O Teatrão was founded in 1994 in Coimbra and worked mainly in the field of children's theatre until 2001 when it took up a new path and expanded into theatre for all audiences. The work O Teatrão has done includes productions from classic to modern playwrights, as well as the creation of original plays, most of which have been directed towards young audiences.
The present activity of the company is divided in three areas - the production of its own plays; the programing of other artists from musicians to dance companies as well as other theatre companies; and an educational program. The company's main concern is directed toward a reflexion of the world we live in. Some themes explored in this reflexion are: Dialoguing with the imagination, the juxtaposition of reality and fiction, and the creative potential that comes from the conflict between tradition and innovation.
Theatre and art in general intervene in society, creating active citizens capable of questioning the world around them, giving them in turn the capacity to act and create the possibility of a new world. Theatre opens us up to the possibility to see the world in a different way, widening our horizons. This idea is what drives the company, playing a key role in all of its activities. Shows, produced by O Teatrão, are based on the discussion of what concerns and moves us, as citizens and artists, which extends not only into its educational project but into all of what the company produces.
O Teatrão has had considerable success with its educational projects - The Theatre classes, which have gone from three classes in 2001 to fifteen classes in the 2013-14 school year. O Teatrão’s class of oldest students has participated regularly in the Festival PANOS promoted by Culturgest since 2006 (a portuguese version of the project Shell Connections of the National Theatre of London). Similar success has been found with the project Bando à Parte : Culturas Juvenis, Arte e Inserção Social, an art education project that covers music, theatre and dance. It began in May 2010 and, since then, has had multiple national and international partners - allowing O Teatrão to become a national reference in the area of Theatre and Education, joining the vanguard of Artistic Education in Portugal.