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Inventory of the paulistan scene:history of theater buildings in the city of São Paulo (1930 - 1955)


The extensive research project Inventário da Cena Paulistana aims to investigate the existence, operation and permanence of theatrical buildings in São Paulo between 1763 and 2020. Part of the work has already started (with support from FAPESP / Condephaat) and whose goal was to provide documentation, information and analysis on the existence and activities of the first theaters in São Paulo, from the 18th century Opera Houses (the first in 1763) to the the end of the First Republic (1930). Concentrating research on the physical spaces occupied by theaters gives the opportunity to investigate numerous aspects related to the construction and use of these places, also revealing and analysing facets of theatrical activity, in particular, and cultural, in general, in the periods considered. The time frame, although very extensive, was designed to be divided into smaller periods, marked by lines of force common to each of them. What is now proposed is to continue the research, focusing on the history of buildings built from 1930 onwards, which emerged in a new stage in the economic, political and cultural history of Brazil and São Paulo, until 1955, when the São Paulo City Hall beginning of the construction of a series of city theatres, in an unusual initiative, configuring a new public policy for theatre in the city. Since 1930s, when the first state agencies focused on culture were created: the Department of Culture of São Paulo (1935), the Ministry of Culture (with the creation of the National Theater Service in 1937), the Department of Culture of São Paulo City Hall (1945/47), each with its own public policies for the theatre area.Public incentive and financing projects are emerging. Therefore, a very different scenario from the previous period in which the private initiative practically commanded the construction of spaces and determined the development of the sector. How did these two forces become tensioned or complemented after 1930? How did the spaces that emerged during this period face a new political and cultural configuration and urban changes in the capital? The examination of the "biography" of each of the spaces created at the time must be a window for these issues to be glimpsed, as the study of the stories of each of the theatres, and / or some of them together, is able to shed light on the dynamics of the use of these social spaces, which for centuries were, alongside the churches, practically the only ones available to the inhabitants of the city. The 1950s is also bordering on this situation, since the arrival and development of television will considerably alter the relationship between the theater and its audience, as had not been seen until then, not even after the inventions of cinema or radio. The research will also seek to identify possible remnants of these constructions in the ever-changing landscape of the city of São Paulo, even though they are no longer used as theaters. The project will be (like the previous stage) developed at the Centro de DocumentaçãoTeatral (CDT) of the School of Communications and Arts (ECA) at USP. (AU)

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