Country Brazil

Discipline Theater

Audience Adults

Recomended for +18

Duration 260 minutes

Language Portuguese and Spanish, with subtitles in Spanish and English

Dates January 14, 15 and 16, 18:30

Warning Since the play lasts 4 hours and 20 minutes, it includes two 20-minute intermissions

What makes the Hiato Company’s shows so important is the combination of convincing performances and amazing dramatic concepts (...)

–Theaterkrant

It could be said that the concept of nostalgia was created by The Odyssey. After fighting in the Trojan War for 10 years, Odysseus makes his way back home in a voyage that will take him another 10 years. The outstanding Brazilian Hiato Company takes Homero’s tale as the basis for a new approach. In Odisseia, the actors’ personal experiences are linked to characters from the Greek poem, creating a multilayered narrative full of memories and personal stories – some true and some not. Odysseus is the only one absent and it’s the audience that plays his role: he’ll be a traveler, immigrant, adulterer, military leader, tactician and fugitive. A cross between an interactive experiment and a theater play, this piece immerses the audience in stories that talk about the origins of Western literature and of small and tragic details from today’s world. Odisseia is a reflection on love, sadness and the rage that makes us ask about the stories we tell and why. What ideas or utopias have disappeared? What wars have we survived? Where’s it impossible for us to return to?

| Multimedia

Compañía

Compañía Hiato

The Hiato Company is a group founded by director and playwright Leonardo Moreira and considered one of the most talented and promising theater collectives in Brazil. In 2008, Moreira brought together a group of actors with whom he started to work on the hiatus between fiction and reality. Over the years, they’ve created a collection of plays that have won them multiple awards in Brazil and led to them performing at important world venues, such as the HAU in Berlin and the KunstenFestivalDesArts in Brussels. In 2013, they performed three plays at Santiago a Mil. Odisseia is their seventh production.

Director Leonardo Moreira | Written by Aura Cunha, Aline Filócomo, Fernanda Stefanski, Leonardo Moreira, Luciana Paes, Maria Amélia Farah, Paula Picarelli, Thiago Amaral | Cast Aline Filócomo, Aura Cunha, Fernanda Stefanski, Luciana Paes, Maria Amélia Farah, Paula Picarelli, Thiago Amaral | Co-director and assistant director Aura Cunha, Luciana Paes | Script Mariana Delfini | Set and lighting designer Marisa Bentivegna | Costume designer Chris Aizner | Sound and music Miguel Caldas | Audiovisual director and graphic designer Laerte Késsimos | Assistant set designer and video operator Cezar Renzi | Production director Aura Cunha | Production management Yumi Ogino | International distribution Ligne Directe, Judith Martin | Produced by the Hiato Company and Elephante Artistic Productions | Co-produced by the Sao Paulo City Council Theater Fund, ProAC – Government of the State of Sao Paulo, the Onassis Cultural Center – Athens, the Grand Theater Groningen, Sesc Sao Paulo, Mousonturm Frankfurt

  • The Hiato Company once again explores the collective creation it has been developing: creating plays from personal experiences and taking life itself as material for creation. Odissea aims to remind us humans that we’ve forgotten our own myths “and that everything we want today is something we once had”. In the company’s own words, they try and conceive of humans today “as ancient fragments of the archeology of the future”.

  • Odisseia tackles contingent and key topics to help us understand the present: migration, consumerism, violence, war, poverty, identity, colonialism, loyalty and family. It also deals with a particularly relevant issue: receiving foreigners in one’s home. According to the company, The Odyssey “suggests we offer hospitality to any visitor, even those who haven’t been invited, such as foreigners and the homeless. At the same time, it promotes xenia (the Greek concept of hospitality) as an almost universal and ethical concept that can also be used by pirates and outlaws as a way of justifying slavery, theft or colonizing the hosts. The Odyssey shows both sides of this complex concept”.

  • The company divided Homer’s poem into seven investigations related to specific characters in The Odyssey: Telemachus, the son Odysseus abandoned; Penelope, the wife who waited behind for him; Calypso the nymph who offers Odysseus his immortal and undying love; Circe, a witch who guides him to the world of the dead; Odysseus’ crew, who die before they reach home; the endless number of slaves in Odysseus’ court and Athena, the goddess of battle. Based on these characters, the actors tell their own stories about what each character represents, thus creating a multilayered play and a narrative that is both simple and complex at the same time.

  • The play aims to build up an active and original relationship with the audience, who are received by the actors as guests, friends, enemies and strangers. After being welcomed with music and food, they get to listen to the stories the actors tell.

  • The Hiato Company celebrated their tenth anniversary in 2018, consolidating themselves as one of the most important and award-winning theater collectives in Brazil, well-known worldwide. They have performed their plays at venues as important as the HAU in Berlin and the KunstenFestivalDesArts in Brussels.

  • The company’s hallmark is that its plays are the result of highly personal matters. What separates what you say from what the other understands; personal experiences from language? These questions are the inspiration for a creative process through which they aim to focus more on the uncertainty they create rather than the answers themselves. The same could be seen in Cachorro muerto (2008), where they tackled Asperger’s Syndrome using the five different ways a child with this condition perceives an event.
  • The Odyssey. An epic Greek poem from the eighth century BC, this is attributed to Homer and made up of 24 books. It tells of hero Odysseus’ (also known as Ulysses) return home after fighting in the Trojan War. It takes him two decades to return to the island of Ithaca, where he was king and where his wife, Penelope, is waiting for him. She is dealing with a group of unruly suitors who assume Odysseus is dead and want her hand in marriage, as well as Telemachus, her son, who decides to go in search of his father. It’s a text that is considered a crucial part of the modern Western canon.

  • The Hiato Company and Chile. Odisseia marks the return of this group to Chile after they performed three plays at the Santiago a Mil Festival in 2013: Cachorro Muerto, O jardín and Ficción. These were selected by several Chilean critics as some of the program’s most outstanding international pieces.

  • Documentary theater. This concept goes back to the second half of the twentieth century, when there was an interest in bringing political and historical themes to the stage, thus blurring the lines between fiction and reality. This kind of theater not only uses documents but also collects testimonies, presenting not only the facts themselves but also a more intimate, touching and personal side to the story.

  • Biodrama. This concept refers to drama created using autobiographies. According to the Argentine theater director Vivi Tellas, one of the people who came up with the term, “it’s about exploring one’s own autobiography or that of someone else as possible dramatic material. Unlike documentary theater, texts and documents are not used but rather the personal experiences of people who are still alive”.

«Unrestricted love, pure and desperate. (...) What makes the Hiato Company’s productions so special is the combination of convincing performances and amazing dramatic concepts, perfected during long and intense rehearsals»

–Theaterkran

«In Odissea by the Hiato Company, everyone can see something of Odysseus in them: the absence of Penelope, the distant memory of Telemachus or the perception of Calypso as mere background noise. However, in their search for encounters and integrity, the humans here are the sum of all the heroes and the others who cross our paths»

–Folha de Sao Paulo

«On this, its 10 year anniversary, the Hiato Company presents us with a painful journey that deals with love. The majority of the stories are told from a woman’s perspective and that’s where the show’s strength lies. The directing takes on different dimensions in the same way as it hides Odysseus, making way for the artists’ notes and personal experiences. We can feel the myth’s presence, both during and after the presentation and with its social, political and gender-based content, echoing everything the narration puts in motion»

– Valmir Santos, TeatroJornal

What makes the Hiato Company’s shows so important is the combination of convincing performances and amazing dramatic concepts (...)

–Theaterkrant

«Unrestricted love, pure and desperate. (...) What makes the Hiato Company’s productions so special is the combination of convincing performances and amazing dramatic concepts, perfected during long and intense rehearsals»

–Theaterkran

«In Odissea by the Hiato Company, everyone can see something of Odysseus in them: the absence of Penelope, the distant memory of Telemachus or the perception of Calypso as mere background noise. However, in their search for encounters and integrity, the humans here are the sum of all the heroes and the others who cross our paths»

–Folha de Sao Paulo

«On this, its 10 year anniversary, the Hiato Company presents us with a painful journey that deals with love. The majority of the stories are told from a woman’s perspective and that’s where the show’s strength lies. The directing takes on different dimensions in the same way as it hides Odysseus, making way for the artists’ notes and personal experiences. We can feel the myth’s presence, both during and after the presentation and with its social, political and gender-based content, echoing everything the narration puts in motion»

– Valmir Santos, TeatroJornal

| Supported by