Mónica Calle founded the Casa Conveniente theatre company in 1992. Virgem Doida, a “striptease-monologue” based on the work of Rimbaud, was the founding manifest that introduced the audience to the company’s sparse performances centred on language, proximity and sharing. Her reflection on the aesthetics of reception, of which Rua de Sentido Único (2003) and Lar Doce Lar (2006) are paradigmatic examples – a monologue for two, and one spectator respectively – continues.
Language being the starting point for all her creative and scenic endeavours, Mónica Calle has sought inspiration from authors such as Peter Handke, Thomas Bernhard, Beckett, Pirandello, Chekhov and Strindberg. For Recordações de uma Revolução, a part of the Heiner Müller Programme, she received the Prémio Autores 2012 SPA /RTP in the “Teatro – Melhor Espectáculo” (Theatre – Best Show) category. Simultaneously, she has developed a training programme for actors in prison facilities, in the context of which she has produced two shows with the theatre company of Estabelecimento Prisional Vale de Judeus.
As an actress, she has worked in several feature and short films, such as Casa de Lava (1994) by Pedro Costa, Fado Majeur et Mineur (1994) by Raúl Ruiz, A Costa dos Murmúrios (2004), by Margarida Cardoso, O Filme do Desassossego (2010) by João Botelho and Cinzento e Negro (2015) by Luís Filipe Rocha.
In 2014, the company’s facilities moved from Cais do Sodré to Zona J in Chelas, during a tour through the city of Lisbon based on Brecht’s The Good Person of Szechwan and The Seven Deadly Sins. In the following year, she joined the Filho Único association in the creation of the “Zona Não Vigiada” festival, a music festival which seeks to create new audiences and to breathe new life into the city’s outskirts.
Last summer saw the premiere of Rifar o Meu Coração, a “workshop-performance” which, from Chelas, went on a tour through Porto and Alentejo. In a challenging take on traditional distribution processes, the play involved a week of rehearsals involving the population of each locality and another week of free, public performances.
It was the result of this “radically site-specific” research year that Mónica Calle presented on March this year at Teatro Nacional D. Maria during Ensaio para uma Cartografia, the updated version of which she will present during this edition of the Lisbon & Sintra Film Festival.