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Show retells the story of mothers with babies in their arms escaping from the Butantã women’s prison.

Show retells the story of mothers with babies in their arms escaping from the Butantã women’s prison.

Comunicação - PRCEU - 02/08/2024

Using Italo Calvino’s concept of Lightness as a reference, “Parto Pavilhão” delves into the female perspective between reality and magical realism.

Photo: Edu Luz

The USP Theater presents, starting on February 22nd, the solo show “Parto Pavilhão,” starring Aysha Nascimento, directed by Naruna Costa, and written by Jhonny Salaberg. With free admission, the play runs until March 17th, from Thursday to Saturday, at 9 pm, and Sundays at 8 pm.

Parto Pavilhão” retells the story of nine inmates with babies in their arms escaping from the Female Progression Center (CPP) in Butantã, which occurred in 2009. The production concludes the Escape Trilogy, which also includes “Buraquinhos or The Wind Is the Enemy of Picumã” (2018) – nominated for best playwright and awarded best direction at the APCA Awards – and “Mato Cheio” (2019).

In this play, Salaberg transforms another fact from the country’s prison reality into drama, with the narrative focus on Rose, one of the inmates. According to the author, “it is a show that dives into the female perspective through a narrative that plays with the documentary and magical realism.”

To build the story of the show, the author claims to have used Italo Calvino’s concept of Lightness. For Salaberg, the concept serves as a creative tool. The Lightness of the Italian author serves to reframe dense themes and news into light narratives.

Interpreted by Aysha Nascimento, Rose is the former nursing technician who uses dissimulation with prison guards to gain access inside the prison and plan the escape. For the director, “Parto Pavilhão” is “an invitation to the issue of mother’s incarceration. It is indeed a portrait of reality, but it is not a panoramic photo. It’s a close-up. An invitation to get close to the identity of a woman who, even though she is a number to the system, is one.”

What is the Escape Trilogy?

Parto Pavilhão” is the third and final stage of research on the genocide of the black body and the escape for survival, with the previous triggers being the plays “Mato Cheio” and “Buraquinhos or The Wind Is the Enemy of Picumã.” The plays lent their titles to homonymous books published in the Drama Collection by Editora Cobogó, which also publishes “Parto Pavilhão” in 2021. The research of the three works that make up the Escape Trilogy is anchored in Italo Calvino’s notion of Lightness proposed in the book “Six Memos for the Next Millennium.” From this perspective, an approach is sought whose narrative model finds space to reframe dense themes, as a tool of resistance and reaction to the weight of living. Thus, in the case of “Parto Pavilhão,” Lightness seeks to answer the following question: how can we talk about black women and mothers in the female prison system in a welcoming way?


Rose, an inmate of a women’s prison for mothers and a former nursing technician, helps women during childbirth, with childcare, and to endure the weight of days inside the cells. She became a mother inside the prison and knows the daily life and secrets of this labyrinth. Gradually, she gains the trust of the entire pavilion and the prison director, with whom she knits woolen clothes for the babies almost every afternoon. Everything changes when, during a Brazilian national team game, she grabs a bunch of keys from an open drawer.

Technical information

Conceptualization and Playwriting: Jhonny Salaberg / Direction: Naruna Costa / Acting: Aysha Nascimento / Musician on stage: Reblack / Musical Direction and Compositions: Giovani Di Ganzá / Body Preparation: Malu Avelar / Set and Costume Design: Ouroboros Produções Artísticas – Carol Gracindo, Thais Dias, and Io Costa / Lighting Design: Gabriele Souza / Light Operation: Beatriz Nauali / Sound Design and Operation: Tomé de Souza / Visual Identity: Sato do Brasil / Photos: Edu Luz / Press Relations: Rafael Ferro and Pedro Madeira / Executive Production: Washington Gabriel / Legal Production: Corpo Rastreado


Parto Pavilhão

Where: USP Theater

Rua Maria Antônia, 294 – Vila Buarque – São Paulo, SP (near Higienópolis and Santa Cecília metro stations)

When: From February 22nd to March 17th, Thursday to Saturday at 9 pm, and Sunday at 8 pm / Extra sessions on Saturdays: March 2nd, 9th, and 16th at 6 pm

Rating: 14 years old

How much: Free. Tickets at the box office 1 hour before each session.

Capacity: 50 seats

Duration: 60 minutes

Information: (11) 3123-5222

Espetáculo reconta a fuga de mães com bebês de colo em presídio feminino do Butantã
  • 22/Feb/2024 until 17/Mar/2024
  • Free of charge
  • usp.br/tusp
    • Teatro da USP
    • Rua Maria Antônia 294
    • São Paulo - SP
    • CEP: 01222-010
    • usp.br/tusp
    • Thursday, Friday and Saturday
    • Das 21:00 às 22:00
    • Sunday
    • Das 20:00 às 21:00
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