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