// Scenic Spaces and Scene Machines

From the aesthetic transfiguration and trough an elastic art - that adding all the arts to the materials, architectural conditions and spaces suggested by nature, can create a scenic spaces over a hill, within a public square, enveloping a monument, inside a train, or on a rooftop - Teatro o Bando has always been looking for unconventional spaces to invade as a scenic space.

Even when the show happens on a conventional theatre different solutions are studied so that for example the front of the stage can advance inside and over part of the audience's chairs in a big diagonal creating a break with formal frontal stage.


Along with this ways of looking at the scenic space, the group also creates shows with devices which are now called Scene Machines categorized by theatre critics and scenographers that study Teatro o Bando's work. These Scene Machines aren't static scenografies merely at the service of actors for they are equivalent to characters because they create tensions, moods, feelings even when they're not moving « its a theatre that draws a new landscape but a landscape with a wider scope then the one of nature», says the theater critic Jorge Listopad. As a result from an intense touring activity the Scene Machines have conquered their importance in Teatro o Bando and in Portuguese Theatre history. Theatre Professor and Historian Maria Helena Serôdio calls them "polysemic objects" that with that characteristic achieve a function/meaning according to the position/place they occupy on stage.

One of the main examples is the one in Afonso Henriques show (on stage since 1983 and still working today) it's called the THRONE (image above) but depending on its position can be a CRADLE, a CART, a CASTLE, a CATHEDRAL or simply a BED. From this patrimony of several shows throughout the decades Teatro o Bando has most of this Scene Machines scattered troughout the landscape within its headquarters as part of nature, out in the open, in a perpetual exposition called AO RELENTO.

The innovating aspect it that various parts that compose a Teatro o Bando's show can be isolated and still be of great potentials and artistic value. For example the characters that usually continue in other individual small scale shows (after the large scale shows are discontinued), the text can be read and have literary value on its own, the Scene Machines (read above), the musical composition with its abstract meaning is many times reused by others in agreement with Teatro o Bando and the composer