As part of the celebrations of the Bicentennial of Independence, the Cultural Center of the Paço Imperial Heritage, in Rio de Janeiro, opens its doors today (8) for a public meeting with the first emperor of Brazil.
Directed by Daniel Herz, who also signs the text along with actors João Campany and Roberta Brisson, the monologue Pedro I intends to question the values and attitudes of one of the great names in the history of Brazil, Emperor Dom Pedro I.
Tickets for the play are free, upon withdrawal of passwords, with classification from 12 years of age, for minors accompanied by parents or guardians. Sessions take place on Thursdays and Fridays at 5:30 pm and Saturdays and Sundays at 4 pm.
The text mixes historical and fictional elements to ask the audience whether the legacy of the First Empire is positive or not. “Pedro I returns 200 years later and has the delusion of wanting to regain power and return to being Emperor of Brazil, in 2022. In the same body as the Emperor, the audience realizes that there is an actor named João, who will start to have a clash with Pedro about issues that we find interesting to discuss,” Daniel Herz told Brazil Agency.
Actor João Campany, creator of the project, lives the two characters, who alternate from a meticulous work of voice and body: the first emperor of the country and an actor of the present time, who leads Pedro I to rethink values, such as the relationship of machismo, racism and his relationship with women.
Actor João’s goal is for Pedro I to remake the declaration of Independence, “because he has a mother who died and it was a trans woman who adopted him. So, he wants the Emperor to remake the Declaration of Independence so that it incorporates the struggles for identity rights”, explained Herz. The clash of ideas leads the public to rethink the acts that shaped Brazilian society from September 7, 1822.
When inquiring who is currently heading the Court, Pedro I is informed that there is no longer a Court and that the current government commands Brazilia, but Pedro understands that it is a woman named Brazilia. “It becomes an interesting thing, because you have two people who think about life completely differently and all this in the body of a single actor, because it’s a monologue. You have the constant presence of these two characters in the body of just one actor”, reinforced the director. The public is questioned and may be invited to participate in the play at various times.
João Campany highlighted that freedom is different from independence. “Dom Pedro proclaimed the independence of one country from another, which was colonizing it. But did he really guarantee the freedom of the various ethnic groups that populate Brazil?”, he asked.
Also co-author of the play, Roberta Brisson, stated that, reflecting on this historical period, the three authors sought to understand where “many issues that present themselves to us today, such as racism and misogyny, for example, come from. The idea of remembering so as not to repeat the mistakes of the past is combined with the need to fight, daily, for a more egalitarian society”, highlighted Roberta.
Daniel Herz added that, from the provocation made based on such different thoughts, the idea is to bring to the scene reflections for the construction of a better Brazil.
The show has institutional support from the state government of Rio de Janeiro. The play will initially be on display until October 1st.
Translated to english by RJ983
From Brazil, by EBC News