For critics, Grace Passô is the best actress in Brazil, but most Brazilians have never heard of her



Note from BW of Brazil: Yet another black Brazilian woman who deserves her due recognition! Actress Grace Passô has been perfecting her craft for a number years, mostly in theater pieces, which is why most Brazilians have never heard of her. But as her performances have made her the darling of theater critics, the time is sure to come when everyone will know her face, her voice and her name! Once again, as we saw yesterday in the case of the “Brazilian Whitney Houston”, Brazil does itself a huge disservice when it fails to recognize the talents and abilities of its citizens who are not considered white. Let’s hope that the racial hierarchy doesn’t deprive this respected actress from achieving a su! 

Grace Passô, the best actress in Brazil

Although unknown to the general public, she is adored by theater critics, accumulates awards and is making her first forays into TV and film

By Helena Carnieri

Grace and her big eyes: vision of a theater transformer (photo: Lucas Ávila)

If she were a futebol player, Grace Passô would be the impossible case of a striker that every year wins the championship, is the all-star, wins the Bola de Ouro (Golden Ball), but remains anonymous. For today the 35-year old Minas Gerais native is considered the best actress in Brazil by critics – in any area – and even so continues an illustrious unknown to the general public.

vaga carne_kelly knevels
Grace in Vaga carne, in Curitiba, with her script and direction (Photo: Kelly Knevels)

Awards abound on her resume. She has won the Prêmio Shell (Shell Prize) of Theatre and the APCA (São Paulo Association of Art Critics) Award for the script of Por Elise in 2006; Sesc-Sated-MG as a playwright (2005 and 2006); Usiminas as best actress and author (2006); and the Medalha da Inconfidência (2011), and various nominations. Besides actress, she also writes plays, and as it’s possible to see by the dates, has exercised this craft from a young age – she entered a theater course at 14 years of age in Belo Horizonte (capital of Minas Gerais).


So anyone who has had contact with her is full of praise. “In the three scenic performances I saw (Líquido Tátil, Krum and Grãos da Imagem: Vaga Carne), I had the feeling of being in front of a force of nature,” says actor Nathan Milléo.

“She’s great,” agrees actress Rosana Stavis, a Paraná native who is also considered one of the best in the country by her peers. “Her characters have many layers of emotion, which makes them at the same time complex and exciting,” she gushes.

Workshp: The actor and and the text: Compositions with Grace Passô


Name: Grace Passô (Grace Anne Paes de Souza)

Age: 35 years old (birth date May 20)

Birth place: Belo Horizonte (MG)

Groups she’s been part of: Armatrux, Clara Cia., Espanca! Collaboration with Curitiba-based Cia. Brasileira of Theatre

Movie: O céu sobre os ombros (2011)

Series: O caçador (2014)

Published plays: Por Elise, Amores Surdos, Marcha para Zenturo and Congresso Internacional do Medo (Editora Cobogó).


Awards: Shell and APCA for the script for Por Elise (2006); Sesc-Sated MG as dramaturge (2005 and 2006), Usiminas as best actress and author (2006); Medalha da Inconfidência (2011) and various nominations.

Despite her Minas Gerias origin, Grace has a great connection with the state capital of Paraná (Curitiba). She passed through Curitiba in the last Festival de Teatro (Theatre Festival) with Vaga Carne and it was here, in 2005, where she was “discovered” by critics, in Por Elise.

na peça 'Grãos da Imagem

“The first image that I have of her, in Fringe, is of a strong contrast between restraint and expression,” says critic Beth Néspoli. “No gesture spared, no excessive voice, and even so, many senses echoed in the way she modulated the words in subtle irony.”

For those who follow her performances, the motive of so much force would that she never step into a scene without being “profoundly excited by the existence of that theatrical event.”

The four pieces of her authorship that are published

Grace always comes to the festival with the group Espanca!, which broke up in 2014. After that she collaborated as an actress with the Curitiba Companhia Brasileira (Brazilian Company), in Krum and has partnered with Nadja Naira in the lighting for Vaga Carne.

“The same density comes back to my memory in the image of her body cradling in her arms without any appearance of effort, an actor of much superior stature to her, in Amores Surdos,” says an amazed Beth Néspoli.

“She’s mesmerizing. When I see her on stage with that force, I can’t pay attention to what happens around. When she says a word, it always comes out sharp and energetic and even that destroying you, you can’t divert. She disarms you completely and makes you listen to what she has to say to the end. It’s a beautiful work of discipline and precision.” – Dimis Jean Sores, director of Peça Ruim and Bifes_1

Another hypothesis for the ascension of the artist is that of writing scripts and also directing. “I think it’s quite characteristic of the contemporaneity that the functions are complementary, the creative lines disappear and take on a new power,” says the Curitiba-based director Diego Fortes, of the group A Armadilha. “Grace is a theater person and exercises any one of these functions, balancing brilliantly technique and strength.”


Grace has four plays of her authorship published and was awarded even more often as a playwright than as an actress. She has also been invited to other work in film and television: the series O Caçador at the side of actor Cauã Reymond premiered on premiered on Globo TV, and she’s in the cast the feature film O Céu Sobre os Ombros (2011), by Sérgio Borges.

“Grace Passô consolidates herself in each work as one of the most important actresses of the country. In the three scenic performances that I saw (Líquido Tátil, Krum and Grãos da Imagem: Vaga Carne), I had the feeling of being in front of a force of nature, a whirlwind of sensations.” – Nathan Milléo Gualda, actor

Source: Gazeta do Povo

About Marques Travae 3747 Articles
Marques Travae. For more on the creator and editor of BLACK WOMEN OF BRAZIL, see the interview here.

1 Comment

  1. I’m here in New York and I love my peoples everywhere! Keep doing this great necessary job! And Salute to Grace!

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