Short theater plays in shipping containers

Village Underground Lisbon, VUL, Alcantara, Lisbon, Lisboa, Portugal, Carris, theater, showcase, short plays, containers

Short theater plays are not a tradition in Portugal. They are more common in the anglo-saxon world, where short stories are more prevalent. That didn’t stop the people at Buzico! from organizing a night of short plays, taking advantage of the innovative architectural layout of the Village Underground Lisbon, in Alcântara, in an event they called Mostra de Teatro Breve em Contentores (Short theater plays showcase in containers).

Absinto, short plays, theater, Village Underground Lisbon, Alcântara, Lisboa, Lisbon, containers

I was fortunate to be invited to watch the press rehearsals and later, the actual shows of the three short plays that the Mostra was showcasing – “A gaveta”, “Absinto” and “Escrever amor”. The plays were all 15 to 30 minutes long and with not more than 3 actors. The audience would meander around the catwalks that connect the piled up shipping containers, according to the plays’ schedule, guided by one of the producers.

A gaveta, short plays, theater, Village Underground Lisbon, Alcântara, Lisboa, Lisbon, containers

Short plays are a very user-friendly format. They are excellent laboratories for actors, directors and playwrights alike, to test techniques against very small and diverse audiences. They are relatively inexpensive for the audience, which allows them to become more immersed and less worried about getting their money’s worth in show. Finnaly, they are very portable, allowing the shows to be held in tight places, as it was in the shipping containers that make up the Village Underground Lisbon complex.

Absinto, short plays, theater, Village Underground Lisbon, Alcântara, Lisboa, Lisbon, containers, rehearsal

It was a lot of fun to be there. Not going to tell you anything about the plays though. No spoilers here, for now.

Escrever amor, short plays, theater, Village Underground Lisbon, Alcântara, Lisboa, Lisbon, containers

Celebrating biodiversity

biodiversity, Gulbenkian, Lisboa, Portugal, flora

The 23rd of May was a day to celebrate biodiversity in the grounds of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, a lush park in the heart of Lisboa. Designed by landscape architect Gonçalo Ribeiro Telles in the late sixties, around an iconic building complex, the park holds several flora and fauna species, as well as a few sculptures, an amphitheater and a central pond. Two art museums and other art and cultural infrastructures are connected by several paths through the park, in a carefully designed and intricate network of art, leisure and nature. During the warmer weekends, Lisboetas flock to this public but safeguarded park seeking coolness, silence, outdoorsy leisure and a place to meditate.

biodiversity, Gulbenkian, Lisboa, Portugal, flora

The biodiversity day celebrations motivated several activities in the Gulbenkian grounds, including an Urban Sketchers Portugal sketch meeting. The job was to focus on flora alone. Not being a specialist, I chose my subjects by aesthetics alone. Would be nice to have a specialist insight on the species in the sketches. Volunteers anyone?