elementary 1st cycle school of São José), Cecília Moreira, Patrícia Limpo, Dora Batalim (Higher School of Early Childhood Education Maria Ulrich)
teatro meia volta e depois à esquerda quando eu disser, São Luiz Municipal Theatre
Passos Manuel School Cluster, Higher School of Early Childhood Education Maria Ulrich
The younger participants of the project integrate the Critics’ Club, which in this edition was constituted by a group of 9 and 10 year-old children of the 1st Cycle Elementary School of São José (Escola Básica do 1º Ciclo de São José).
Along the season of 2019/20 they watched shows, talked with the artistic teams and developed a work of critical analysis of the accompanied shows. The work was performed in collaboration with the class teacher. The Critics’ Club also counted with the participation of two journalists from Visão Júnior who collaborated in some sessions, while the children also performed a visit to the facilities of Visão magazine, where they met the whole magazine’s editorial team. The partnership with this magazine allowed the critics on the Young Audiences Program shows, elaborated by the children, to be published in the magazine, in its online site. The children created prize categories and awarded each of the shows they attended to along the season. This work culminated with the Critics’ Club Gala, in June of 2020, performed online, for the pandemic made the presentation at São Luiz Theatre impossible.
In parallel, a work of familiarization and engagement of the students of ESEIMU was developed with São Luiz Theatre, and of involvement in the work of the Critics’ Club performed in the classroom by the project’s coordination team in partnership with the class teacher.
Along the 2019/20 season, the children from the Critics’ Club watched shows, attended rehearsals, talked with the artists, developed a critical analysis work of the rehearsal and shows they saw and wrote critics. In the end of the season, as corollary of their work as critics, the children were defied to create the Critics’ Club Gala: they defined awards categories, nominated shows, voted and, in a formal ceremony performed departing from previously recorded excerpts with their family’s support, delivered the awards to the artistic teams of the awarded shows.
The Critics’ Club Gala was performed on the 1st of June 2020, in an online transmission.
Special participation – Sylvia Mirey
Video edition – Tiago Inuit
Graphics – Rui Belo
The students of the Higher School of Early Childhood Education Maria Ulrich (Escola Superior de Educadores de Infância Maria Ulrich) watched the shows of the Young Audiences Program together with the Critics’ Club, as well as the conversations with the artistic teams, posteriorly participating in sessions of analysis and sharing of the individual experiences on the shows’ reception, guided by the project’s coordination team. These post-show conversations followed the model of a focal group and equally sought to inquire the connections between Theatre and Education, calling for the mediation work characteristic of the professional practice that these students will develop in their teaching and children educators’ activity.
The students of the ESEIMU accompanied the work sessions with the children in the classroom and furthermore penfriends’ groups were created between these and the children as a way of approximating the two groups and allowing the exchange of impressions and comments on the shows they watched.
In the end of the season, the students were invited to reflect on diverse aspects connected to their relation with Education and Theatre. Departing from the collection of individual contributions a script was built named On the way to the Theatre – Charter of Intentions of Future Educators, whose reading by the students was registered during a work session performed through the zoom platform.
The Audience Commission is constituted by the participants of the second edition, 2016/18, of the project O Público Vai ao Teatro and it intends to deepen the reflection work initiated in the previous edition on the relation between production, programming and reception. Along the first semester of 2020 the commission met regularly, in person and posteriorly online, according to the new rules conditioned by the calamity and emergence states, presenting guiding lines and work proposals to be developed in the future 2020/21 and 2021/22 seasons in the Theatre, divided in two great areas:
Audience/Population – proposals which intend to approximate the audience/population of São Luiz Theatre, creating engagement and familiarization contexts.
Theatre teams – proposals of activities seeking to deepen the Audience Commission’s engagement with the Theatre, its functioning and its teams.
The Audience Commission aspires to be a permanent consultative body of the Theatre’s artistic and executive direction, working together with the board in the continuous reflection on the relation between production, programming and reception, configuring as an example of participative cultural governance in the milieu.