Jose Possi Neto directs The Gospel According to Jesus Christ (O Evangelho Segundo Jesus Cristo), a Brazilian super-production based on the book with the same name by Portuguese philosopher Jose Saramago. The book has been adapted for the stage by writers Fatima Saade and Ligia Verdi. The play opens in Rio de Janeiro in September 1998.
This is the first time that the philosophical universe of the Portuguese writer Jose Saramago has come to the stage. Neto, who admits he accepted the project as a challenge, points out the great difficulties with the work -- how to find a new approach for one of the most well-known stories in the Western world, "Jesus Christ and His Passage on the Earth", and how to bring to the stage and to transform such a philosophical and literary masterpiece into theatrical language.
The writers and the director are still deciding how to compile the adaptation and explain...."We´ll probably select the strongest and most central episode of the book to explore the theme. It would be impossible to adapt all the book. The play would need 12 hours per day during a week just for one performance"...
The entire cast has not been announced yet, but theatre stars like Stenio Garcia, Suzana Faini and Tuca Andrada have been confirmed by the producers. For the Jesus and God characters the veteran actors Paulo Autran and Raul Cortez are being speculated.
This R$800.000,00 production is sponsored by The Rio de Janeiro City Hall and RioArte. Further information about theatre, cast, performances and previews will be announced throughout the 1998 first semester. -- By Nertutila Achao