Causa Maior

(Greater Cause)

CAUSA MAIOR is a project supported by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and the ‘La Caixa’ Foundation, through the ‘PARTIS & Art for Change’ initiative. Its aim is to identify and reflect on the social dimension of Companhia Maior, seeking to demonstrate that value. The project runs over three years, along three distinct lines, which are complementary and interdependent, aiming to amplify people’s voices and the artistic and critical work of Companhia Maior, and allowing for alternative readings and other places of ageing, contributing to the debate on public policies better suited to the health and well-being of the elderly.

The three lines of action focus on Creation and Expansion, Impact Assessment, and Communication and Advocacy.

The first line focuses on creation in the performing arts, combining the guidance of guest artists with the creative contribution of artists aged over 60 (one re-staging and two new creations) and presentation in a network of theatres committed to devising programmes based on close relationships with the local community. Companhia Maior’s performances connect with complementary educational and contemplative activities that meet the needs of both the community and the company.

The second line – Impact Assessment – involves a retrospective assessment of Companhia Maior in terms of the quality of life of its members and a forward-looking longitudinal study over 3 years, with contemplative workshops, among other research methods, to be held by A3S.

The third line corresponds to the development of debate and conference activities using Companhia Maior’s activity as the focus of study, communication and advocacy of the impacts of prolonging artistic activity among the elderly, as well as debating issues associated with employment status.

With CAUSA MAIOR, Companhia Maior’s artistic project gains a new profile, increasing the number of presentations of its artistic creations and taking them to new geographies. An example of this was the national tour in 2021, which went from Porto to Loulé, passing through Coimbra and Cartaxo. Artistic challenges are also proposed with Ricardo Neves-Neves’ creation for São Luiz Teatro Municipal, in 2022, which is aimed at a broad and inter-generational audience.

CAUSA MAIOR also allows for the structuring of an advocacy position in relation to issues of ageing, ageism and public policies.

The project is based on a network of participants:

  • Companhia Maior, with its cast formed of a group of people with diverse knowledge, education, and life and professional experiences, brings to the project a particular dynamism through the participation, commitment and motivation inherent in its creations. Companhia Maior also guarantees the artistic direction, planning, execution and supervision of activities, communication and connection between partners.
  • A3S, which produces the impact study for Companhia Maior and the social coordination of the Causa Maior project, participating in coordination meetings with the promoting entity, organising annual evaluation sessions with the participants directly involved in the project (actors, guest artists, the Companhia Maior team, communication professionals, among others) and supporting the workshops and final conference programmes.
  • The guest artists (Ricardo Neves-Neves in 2022 and artist to be confirmed in 2023), who undertake these creations at a rate of one per year.
  • Co-producers and venues




Impact assessment

The Causa Maior project aims to identify and reflect on the social value of Companhia Maior, with the intention of publicly demonstrating that value, aspiring to influence public policy with a view to improving active ageing and anti-ageism policies.


A3S is a partner of Causa Maior in its design, supervision and self-evaluation. Its role is to produce a study into Companhia Maior’s impact on the quality of life of its cast, taking into consideration the association’s 10 years of activity. It simultaneously contributes to co-coordinating the project in terms of reflecting on the social value of Companhia Maior and building an advocacy and influence strategy for public policies, relating to issues of ageism and active ageing.

A3S aims to produce an impact assessment of Companhia Maior in relation to the quality of life of the members of its cast, by developing a methodology of longitudinal analysis; structuring Companhia Maior’s advocacy position in relation to issues of active ageing and ageism, systematising, reflecting on and promoting the historical heritage of the company; affirming Companhia Maior’s position, extending its sphere of visibility and influence on new audiences and new geographies.

© Companhia Maior