“Poetry is an awareness of the world”
Version adapted by Ildeberto Gama, from Contos para a Infância [Childhood Stories], by Guerra Junqueiro, Typographia Universal edition, Lisbon, 1877.
We start with some texts dedicated to childhood published in 1877 by Guerra Junqueiro, a poet pamphleteer whose poems helped inspire the revolutionary movement that would lead to the proclamation of the Portuguese Republic on 5 October 1910.
Guerra Junqueiro was part of the so-called 70’s Generation that purported to want to make Portugal beat to the rhythm of European
modernity, particularly when it came to education, teaching and academia. Publication of Contos para a Infância was his positive contribution to “Primary Education”. Junqueiro understood and conveyed the need to invest in children through fun and libertarian education that brought children closer to nature, awakening their senses without neutering their free and creative spirit.
Thus, in a period in which we live under the spectrum of deterioration of the basic conditions of vast strata of the population, childhood, in its natural fragility, is on the front lines of those who suffer the
consequences. It, therefore, is only fitting that we address these issues with the care that we pride ourselves in putting into all our projects.
To highlight these aspects, and knowing that puppets are a favourite for communicating with children, we have decided to use Shadow Theatre. It is a technique that has the ability to draw in and engage children, whilst encouraging an inter-generational environment that, we believe, creates the ideal setting to develop their cognitive skills and help them grow.
A narrator tells two of Guerra Junqueiro’s stories. He is facing the audience and behind him, above his head, is a screen. He presents the story, introduces the characters and describes the context of the action
in reported speech. Whenever he transitions into direct speech, he manipulates small figures outlined on the glass of the overhead projector in front of him, which are projected onto the screen. A technician sits by his side who hands him the shadows and plays
musical interludes that stress the action and aid in the transition to direct speech.
The narration/action ends with the traditional Portuguese exclamation: “Victory! Victory, that’s the end of the story”.
Staging | Ildeberto Gama
Production | Teresa Mendes
Performer and Puppeteer | Susana Nunes
Production Assistant | Alexandra Anastácio
Puppets | Ildeberto Gama
Scenic Devices | Amândio Anastácio
Music | João Bastos
Puppet Construction | Ildeberto Gama and Susana Malhão with the support of Paulo Pereira
Light and Sound Operator | João Sofio
Artistic Director | Amândio Anastácio
Supported by | Município de Montemor-o-Novo
Organisation funded by | DGARTES – Direção Geral das Artes and the Portuguese Government