Cia Vértice


Click here to read the special edition of Revista Sala Preta, about the work of Christiane Jatahy.


Cia. Vértice was created to formally expand research into theater languages, contemporary methods of communication and the subsequent experience on participating viewers and artists – generating new approaches and perspectives in regards to the stage. The company investigates conceptual borderlines – ideas such as; the actor in the scene in the present moment (here and now) and the reference to a fictional character, combining reality and fiction to create a third theatrical zone, the intentional blurring of the physical division between the actor and the audience, communication with other artistic areas and the use of unconventional spaces or unconventional use of traditional spaces. The purpose of this research is to liberate the theatrical experience for the viewer so that he may participate more actively in the presentation.

The investigation on the dramaturgical language began in 2004, with the trilogy entitled A chair for the loneliness, two for the dialog, and three for society, which comprised the plays The studio apartment, The lack that pushes us, and Cut. The main purpose of the research was to experiment with border regions such as the actor and the character, reality and fiction on the stage, the matrix for the elaboration of dramaturgies in a collaborative process, and with a number of apparatuses that generate creative tension and diversified relational webs between the scene and the public. In 2009, this work expanded into filmmaking with the feature The lack that pushes us, shot non-stop in 13 hours, with no cuts, with three handheld cameras.  The edited footage became a feature shown not only at movie theaters but also on a 13-hour cinematic performance that started exactly at 5 p.m., the same time the shooting had begin, and finished at 6.30 a.m., just like the shooting, too. At this event the film was shown on three theater-sized screens. The research on a hybrid language that combines theater and film is present both in that film and in the play entitled Cut. This play is filmed and edited live, with a dramaturgical structure that changes at each performance. The play happens both on the stage and in the surroundings of the theater, which will be geared with surveillance cameras. Some scenes happen on the street and are watched by the audience inside the theater. In 2001, with the staging of Julia, Jatahy’s work included the possibility of creating contemporary scenic dramaturgy by drawing on classic texts. In Julia, cinema and theater coexist in full-fledged form and a new film is made live at each new performance by combining previously filmed footage and scenes captured when the audience is present. Strindberg’s original text remains present, but is updated by the glance of the camera and by an adaptation to the present time. In this way, a plot created in the nineteenth century provides the ground for dramaturgically discussing social and political issues of today’s Brazil.

Besides the creative apparatuses, the main content of all works by Jatahy is the reality of Brazil and the focus on the present society of this country. Real life steps onto stage by means of the field research carried out prior to the play and through the connection of the work to the present time, to the here and now.

The steps of the research

To realize the play Studio Apartment, 2004, interviews with people who live alone in Rio de Janeiro were recorded on video. This material generated dramaturgical content for the play itself and became a documentary shown as a video installation piece, as part of the play.

‘The Lack that pushes us’, 2005/2009 was based on personal material in which the actors revealed a cutout of a generation in their mid-thirties, who lived their childhood and youth in a country under a dictatorial regime. The political issues affect the personal history of each of these actors/characters. They play was a non-play, in which the cast would cook and drink on the stage, blending reality and fiction, to talk about memories and relationships.

Cut, 2010, was created by drawing on lawsuits and through research that included interviews and visits to the Rio de Janeiro Court of Justice to put together a play with far-reaching dramaturgical structure.

Julia, 2011, is a play situated on the border between a classic text and the contemporary outlook, bringing to the scene political and social issues of today’s Brazil.  The part of Jean is played by a black actor and the relationship between the two leading characters circles around sex and power, in a game that reflects the Brazilian reality.