Elmano Sancho took home the ‘Carlos Avilez’ Award, winning the Mirpuri Foundation Theatre Award 2018.

Winner of the Mipuri Foundation’s Carlos Avilez Theatre Award – Elmano Sancho

Elmano Sancho made his acting debut in Teatro da Garagem in 2004. He started to direct for the stage in 2014 and, just two years later, was writing his own plays.

His first stage production was ‘Não Quero Morrer’ (‘I Don’t Want to Die’), the first play he wrote was ‘I can’t breathe’ (eu não consigo respirar) and most recent was ‘A Última Estação’ (‘The Last Station’).  

“I’d like to thank the Foundation for its recognition of my work to date.

It is a great honour to be rewarded for something that is essentially a passion.

The ‘Last Station’ is the third play that I have written and the fourth production I have been responsible for.

It is based on the traditional Stations of the Cross, but with the addition of a final scene, ‘The Resurrection’. Originally introduced by Pope John Paul II, the 15th station represents hope and transformation. Not just on an individual level, but also on a global one.

 The passion of Christ is a metaphor for the daily struggles of all humanity. I chose to contrast that struggle with the life of Ted Bundy.

For anyone who is not familiar with the story, Ted Bundy was an American serial killer, kidnapper and rapist, who, shortly before execution, and after 10 years of denials, confessed to the murder of 30 women in the 1970s.

Bundy’s young victims thought him handsome and charismatic, traits that he exploited to win their trust.

Bundy and Christ were both put to death for acting outside societal norms. Both broke the law, both were punished with death. 

As an artist, I wanted to explore the differences and the similarities, and to contrast these men through the 15 acts of the passion.

Physically, I’m told I look a little bit like Bundy. I was also born on December 25th, the birthdate of Christ.

I have something then to relate to each man.

So, I wrote my play with 15 acts, each one representing a stage of Christ’s passion. And it deals alternately with the character of Christ and Bundy and the people who ultimately became victims of both stories.

To win this Mirpuri Foundation award for my work is an honour.

It not only validates my career to date, but enables me to develop my craft with determination, courage, and security, but also with a responsibility in relation to other artists. 

Being the inaugural winner also makes me an ambassador for the award, to show others that it’s important and to encourage them to put themselves forward in the future.

In a nation that is not well known for initiatives that support our artists, the award is fundamental in making art credible and showing our appreciation for it. I thank you very sincerely for this honour.”