The Empathic Limbo


The Empathic Limbo

May 29th and 30th

TAGV, Coimbra


The first moments when Humanity was able to capture life and reproduce it in movement must have been extremely exciting. It’s not easy to imagine the emotion of watching, for the first time ever, the film recording of a past event or, to an individual, to observe oneself from the outside. With the invention of the recording of images on film we have been able to recover the past for the present and for the future. The gift of eternity was invented.

This current epoch, in which our existence has been suspended in something as immaterial as an invisible gas, is equally exciting. We are able to be anywhere and in many places simultaneously. The gift of ubiquity was invented.

And it’s extraordinary this time of our Humanity in which we carry a brain in the pocket that answers any question about any subject that invades our spirit. Omniscience is already invented.

We continue, however, without the answer we need to the fundamental question.

In this play we coincide in a place-moment of space-time with three people who constitute an open system. Based on their doubts and certainties, we reflect on existence, privacy, empathy, need, value, in an instant in the world where communication between human beings has become overwhelming.

One of the defining characteristics of a system is its limits. In this play, we walk on a set of delicate threads on the edge of what being human is.


Cast and Crew

Discussion and ideas Carolina Santos, Filipe Eusébio, Francisca Moreira, Laetitia Morais, Marcelo dos Reis, Mário Montenegro, Pedro Andrade, Sílvia Santos

Text and direction Mário Montenegro

Actors Carolina Santos, Filipe Eusébio, Mário Montenegro, Sílvia Santos

Projected movies Excertos de: Man With the Movie Camera, Dziga Vertov; The Immigrant, Charles Chaplin e The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Robert Wiene

Scenography, costumes and props Pedro Andrade

Lighting and technical direction Rui Simão

Video Laetitia Morais

Original soundtrack Marcelo dos Reis

Image Pedro Andrade e João Sarnadas

Executive production and stage photography Francisca Moreira

Scientific consultant Carlos Fiolhais

Hairstyling Carlos Gago – Ilídio Design

Co-production Marionet / TAGV

Partnership CNC – Centro de Neurociências e Biologia Celular da Universidade de Coimbra

Funding República Portuguesa – Cultura / Direcção-Geral das Artes, Câmara Municipal de Coimbra

Supporters Bonifrates, Convento São Francisco, Rómulo – Centro de Ciência Viva da Universidade de Coimbra, Fundação Bissaya Barreto, Ilídio Design Cabeleireiros, MAFIA – Federação Cultural de Coimbra

Acknowledgment Ana Luísa Cardoso, Ana Morais, Carlos Fiolhais, Edmundo Balsemão Pires, João Silva, José Vilhena, Paulo Marques