Rafael Saraiva and Samuel Valladares have been friends since high school. As Samuel says: “I’ve been friends with Rafa for 14 years and the friendship extends to work. We’ve had a theater company together, we’ve done countless plays, a movie, we’ve written and directed a program for YouTube on TV Globo together, anyway. I think this play represents all those years of partnership, bonding and our devotion to theater and comedy.”
Rafael is very excited about the premiere of “Presentes”. According to him, “the two love the risk of throwing themselves on stage without knowing what will happen.” As they know each other very well, this helps in the dynamics of the improvisations and gives each other security to build the scene on the spot, in front of the audience.
Tuila Jost directs the show, which is produced by Joana Motta. The director says: “Rafael Saraiva and Samuel Valladares are artists that I have admired since they were very young. They have been friends for many years with my son Theo Jost, assistant director of the play. “Presentes” is an authorial format created for them and for Noé Ribeiro, our musical improviser, always on stage trailing the show. Between comings and goings, in the possibilities of the agendas, the rehearsals had the generosity of great friends to happen. Claudio Soares lent his house for weeks and Clara Araújo a room at the Pró Saber education institute, directed by her. And just like that, it was possible for us to work and prepare the show.”
How did the idea of creating the show “Presentes” come about and how do you feel about debuting this piece of improvisation?
The idea came from Samuel and I’s desire to be on stage together. In addition, we are both passionate about risk, not knowing what will happen on stage. For this, there is nothing better than theatrical improvisation. I’m really excited, I have no idea what’s going to happen.
What makes “Presentes” different from other improvised shows you’ve participated in?
I believe that Gifts is a show with a very anarchic mood. Our rules are few and the show can tell any story. Our directors engineered a show precisely to expand our freedom, so I think Gifts really is always a mystery.
What is the working dynamic like with your colleagues on the scene, Samuel Valladares and the musical improviser Noé Ribeiro?
Great. In addition to being very close friends of mine, they are two people that I have a lot of artistic admiration for. I feel safe around them, and I think that safety is fundamental for me to feel comfortable to throw myself on the precipice that is an improvisation piece.
Do you have any special preparation before each performance to face the challenge of improvisation?
We warm up to try to put ourselves in a similar energy frequency.
You have extensive experience in theater, series, cinema and also in the digital world. How do these experiences complement each other in your artistic career?
I believe that the artist has to occupy the spaces where he has the possibility of talking to someone. In addition, the different platforms are forms of expression with your individuality, but also always with the aim of touching someone. Therefore, I seek to understand in each one what his greatest virtues are. And I try to take them to the other formats.
Tell us a little about your longtime partnership with Samuel Valladares and how that friendship influences your work on stage.
Samuel has been my best friend for 14 years. A person I trust with my eyes closed. Also, I think he’s a brilliant artist and extremely hilarious and intelligent. Our intimacy is certainly present in our improvisation, because we are not shy about the other. We make any joke and know that the other will handle it well. We have a very similar mindset for life and that makes the show easier.
What was it like working with director Tuila Jost in the conception and development of the show?
Tuila, in addition to being a brilliant improviser and director, is the mother of one of my best friends, who is also directing the show. I feel invited to join a family, with all the affection, joy, affection and friendship possible. But also with the ear pulling that only a mother knows how to give. She’s wonderful.
“Gifts” is an authorial format created especially for you, Samuel and Noah. How was the creative process to develop this unique show?
We trained impromptu for 1 year and a half. Finally we are having the possibility to debut. We experimented with different formats, possibilities and games. Until we get to this one, which, in my view, is based on the freedom of construction that every improviser dreams of having.
The audience can expect something surprising in each performance, due to the piece’s improvised character. Do you have any memorable stories of an improvisation that were marked in your performances?
The public can always expect something surprising. Including, I’m sure I’ll be surprised a lot during the season. During the same show, it seems that the story goes in several different ways. We are always surprising ourselves. I can say that during a presentation we did, I started to feel sick during the show. At times I thought I was going to faint. All this, making a Greek God.
In addition to “Presentes”, you are also part of the cast of “Porta dos Fundos”. How is the experience of being part of such a recognized and successful group on the internet?
It is wonderful. I learn every second I’m around them. Porta is a great artistic reference and being a member of the cast makes me trust myself a lot more.
Follow Rafael Saraiva on Instagram