João do Vale Theatre in São Luís do Maranhão – History

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João do Vale Theatre in São Luís do Maranhão
João do Vale Theatre in São Luís do Maranhão

The João do Vale Theatre is one of the few spaces for artistic performances in São Luís.

The building where it operates was originally a shed that served as a sugar warehouse owned by businessman Rocha Aguiar.

Located in Largo do Comércio (Rua da Estrela), the shed was built in the 1950s and only in the late 1980s did it become a theatre.

You can also visit the Arthur Azevedo Theatre in São Luís.

At first glance, you might think it is a colonial house, mainly due to its address and the style of its façade, but this is a mistake.

The João do Vale Theatre is nothing more than a pastiche. Because of its strategic location, the building was acquired by the State Government during the administration of Epitácio Cafeteira, during the execution of the Revive Project, and was adapted so that it would be similar to the neighbouring sobrados and would not clash with the architectural ensemble of Praia Grande.

Teatro João do Vale em São Luís do Maranhão

Thus, a triangular pediment was added to its new façade and toilets, a stage and an administration room were installed inside. Painted yellow, it was then nicknamed the “Canarinho Theatre”.

On December 18, 2001, the theatre was reopened after a new renovation, in which it was baptised with its current name, with a bust of the singer and composer from Maranhão honoured in its foyer. Modern scenography, sound, acoustic and air-conditioning equipment was acquired.

In the same year, João do Vale was adopted by the state government as a laboratory for the Actor Training Course of the Maranhão Performing Arts Centre (Cacem), in addition to being the stage for important artistic presentations and festivals.

João do Vale Theatre in São Luís do Maranhão
João do Vale Theatre in São Luís do Maranhão

But in 2006 it was disconnected from the organ, becoming the responsibility of the State Secretariat for Culture (Secma).

Artist João Batista do Vale

The artist – The musician, singer and composer João Batista do Vale better known as João do Vale was born on 11 October 1934 in Pedreiras, Maranhão.

Of humble origin, João always loved music, at the age of 13 he moved to São Luís.

In 1964 he debuted as a singer. His main compositions are: Carcará in partnership with José Cândido and immortalised in the interpretation of Maria Bethânia, Peba na pimenta with Adelino Rivera and Pisa na fulô with Silveira Júnior. João do Vale died on 6 December 1996, in the capital of Maranhão.

João do Vale Theatre
Where: Rua da Estrela, 283, Praia Grande

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