HamuletoWritten by Simone Reis
Simone Reis was born in Uberaba, Minas Gerais-Brazil in 1967. She is an Adjunct Professor in the Performing Arts Graduate Program at the University of Brasilia(UnB)-Brazil. She has worked as a lecturer in the Arts Institute at UnB since 1994 where she teaches acting, directing and movement. She has a Masters Degree from the University of Bahia, in Salvador (2002) where she investigated Orixas (characters from Candomblê) and other emblematic figures of western theatre such as Shakespeare's Ophelia, Hamlet and Gertrude.
Reis has performed many times at festivals in various Brazilian cities (e.g. the International Winter Festival in Belo Horizonte 1992; Brasilia IV Forum of Visual Arts 1995; International Festival of Contemporary Theatre and Butoh in São Paulo and Bras¨ªla 1995; Londrina Theatre Festival in Paraná (1999), international conferences (e.g. International Youth Village in Japan 1996; Australasian Drama Studies Association-ADSA Bodies in Question Conference in New Zealand 1998; ADSA -Performance and Spectacle Conference in Australia 2000 and South Project in Australia 2004), among others.
Her present focus is on solo performance, however, she has directed and devised many improvisatory works in collaboration with other actors, directors, dancers, musicians and visual artists. She has received numerous grants from the Brazilian Government (Banco do Brasil Cultural Centre, Fundo de Apoio a Pesquisa, Distrito Federal Culture Departament, Ministry of Education, CNPq Young Theatre Directors Prize) for doing several projects including collaborations with visual artists such as Sonia Paiva and Nelson Maravalhas, the photographer Mila Petrillo, the director Brigida Miranda and with the English director Leo Sykes with whom she created Hamuleto in 2002, a Candomblê version of Hamlet's Shakespeare. Reis also produced The Seven Faces of Dr Lao play together with some University of Brasilia theatre students and the actor Mariza Vargas for which she was awarded The Best Director Prize (Culture OK Prize, Brasilia 1999).
She has worked with the Butoh performer and TAAN Dance Company director Maura Baiochi, the performance artists Jose Eduardo Garcia de Moraes and Felicia Johansson and the dancer Eliana Carneiro in Brasilia where together they created the National Solo Company of Atypical Dances. In São Paulo Simone collaborated with the tropicalista and antropofagico artist Zé Celso Martinez Correa, the Uzina Uzona Theatre Company director who blends theatre with Candomble and Umbanda, both ritualistic Afro-Brazilian religions. In Zé Celso's company she has performed Ophelia's Ghost in Hamlet's Opening Rehearsals, the characters Barbara Heliodora and Death in 1993. Simone has also performed with the legendary Brazilian actor and terror movie director Jose do Caixao in Zé Celso's play Misterios Gozozos, 1994.
In 2003 she was awarded a 4-year PhD scholarship from the Brazilian Ministry of Education and was granted study-leave from the University of Brasilia to come to Australia. In Melbourne at Dance House in 2003, she participated in the Beyond Butoh Festival curated by Tony Yap and Yumi Umiumare. Her academic work at Victoria University (VU) in Melbourne involved practice-based research in performance. Her doctoral thesis, completed in 2007, is entitled "Little World/Mundinho: An 'Antropofagic' and Autobiographic Performance". The performance component of her doctorate "Little World" was presented at "La Mama" in Carlton (Melbourne) in December 2006.