Portable Play to Play

PaPI (Portable Play to Play) is a set of small musical-theatre pieces created in multidisciplinary, intergenerational artistic residences held at the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation as part of the Opus Tutti project

They are the result of a careful process, reflecting and studying, looking to set standards for good artistic practice for early childhood. They are put on by versatile artists, specifically trained to develop their artistic expression - based on music, dance and theatre - drawing on a very genuine human contact, and bound up in the idea that art and playfulness share common ground.

The idea is that it will help bring cultural institutions and communities closer together, and that the smallest among us can share these important moments in their lives with teachers and educational assistants as well as their families. The first "drafts" were presented in 2012 at the II International Colloquium of Art for Infancy and Social and Human Development, and subsequently each PaPI has followed its own path of refinement, which includes direct contact with

children, namely at the O Roseiral Childcare Centre and the music guidance sessions at LAMCI, in Lisbon.

In the year when Opus Tutti is Bearing Fruit, these pieces will start to tour various crèches and kindergartens in the area of Lisbon, with the support of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. At the same time, the design of the travelling model has meant that other cultural and educational bodies have been able to get involved in the project and benefit from the fruits of its labors.

To this end, the PaPIs have been presented in cultural institutions and at the same time toured in crèches and kinder-gartens in their area. Reaching out to more children, more families, more professionals, more places and helping weave relationships with the threads of art. Seeking to promote

interaction between adults and children by giving a first taste of the arts, these pieces are also associated with different sound environments/tactile universes. At the end of each PaPI, parents, teachers, educational assistants and children, are invited to play with the props, exploring their sounds, colours and shapes.

PaPI leaves something to remember: at the end of each show there is always time to revisit a song, a rhyme, a dance, a game, a trick, and, therefore, to stimulate the senses and communication amongst the little ones. And, in this manner the space will reverberate with harmony and desire to communicate.

The PaPIs were specially

designed to be able to tour easily around a wide variety of cultural venues, theatres, crèches and kindergartens

Concept and Production  Companhia de Música Teatral / Projeto Opus Tutti /  Co-creation and Cast  Projeto Opus Tutti [Albine Petrolatti, Alena Dittrichová, Ana Dias, Catarina Fragoso, Gabriela Semedo, Hugo Fernandes, Lavínia Moreira, Joana Veiga, Jorge Oliveira, Maria Vidal, Miss Suzie, Rodrigo Malvar, Rui Pires, Sara Costa] /  Invited Teachers  Consiglia Latorre, Pedro Ramos /  Invited Artist  Ana Guedes /  Artistic Direction  Paulo Maria Rodrigues /  Coordination  Helena Rodrigues /  Support  Ana Rebelo, Paulo Ferreira Rodrigues

"The research work carried out by Opus Tutti / LAMCI / CESEM is a groundbreaking effort focusing on high level artistic performance in interaction with children.

The project's innovative and interdisciplinary approach points towards new ways of understanding the relationship between the arts and early childhood. It has provided new knowledge concerning children's reception and interaction with the arts as well as new models for developing performance and musical/theatrical improvisation. I was really impressed by what I saw in Lisbon at the II International Colloquium of Art for Childhood and Social and Human Development, and by the seriousness and professionality that marks their work."

Jan Sverre Knudsen,
Professor, Department of Early Childhood Education,
Oslo and Akershus University College

Opus 1  / Casa das Artes, Vila Nova de Famalicão

Opus 7  / Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisboa

Opus 5  / Casa das Artes, Vila Nova de Famalicão

1 / 5

Opus 6  / Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisboa

"Since the creation of Bebé Babá, in 2001, CMT has inspired a movement to support the development of natural musical skills, celebrating the joy of musical communication between parents and children within the theatrical performance. Companhia de Música Teatral has been celebrating and developing the enjoyment of rich musical communication between parents and infants within a theatrical performance. Their work has been of great help to my research on the principles of 'communicative musicality' and their application in educational practice.
The public presentations promote a philosophy of natural education, complementary to formal school work, in which parents, and joyful play, have a key role in encouraging children's creativity and learning. (... ) Their project has become a training ground for young artists and researchers in psychology and education who learn to appreciate their inborn musicality, and its importance for the mastery of skills in language and all kinds of conventional practice taught in school."

Colwyn Trevarthen,
Professor Emeritus of Child Psychology and Psychobiology,
University of Edinburgh

Letters to PaPI

  • We loved to be in the Roseiral today; it went really well! The babies wanted to come to us, we were in three rooms and the kids were very participative.

    Ana e Lavínia, performers from Opus 2
    Lisbon, December 2012
  • I really like the music. I'm coming back tomorrow!

    3 year old boy in conversation with the performers at the end of the Opus 2 show at the Municipal Theatre of Beja
    Beja, January 2013
  • We were amazed: today a 4 month old baby was there who was very attentive and responded to our sounds and movements.

    Ana e Lavínia, performers from Opus 2
    Oeiras, September 2013
  • I don’t have any questions. I only wanted to say one thing: I really liked it!

    Primary school child that was present at the show in the Cacém kindergarten
    Cacém, January 2014
  • The ballet dance had her nothing on her feet; The ballet dance went from one world to another; The ballet dancer used her voice and her body.

    Children from the Diva’s kindergarten.
    Cacém, January 2014
  • We were surprised by the amount of interaction that the piece generated with Quimquim, a 4 month old baby. And the most amazing is that in the following days he continued to use his voice as we had never seen before.

    S. Pinhão, after showing Opus 2 at the São Luiz Municipal Theatre
    Lisbon, February 2014
  • When our teacher old us that today we'd attend to this performance, I thought: - So boring! Nevertheless, I found it very interesting. I loved the artist's work and to observe the kids - they're so sweet.

    Student of High School - Theatre Course of Externato Delfim Ferreira
    Vila Nova de Famalicão, March 2014
  • The work of all the performers and the whole team of Opus 1 was admirable, a great idea, with original ideas that capture the attention of not just the intended audience (the children) but also all the others who came to see this type of play. The fact that the dialogue mainly used body movements made it somewhat special and sweet, allowing us to voyage to and dream of an imaginary place.

    Maria Almeida, Student of Theatre High School, Externato Delfim Ferreira
    Vila Nova de Famalicão, March 2014
  • It was a great experience to be able to appreciate how children react to stimulation. It helped me by being able to see one possible way of working with children and how we can captivate their attention.

    Beatriz Magano, Student of Theatre High School, Externato Delfim Ferreira
    Vila Nova de Famalicão, March 2014
  • As we are theatre students, it is always good to be able to see something different where we can gain inspiration for future work. And after seeing the short piece with children, I started to think why/for what reason do children laugh and what are the moments that produced most impact on them.

    Sara Correia, Student of Theatre High School, Externato Delfim Ferreira
    Vila Nova de Famalicão, March 2014
  • The shows are an opportunity for the various rooms in the nursery and kindergarten to meet up, allowing such a young audience the chance to see and experience a different and most enriching activity. For the professionals it provides real benefits as they can learn new ways of working with “music”, using songs, rhythms and movement.

    Isabel Mota, Director of nursery O Roseiral
    Lisbon, March 2014

The Bridges of PaPI

Cultural institutions take on a central role in the relation-ship between the local community and the Arts.

Allowing small children access to artistic experiences is particularly important because it is at this stage that a basis is laid down upon which a wide range of future development is possible.

The Bridges of PaPI are an initiative that seeks to encourage theatres and cultural institutions to promote a conjoined model, taking shows and their space and seeing their development in other environments, such as crèches and kindergartens, and in this way creating or strengthening the relationship with new audiences and the community.

Besides the conjoined presentation of one or more of the Opus, The Bridges of PaPI complements the experience with strategies that aim to consolidate the bridging of the two worlds. The idea here is to widen the impact of the work, consolidating the ties and encouraging the participants to build a closer relationship with the theatre.

Opus 1  / Centro Infantil O Roseiral, Lisboa

The São Luiz Municipal Theatre has adopted this model of itinerancy and built bridges with community by promoting workshops for parents and children and taking several Opus to nearby nurseries.

The Municipality of Vila Nova de Famalicão believes that it's possible to create impact within the community through art. They shared the bridges of PaPI in Casa das Artes and in several day care centres.

Opus 1  / Centro Infantil O Roseiral, Lisboa

Opus Tutti

Opus Tutti is an educational and artistic project which is designed to develop good practice in areas connected with childhood and early childhood. Some of these practices have been tried as experiments in the O Roseiral Childcare Centre, where a pilot study is being carried out. In the year when Opus Tutti is Bearing Fruit, the practices developed are being widened to other contexts, looking to bring benefit to other institutions and audiences.

Go to Opus Tutti site

Opus Tutti is a project of Companhia de Música Teatral and Laboratory of Music and Communication in Infancy (LAMCI - CESEM) from Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas (UNL). It is supported by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.

Opus 1  /  Casa das Artes, Vila Nova de Famalicão

Opus 1

Opus 2

Opus 5

Opus 6

Opus 7

Find out more about Opus Tutti projects
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Travelling with PaPI

  • Casa das Artes
    Vila Nova de Famalicão
    Fundação Castro Alves de Bairro
    Vila Nova de Famalicão
    Centro Escolar de Joane
    Vila Nova de Famalicão
    Centro Escolar de Ribeirão
    Vila Nova de Famalicão
    Sala da Assembleia da Freguesia de Gondifelos
  • São Luiz Municipal Theatre
    Patronato - Creche Nossa Senhora do Bom Conselho
    Patronato Cristo Rei - Jardim Infantil da Lapa
    Centro Social e Paroquial da Pena Fundação D. Pedro IV
    Casa de Infância de S. Vicente
  • Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation
    Escola EB1 Nº2 do Cacém
    Jardim de Infância do Agrupamento de Escolas Manuel da Maia
    Jardim de Infância Rainha Santa Isabel do Agrupamento de Escolas Bartolomeu de Gusmão
    Centro de Acolhimento Infantil de Campolide
    Escola EB Quinta do Campo
    Hospital de Santa Maria
    O Roseiral Childcare Centre
  • Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation
    Centro Cultural de Belém - Fábrica das Artes
    Palácio Marquês de Pombal
    Teatro Municipal de Bragança
    Teatro Municipal de Vila Real
    Vila Real
    Paços da Cultura
    São João da Madeira
    Teatro Pax Julia
    Fórum Cultural José Manuel Figueiredo
    Centros Infantis da Associação de Jardins Escola João de Deus
    Instituto Condessa de Cuba
    Hospital de Alcoitão

Technical rider

technical rider

production notes

Funded by:

Supported by:


Associação de Profissionais de Educação de Infância, Associação Portuguesa de Educação Musical, Casa das Artes de Vila Nova de Famalicão, Centro Infantil O Roseiral, Direção Geral de Educação/MEC, Fundação Brazelton-Gomes Pedro para as Ciências do Bebé e da Família, Instituto de Estudos e Literatura Tradicional, São Luiz Teatro Municipal, Unidade da Primeira Infância da Estefânia. Other professionals, artists and families that have been with us in all the working process.