Artistic Discoveries in European Schoolyards

Palmela | Portugal

Founded in 1974, Teatro O Bando is one of the oldest cultural cooperatives in Portugal. Teatro O Bando is a group that chooses the aesthetical transfiguration as its mode of civic and community.
Street theater and activities for children in schools and cultural associations, integrated in decentralization projects, are the basis of the company’s work

O Bando creations are defined by their plasticity and staging dimension, characterized mainly by the Scene Machines. The dramaturgical work is also very important, providing the explicit pasting of literary materials and the inclusion of colloquial expressions. The texts used are mainly derived from Portuguese authors, rather than standard dramatic texts.

Over the years the company has created more than 100 different shows. The company’s 4,500 performances have been seen by approximately 1.3 million spectators, not counting the PEREGRINAÇÃO, which in EXPO’98 reached an audience of 3 million. Although the larger shows are not always the easiest ones to remember, the people who saw MONTEDEMO in 1987, will never have forgotten the actors running in the darkness of the forest. Also unforgettable was the steam train entering the station in GENTE SINGULAR in 1993, the performance in the walls of the buildings in 1990, BICHOS, the damp fog over the spectators in ENSAIO SOBRE A CEGUEIRA in 2004 and the seagulls flying over the Jerónimos Monastery in SAGA in 2008.

The company continues to search for originality in their creations, aiming to create art works which surprise and have a cutting edge. These art works are the result of a collective methodology where a shared artistic direction accommodates the differences and conflicting points of view, until the conflicts reveals their potential. The resulting work of art is often way beyond what the collective first envisaged and quite unpredictable.

Teatro O Bando aims to transgress a wide range of borders, rural or urban, adult or child, learned or popular, national, or universal, dramatic, narrative or poetic. Throughout their journey, the group was linked to multiple national and international projects. The group continues its touring activities, presenting several shows throughout the country.

Ten years ago, after several moves, O Bando finally settled on a farm in Vale dos Barris, Palmela, where unexpected, potential stages made of stars, of trees and cliffs can be found. O Bando is waiting to welcome you there with soup, bread and cheese, Muscatel and a cozy chat next to the fireplace.

go to Teatro O Bando


Teatro O Bando - view into the valley
Teatro O Bando - view foyer



Artistic Director
João Brites

Visual Artists
Nuno Gabriel de Mello

Art Education
Lia Nogueira

Rui Pina Coelho