Nearly 320 people have already seen pieces or visited the D. Maria II National Theater in Lisbon for the first time, under the project of the same name, said their coordinators today.
The ‘First Time’ was presented in February 2018 to the artistic director of the National Theater D. Maria II, who considered the initiative appropriate to the ‘slogan’ of D. Maria II – ‘There is room for everyone’ – and began eight months later, with spectators entering for the first time in this room in Rossio, Lisbon, to watch the play “Theater” by Pascal Rambert, recalled the coordinators, Nadia Sales Grade, and Ana Pereira.
On the eve of World Theater Day, the coordinators of the initiative explained that for this season, four shows – ‘Sopro’ and ‘Rollercoaster’ were selected last January- ‘Frei Luís de Sousa, the play in the Garrett Room until April 7, and “The ritual slaughter of Gorge Mastromas,” to premiere on May 28, and that will be on stage until June 28.
“The goal is to take a hundred people for the first time to watch two retables of each of the pieces chosen,” explained Ana Pereira, noting that with the performances of “Frei Luís de Sousa”, the ‘First Time’ already counted 316 spectators.
Financed with 50,000 euros by the BipZip program of the Lisbon City Hall – a project for neighborhoods and priority intervention areas of the capital – with local partnerships linking the places where they are going to look for viewers, with execution time until next September, First Time ‘also features an informal conversation with actors and stage directors, and guided tours of the theater, said Nadia Sales Grade.
“The great challenge is the personalized contact we make with people”, which are captured in organizations such as parish councils, associations, senior university, clubs, and sports groups, among others.
The ‘First Time’ is intended for all people over 12 years of age who have never seen a play in that theater designed by Almeida Garrett, and who does not know the building, for the payment of “a symbolic price of six euros per session theater, “the organizers said.
Creating new audiences for the National Theater, giving it a dimension “that belongs to everyone and not just a certain public” is the great challenge of the project in which 70 percent of the members, so far, are over 60, observed Ana Pereira.
Dedicated to D. Maria II for two years, the co-producers of the program are expected to extend it to other theaters and other areas such as music, art, and contemporary dance stressed Nadia Sales Grade.
The ‘First Time’ is co-produced by Wake up! and by D. Maria II, and counts on the patronage of the President of the Republic.