By heart, Teatro Nacional D. Maria II

By heart
Presented in Portuguese, Spanish, French, and English
January 17-December 18, 2016

“In By heart, Portuguese playwright and actor Tiago Rodrigues teaches a poem to 10 people. These 10 people never saw the performance and they have no idea which text they will be learning by heart in front of the audience. While teaching them, Rodrigues unfolds a mix of stories of his soon-to-be-blind grandmother and stories of writers and characters from books that are, somehow, connected both to the old lady and himself. The books are also there, on stage, inside wooden fruit crates. And as each couple of verses is taught to the group of 10 people, improbable connections emerge between Nobel Prize winner Boris Pasternak, a cook from the north of Portugal and a Dutch TV program called Beauty and Consolation, and the mystery behind the choice of this poem is slowly solved.

By heart is a piece about the importance of transmission, of the invisible smuggling of words and ideas that only keeping a text in your memory can provide. It’s about a theatre that recognises itself as that place of transmission of what you can’t measure in meters, euros or bytes. It‘s about the safe hiding-place that forbidden texts have always found in our brains and our hearts, as a guarantee of civilization even in the most barbaric and desolate times. As George Steiner himself would put it in an interview to the TV program Beauty and Consolation: “Once 10 people know a poem by heart, there’s nothing the KGB, the CIA or the Gestapo can do about it. It will survive”. But, bottom line, By heart is a training program for the resistance that only comes to an end when the 10 new soldiers know a poem by heart.” (from the company programme)

Teatro Nacional D. Maria II
after an original creation by the company Mundo Perfeito

Written and Performed by: Tiago Rodrigues
Text with Fragments and Quotes by: William Shakespeare, Ray Bradbury, George Steiner, Joseph Brodsky, among others
Set, Props and Costume: Magda Bizarro
English Translation: Tiago Rodrigues, Revised by Joana Frazão
Executive Production on the Original Creation: Magda Bizarro, Rita Mendes
Co-Producers: O Espaço do Tempo, Maria Matos Teatro Municipal
Duration: 90 min without intermission

For More Information:

Funding and Sponsorship:
Performance created with the financial support by Governo de Portugal and DGArtes

Tour Dates and Information:

November 20-23, 2013 | Teatro Maria Matos, Lisboa (PT)

June 29-30, 2013 | O Espaço do Tempo, Montemor-o-Novo (PT)

March 14, 2014, Centro Cultural Vila Flôr, Guimarães (PT)
March 21, 2014, Alhóndiga, Bilbao (ES) – in Spanish
March 27, Teatro Micaelense, Ponta Delgada (PT)
July 5, 2014, Festival Safira, Montemor-o-Novo (PT)
September 6, 2014, Teatro Municipal Torre de Moncorvo (PT)
October 25, 2014, Festival Verão Azul, Centro Cultural de Lagos, Lagos (PT)
November 3-14, 2014, Théâtre de la Bastille, Paris (FR) in French
November 21, 2014, Cinema-Teatro Joaquim d’Almeida, Montijo (PT)
November 22, 2014, Cineteatro Municipal João Mota, Sesimbra (PT)

January 15, 2015, Teatro Viriato, Viseu (PT)
January 24, 2015, Cine-teatro Sobral de Monte Agraço, Sobral de Monte Agraço (PT)
February 21, 2015, Festival de Inverno, Santiago de Compostela (ES) – in Spanish
February 24-March 1, 2015, Teatro Maria Matos, Lisboa (PT) *
March 7-8, 2015, The Kennedy Center, Washington (US) - in English
March 27-28, 2015 Théâtre de la Garonne, Toulouse (FR) - in French *
24 April 24, 2015, Centro de Arte de Ovar, Ovar (PT)
May 25-27, 2015, Carrefour International de Théatre, Quebec (CA) - in French
May 29-31, Festival TransAmériques, Montréal (CA) - in French
June 16-17, 2015, HAU 1 Hebbel am Ufer, Berlim (DE) - in English *
June 27-28, 2015, Festival Printemps de Comédiens, Montpellier (FR) - in French
July 2, 2015, Festival Belluard, Fribourg (CH) - in French
July 5-7, 2015, Festival Theaterformen, Hanover (DE) - in English
July 16, 2015, Festival Contre Courant, Avignon (FR) - in French
September 19, 2015, Festival Materiais Diversos, Torres Novas (PT)
September 24-26, 2015, Dublin Theater Festival, Dublin (IR) – in English
October 23-24, 2015, Festival METEOR, Bergen (NO) – in English *
October 30-31, 2015, TPR - Théâtre Populaire Romand, La Chaux-de-fonds (CH) – in French
December 12-13, 2015, Théâtre du bois de l’Aune, Aix-en-Provence (FR) – in French

January 16-17, 2016, Centre Dramatique National de Haute-Normandie, Rouen (FR) - in French
January 18-26, 2016, Théâtre de la Bastille, Paris (FR) - in French
February 2-3, 2016, Kaaitheater, Bruxelas (BE) – in English (A House On Fire Project, with the support of the Culture Programme of the European Union)
February 12-14, 2016, Le Carré-Les Colonnes, Saint-Médard-en-Jalles (FR) - in FrenchMarch 17-20, 2016, Festival de Otoño en la Primavera, Madrid (ES) – in Spanish
May 18-19, 2016, Le Vivat, Armentières (FR) - in French
May 26, 2016 La Comédie de Valence, Festival Ambivalence(s), Valence (FR) - in French
June 17-19, 2016, Schauspielhaus, Wiener Festwochen (AU) – in English
July 20-23, 2016, Teatro Nacional D. Maria II, Sala Estúdio, Lisbon (PT) - in Portuguese with subtitles in English
August 23-14, 2016, Kunstfest Weimar, Weimar (DE), 3 presentations – in English
August 26- September 4, 2016, Wiesbaden Biennale, Wiesbaden (DE), 5 presentations – in English
September 16-17, 2016, Short Theatre Rome (IT) - in English with Italian subtitles
October 21-22, 2016, Teater Avant Garden, Trondheim (NO) – in English
October 29-30, 2016, Frascati 2, Amsterdam (NL) – in English
November 18-19, 2016, Théâtre l'aire libre, Rennes (FR), 3 séances - in French
December 1-3, 2016, Théâtre Joliette-Minoterie, Marseille (FR) - in French
December 16-18, 2016, Onassis Cultural Center, Athens (GR) – in English


January 10-15, 2017, On the Boards, Seattle (US) – in EnglishJanuary 18-21, 2016, PuSh International Performing Arts Festival, Vancouver (CA), 5 presentations – in English
January 24-27, 2017, One Yellow Rabbit, Calgary (CA) – in English
February 11-12, 2017, Festival de Liège (FR) - in French
May 12-13, 2017, Théâtre Forum Meyrin, Meyrin- Genève (CH) - in French
May 14, 2017, Pôle culturel d'Alfortville (FR) - in French