• Mara Radulovic

Week 34 | Artist 34: Created to Create 2016 | Elsa Valentim, Actress


Elsa is Founder and Artistic Director of Act-Scholl a private acting school in Lisbon.

She is Co-Founder and Director of Teatro dos Aloés, a theatre company created in 2001 by a group of actors. In Act-School she developed an experience; her own teaching method based on Michael Chekhov technique and has been an acting teacher over the last 20 years.

In Teatro dos Alóes, she developed her work as an actress, as well as a director.

Over the last 25 years, she has participated in more than 50 plays; with both Portuguese authors and big names of world dramaturgy, such as Shakespeare, Anton Chekhov and Brian Friel. She worked with French director Bernard Sobel and Portuguese director Mario Gonzalez.

Where were you born?

Beja, Portugal

Where do you live/work?

Lisbon, Portugal

What fuels your desire to act?

The best fuel is when I need to find the answer to a question that is disturbing me. l've done The Trojan after the genocide in Rwanda; Macbeth to the question "does everybody have a conscience or not?" and Julieta to celebrate a love bigger than life. It can be also the pleasure of transformation or just to have fun.

What do you fear as an actor?

I fear not knowing my lines, to fail an entrance, not serving the play, and not being honest with the audience.

What inspires you?

Images, people, animals, nature, art, music, and poetry.

Do you have any rituals of preparation?

A lot, with each work bringing different rituals. But, when the ritual is established, I never change it. I do the same every day. It can be the way I organize my space, objects that I bring with me, or the warm up.

Can you speak about Michael Chekhov and how it's transformed your acting?

I "met" Michael Chekhov by chance in Italy at the Mettodi Festival. I chose the Michael Chekhov workshop with Lenard Petit with no idea of what it could be. Since the first minute, I knew that it was what I was looking for all my life. I felt like I found the instrument to express all my creativity; the support to be artistically free. There's a life before Michael Chekhov, and a life after Michael Chekhov, and two completely different actors before and after. It gave me a structure where I'm free to create and at the same time, feeling absolutely safe and conscientious of the process. It changes the way I see art, life, and myself.


In 2016, SUPER SPACE is serving as a vehicle to facilitate Created to Create Project.





Beginning, January, 1st, 2016


ACTORS, ARTISTS, THEATRE MAKERS, FILM MAKERS, DESIGNERS, TEACHING ARTISTS, STUDENTS all chosen because they spend a part each day creating. Artists will be chosen in no particular order.


Introduce artists from different parts of the world. People who use different mediums and whose practice is at a different skill level. A thing they all have in common is unique sense of style and self-expression.