Mirpuri Foundation is pleased to announce a Prize in the areas of Dance, Music and Theater, under the names of figures of national reputation in each of these respective cultural areas. The Prize intends to promote and recognize cultural activities at the highest international levels of excellence, as well as to epitomize its role as a model for younger generations by stimulating the quality of artistic production in these fields of cultural expression. The prize will be awarded by a jury selected by Mirpuri Foundation, qualified in accordance with the respective performing area of the competition. Mirpuri Foundation will attribute its first award in the year 2018, in a special ceremony devoted to honor the works and authors laureate, but also to promote greater dissemination of its cultural enterprises and philanthropic activities.

The Dance, Music and Theatre Awards recognize outstanding work and excellence in:




This award will promote excellence in the Theatre area. The prize is named after Carlos Avilez.

Carlos Avilez is one of the most important and controversial Portuguese theatre directors whose productions of many dramatists’ works (mainly Shakespeare, Jean Genet and Gil Vicente) contributed significantly to the development of the 20th century Portuguese stage. His work began in the early 60’s and because of its new modern language he was soon known as the enfant terrible of Portuguese theatre. Influenced by directors Peter Brook and Jerzy Grotowski (whom he worked directly with), Avilez founded his own theatre Company in 1965, the “Teatro Experimental de Cascais” where he worked with some of the most important 20th and 21th century Portuguese artists (playwrights, painters, set designers, musicians, composers, dancers, choreographers and – of course – actors) staging more than 150 productions throughout the last 52 years, wining countless awards in Portugal and abroad – main productions included Shakespeare’s King Lear, Genet’s The Balcony, Yves Jamiaque’s Don Quijote, Büchner’s Danton’s Death, Lope de Vega’s Fuenteovejuna, Witold Gombrowicz’s Ivona, Princess of Burgundia and Bertolt Brecht’s Life of Galileo, and also Shakespeare’s Hamlet at the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. He was also artistic director of both Portuguese National Theatres (D. Maria II in Lisbon and São João in Oporto) and many other significant state and city theatre structures such as the “Teatro Municipal São Luiz” (Lisbon) or the CITAC (Coimbra) and in 1970 was the director of the Portuguese Delegation at the Expo’ 70 in Osaka, Japan. In 1992 he founded the Escola Profissional de Teatro de Cascais (EPTC), one of the most prestigious Portuguese drama schools. After changing the Portuguese theatre in the 60’s and 70’s, today Avilez is still acknowledge as one of the most influential directors of Portuguese theatre – maintaining a constant renewal of his stage language – but also as a key figure in the development of a new generation of Portuguese actors for the last 25 years as EPTC’s director and professor. 2016’s Life Achievement Award by the Portuguese Society of Authors was one of many recognitions of a life fully dedicated to art and theatre.


Eugénia Vasques

Born in Coimbra in 1948, Eugénia Vasques is a renowned Theater teacher and critic. She graduated from National Conservatory of Theatre (Conservatório Nacional de Teatro), Lisbon (Lisboa) and from School of Humanities (Faculdade de Letras), University of Lisbon (Universidade de Lisboa). Furthermore, she has a Ph.D. in Hispanic Languages and Literature from University of California, Santa Barbara, E.U.A./ Portuguese Studies, Universidade Nova de Lisboa. Eugénia Vasques has worked as a professor at the Lisbon Theatre and Film School (Escola Superior de Teatro e Cinema/IPL) and as a Researcher at Research Center in Arts and Communication (CIAC), University of Algarve. She is a member of the Editorial Board of the HUMANITAS Collection, CIAC/University of Algarve and of the Directing Board of Clube UNESCO for Artistic Education. List of published books: Jorge de Sena: Uma Ideia de Teatro 1938-71 (Lisboa, Cosmos, 1998; Guimarães, 2015). Mulheres que Escreveram Teatro no Século XX em Portugal (Lisboa, Colibri, 2001).O Que É Teatro (Lisboa, Quimera, 2003; reimpressão 2015, 2016). João Mota, o Pedagogo Teatral (Metodologia e Criação) (Lisboa, Colibri/IPL, 2006). Para a História da Encenação em Portugal, (Lisboa, Sá da Costa, 2010). A Escola de Teatro do Conservatório (1836-1911) Contributo para uma História do Conservatório de Lisboa, (Lisboa, Gradiva, 2012). Educação Artística: Para um Currículo de Excelência (with Ana Caldas); Lisboa, Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, 2014). 

Francisco Pestana

His artistic career begins in 1969 in the Scenic Group of the Faculty of Law, in Lisbon. In 1970, he has his first premiere in cinema with the movie “Nojo aos Cãe”s and, in 1971, at the professional theatre with O Processo, from F. Kafka, in Teatro Villaret. In 1972, he takes part in the foundation of the “Comuna”, a theatrical collective in which he stays until 1981. In 1982, he is one of the main founding members of the “Novo Grupo/Teatro Aberto” integrating the direction of this cooperative. Since then he has been participating in most of the shows presented by this Company. In cinema, he participates in movies from Luís Galvão Telles, António de Macedo, José Fonseca e Costa and Geneviéve Mershe, among others; in television, in series such as Clube dos Campeões and Cuidado com as Aparências. Throughout his career he participates in radio pieces and works of voice actor in several series of animation. At the same time he develops the playwright activity, highlighting his piece A Ilha de Argüim, 1st Prize of Inatel/Novos Textos 1994 contest, with its premiere in Teatro Baltazar Dias, by “Teatro Experimental do Funchal”, in 1996. This piece has also been edited in book (SPA/Dom Quixote) and in television (RTP Madeira). Among the pieces of his authorship, have been taken to scene Subúrbio or Não Há Nada que se Coma (Teatro Cinearte/A Barraca, 1995), and Deixa-me ser a tua Loucura or Não Há Nada que se Coma 2 (Teatro da Trindade, 1999). In 1995 he was awarded by the Government of Madeira for distinction and merit in the area of Theatre.

Mirpuri Foundation Jury