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Member country: Portugal
Contact personCândido Sobreiro, Artistic director


Teatro de Balugas is an amateur theatre company from the village of Balugães, inspired by the popular culture of Minho (region of the north of Portugal), where the village is located. It is a community theatre, believing that this community work will keep its identity alive, as a space of creativity, in a fight against the disappearance of the rural world, of the festivities held in the villages by the people who passionately told their beliefs, traditions and customs, of a certain idea of progress that serves neither people nor communities. It is a story of resilience and continuity, where the popular culture of generations resists in the hands of a handful of anonymous artists who step on the stage wearing “balugas” or “borzeguins”, high boots with laces, from which the village of Balugães’ toponym comes from. Founded in 2007, the Teatro de Balugas has staged more than 20 theatrical creations, with original texts written by them, having performed in various places in the northwest of the Iberian Peninsula, where they were born, live and develop their artistic work.


Combined with the theatre project, Teatro de Balugas organizes the PALCO DE TERRA Theater Festival and annually awards the PALCO DE TERRA award to recognize and thank the work and effort of people or institutions in the field of the theatre performed in villages and the artistic creation about the Minho region. The theatre company also coordinates BORZEGUIM – a platform for artistic materialization of the collective memory of the village of Balugães, with emphasis on TERREIRO – a biennial community theatre show. Besides these projects, the Company is responsible for the Club for UNESCO for the safeguarding of Theatre in minority languages. It ​​intends to develop artistic and cultural activities taking as a starting point the importance that theatre, as an oral, written, and performative expression, can represent for the preservation and dissemination of endangered languages. A language is one of the most significant elements of a culture and one of those responsible for the continuation of an identity. In this sense, the theatre is a privileged means for the safeguarding and continuity of these fundamental legacies. As the main activity of the Club, Teatro de Balugas organizes the LÍNGUA Festival – International Festival of Theatre in Minority Languages, celebrated every two years.

Teatro de Balugas is consultant member of the European project LIVHES “Living Heritage for Sustainable Development” and membership of AITA/IATA (International Amateur Theatre Association), TEIA – Teatro em Iniciativa Associativa, Rede da GaliLusofonia, AMATEO (The European Network for Active Participation in Cultural Activities) and FPTA (Federação Portuguesa de Teatro).

Why Amateo?

The AMATEO organization is a necessary and unique opportunity for people who dedicate themselves to amateur cultural activity, providing in this way culture events to contexts which access to it is difficult. In this sense, the Amateo concept is keen on with the Teatro de Balugas’s mission. For us it is really important to share our work to other projects and communities as well as be inspired for meaningful projects developed within the AMATEO network.

Importance of international cooperation?

The Teatro de Balugas company seeks to participate in international events so its members can learn about new forms of doing theatre, in different social and cultural contexts. The international informal partnerships we have with other theatre projects make us be aware of the improvements we need to search for and also the need to collaborate across borders so new ideas can be generated in order to improve the concept of active cultural participation.

Future hopes?

We consider absolutely important to share different ways of amateur activity towards culture. So AMATEO could generate opportunities as a meeting point, through the development of different activities and giving advice as well to the wonderful amateur culture movements we find in Europe.

If you want to read more about TEATRO DE BALUGAS, please visit their web page!

Interested in joining Amateo’s European network? Find out more!

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