Given the nation’s growing influence and longtime cultural vitality, it is surprising how little of Brazil’s contemporary theater is seen in North America, telling any of these stories. Few of its writers, directors, and companies work or even tour here, despite an abundance of exciting voices and a new generation of artists. Perhaps language is the problem: the United States has many Spanish speakers and corresponding theaters, but Brazilian Portuguese remains an obstacle. Contemporary dance and contemporary art from Brazil have made their way into the international networks; perhaps theater can follow.
For this edition of Theater, we invited our colleague Cláudia Tatinge Nascimento to join us as guest coeditor. With her expertise, we selected four full-length plays for publication from among the many scripts she had assembled and translated with her student Fernando Lira in a dramaturgy initiative at Wesleyan University. We are grateful to the esteemed literary translator Elizabeth Jackson for her devoted and nuanced work on these plays and essays. We hope they will be the first of many new voices Anglophone theater makers and audiences hear from Brazil.