History of PPGAC

Created in 1971, the Department of Dramatic Arts has become known for its investigations into the practice and theory of theater arts; the two are always placed in confrontation with each other, in view of the fact that one fuels the other. These two research fronts, practice and theory, have developed over the last thirty years into graduate courses and, since 1981. The profile of a teacher in the Dramatic Arts Department presumes an accumulation of academic competencies, related to artistic vigor and an interest in the pedagogy of theater. Bibliographic updating and ties with major international research lines are not enough, they must also be in tune with the contemporary theater scene and with the artistic practices they give birth to, as well as with the historical renovations of the relationship between  theater and education.

PPGAC’s  objectives are: the training of outstanding teachers and researchers; to stimulate the continuous improvement of its teachers; to nurture innovation in intellectual-technical, artistic and bibliographic production; establish an expedient and permanent dialogue of the university with society, without forgetting the frequent alterations in social life that require appropriate artistic and pedagogical answers in face of new historic confrontations; the effective exchange with other teaching and research institutions in Brazil and abroad; the broad dissemination of knowledge produced by the program, as well as providing incentive for circulating knowledge produced by similar programs, be it from Brazilian or foreign graduate research programs.

The teaching staff is presently composed by 23 permanent professors, (practically) all of them working RDIDP (Regime of Total Dedication to Teaching and Research). It is important to mention that several professors with compulsory retirement continue to contribute to PPGAC-USP, as it is the case with professors Clóvis Garcia, Jacó Guinsburg, Ingrid Koudela and Ana Maria Amaral, all pioneers in their respective fields in Brazil.

The Department of Dramatic Arts has been offering Graduate courses since the 70s, while still being a part of the Theater Department and integrated in the postgraduate program that united different fields of knowledge at ECA (School of Communications and Arts). It was thus a pioneering program in the country, having conferred titles to a large majority of masters and doctors that graduated in the 70s, 80s and beginning of the 90s. But its greatest accomplishment, towards the consolidation of the Graduate course in its field, was to house and organize, in 1999, the 1st Congress of ABRACE (Brazilian Graduate Association of Dramatic Arts). Through this pioneering Congress, PPGAC-USP made a relevant contribution to further disseminate and strengthenthe Brazilian research in this field.

In 2010, eleven years after the first congress, the Program actively and decisively participated in the planning and organization of the ABRACE’s 6th Congress of the Dramatic Arts. The event was the largest and most expressive congress in its field featured in the country, with an international dimension – 11 foreign guests, who gave workshops and conferences, were part of the debates and increased overall comprehension on how graduate courses worked in their countries. The event had record-breaking attendance, with over one thousand participants and almost seven hundred projects enrolled, demonstrating the evident consolidation of  Dramatic Arts research in Brazil

Almost all of the teachers in the program teach undergraduate courses, bringing teaching and research into closer proximity. Graduate activities have thus been increasingly integrated with those of undergraduate courses, providing, among other things, stimulus for undergraduate students to become involved in research and help them on their way to a master’s degree, as well as disseminating graduate activities that may nurture the interest of undergraduate students.

In institutional environments, the Department, endeavoring to increase the dialogue between university and society, has collaborated in organizing and realizing projects and events with other institutions such as the São Paulo Secretary of Education, São Paulo Secretary of Culture, Bank of Brasil Cultural Center, Itau Cultural Center, Vivo’s Culture Program, Sesc, Sesi, besides other many and frequent partnerships established with cultural and educational secretariats as well as private institutions in São Paulo and other regions of the country.

The Library and Documents Service of the Communications and Arts School – SBD/ECA, created in 1970, has excellent facilities to provide support to the teaching and research activities developed on both undergraduate and graduate levels; besides providing specialized data and documentation services for the community. We have one of the best university libraries (books and video resources) in the country containing over 167,000 items, with one of its main characteristics being the diversity of the supports to catalogue its documents: books, folders, exhibition catalogues, CDs, films, sheet music, plays, slides and videos.

Perhaps the most outstanding facility, in the specific case of Dramatic Arts, offered to undergraduate and graduate students, is the Laboratory Theater, that hosts performances and plays. This theater is comprised of two well-equipped rooms that can be used for: teaching activities, presentation of artistic projects, seminaries and lectures by national and international professors, defenses of master’s and doctorate theses – especially tose revolving around artistic processes allied to academic research. The larger amount of graduate students in Drama are dedicated to teaching, many times in  public universities. And, by so doing, the Program intends to continue with its original vocation of being a source of agents for artistic and scientific innovation as well as for academic training in the theater arts in the country.