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Samuel Campelo

Birth Date:

Death Date:

Actor, Prosecutor, Journalist

Legal and Social Sciences

Samuel Campelo

Article available in: PT-BR ESP

Last update: 16/03/2022

By: Virgina Barbosa - Librarian at Fundação Joaquim Nabuco - Specialist in Librarianship and History

Born to a family of farmers, Samuel Carneiro Rodrigues Campelo, son of Diogo Carneiro Rodrigues Campelo and Leopoldina Amélia Carneiro Campelo, came into the world on October 12, 1890, in the Arimunã mill, municipality of Escada, State of Pernambuco.

He settled in the municipality of Jaboatão, Pernambuco, where his intellectual formation was built. From a young age, he showed literary aptitudes, especially for journalism and theater, the latter his great passion. At the age of 13, he was already writing his first articles. At 16, he appeared for the first time in public, as an amateur, on the stage of the Clube Esportivo de Socorro, in the municipality of Jaboatão (now Vila Militar), where he represented the comedy Bicho e seu Rancho, by Ernesto Paula Santos. His dedication to amateur theater spanned almost six years, performing in various cultural venues and working alongside artists in evidence of his time.

His first play was the one-act farce Peripécias de um defunto, which had its name changed to Engano da peste. It was written in 1909 and its premiere took place on September 24, 1910, at the dramatic guild Arraialense, in Casa Amarela, Recife, represented by the Troupe Dramática Familiar Arraialense. Also in 1910, he wrote and performed at the Espinheirense drama group, the one-act farce O amor faz tudo. In the period 1903–1911, Samuel Campelo created and participated in literary and theatrical guilds, such as the Grêmios Jaboatonense Seis de Março (of which he was first secretary) and Frei Caneca (founder), the Arraialense Dramatic Guild and the Espinheirense Dramatic Guild. He ended his amateur phase by playing a cynical heartthrob in the play, his favorite type, in the five-act drama A Escrava Andréa, on May 13, 1911, at Polinia Dramática Areiense.

His theatrical trajectory was thus interrupted to complete his studies for a bachelor's degree in legal and social sciences at the Faculdade de Direito do Recife, concluded in 1912. In the same year, he joined the Public Ministry, in the interior of the State of Pernambuco, as public prosecutor of Vitória, a position he held for almost five years and from which he was dismissed solely for political reasons. In 1916, he worked as a lawyer, together with Célio Meira, in Jaboatão, Gravatá, Bezerros, Limoeiro. In the places where he passed, even following the profession he had embraced, he was always present in the literary movements. Three years later, he came to live permanently in Recife (1919), where his interest in theater and his production of plays grew.

In journalism, Samuel Campelo maintained the literary magazine Fanal for three years (1903-1906), was a contributor to A Faísca (1907), to O Proscênio (1910-1911) and to Jornal do Recife (1922), editor of O Frevo (1908), where he used the pseudonym Leumas, and Diario de Pernambuco (1922), and director of O Jaboatonense (1911), and Parnaso (1911). He founded the periodicals A República (1911) and A Coluna, a literary weekly magazine (1916), having been secretary-editor of A Rua (1922) and art critic of A Província (1922).

At the Pernambucano Archaeological and Geographical Institute, he was an effective member (1916) and successively elected speaker from 1920–1927; effective member of the Academia Pernambucana de Letras, in the chair of Francino Cismontano [pseudonym of Francisco do Brasil Pinto Bandeira and Acioly de Vasconcelos]; Secretary of Defense for Rubber; secretary of the Recife Faculty of Medicine; Assistance to Psychopaths; police chief, clerk of the Treasury of the State of Pernambuco.

Note that, his performance when Pernambuco experienced a political conflict over the candidacy of General Dantas Barreto in opposition to the councilor candidate Rosa e Silva for the government elections. Samuel Campelo had supported General Dantas Barreto and was in charge of Dantas’ propaganda in Jaboatão, where he held the first pro-Dantas Barreto rally and of which he was one of the speakers. In fact, on October 12, 1911, when the general arrived in Recife, Samuel Campelo was present and wrote and dedicated a sonnet to him.

After the Brazilian Revolution of 30, Samuel Campelo was appointed administrator of Teatro Santa Isabel. The 1930s in Recife is seen as a pioneering stage for theater and the city of Mauritius as a school. On August 2, 1931, Samuel formed Grupo Gente Nossa [Group Our People], which brought together scenic art talents such as Elpídio Câmara, Luiz Maranhão, Lourdes Monteiro, Luiz de França, Amália de Sousa, Lenita Lopes, Vicente Cunha, and Luiza Teixeira. The Group premiered with the play A honra da tia, by Samuel Campelo, at Teatro Santa Isabel, and became the first theatrical company in the Northeast. Four years later, in an editorial in Jornal do Commercio, the Group was highly praised and the beneficial effects of Samuel’s work were recognized. In fact, says the editorial, it was Grupo Gente Nossa “which made it accessible for the people to enter the Santa Isabel theater, previously only frequented by the rich and portentous society.”

Valdemar de Oliveira, a friend, admirer, and follower of the “good, clean, and dignified theater” that Samuel Campelo defended and publicized, watched all his efforts, together with Grupo Gente Nossa, to build a theater that he would call “Nosso Teatro,” a name that Valdemar de Oliveira preserved when “he built the Theater for the Teatro de Amadores de Pernambuco” (TAP). Thus, one cannot talk about Teatro de Amadores without mentioning Samuel Campelo. TAP is the “son” of Grupo Gente Nossa, the continuity of its teachings.



Comedy in three acts. His debut was at Teatro Moderno do Recife, by the Alda Garrido Company.

It was used for the debut of Grupo Gente Nossa.

October 29, 1921.

August 2, 1931.


Burleta (light comedy) of customs in three acts, was staged by the Madalense family group with music by Raul Morais.

Written in 1925, it was only performed in 1928.




Operettas in 3 acts with score by Valdemar de Oliveira, premiered by the company Vicente Celestina: at the Teatro do Parque do Recife and

Teatro Santa Izabel.

July 9, 1926.

January 31, 1927.


Magazine in two acts, music by Valdemar de Oliveira, staged by the company Ari Nogueira, at Teatro do Parque.

June 21, 1927.


Magazine in one act, music by Nelson Ferreira, performed by the company Otília Amorim for the first time at the Helvetica Theater in Recife.

August 9, 1927.


Comic interlude, written for a party between Maria and Ilídio Amorim.



Magazine in two acts, in collaboration with Humberto Santiago, premiered in Belém do Pará by the company Nazaré.

September 1928.


Patriotic sainete (short comedy) in three frames, written especially for a party at the Escola de Aprendizes Marinheiros do Recife.

June 11, 1930.


Comedy in three acts, premiered at Teatro São José, in Rio de Janeiro, by the Dulcina de Morais company.

Then set to music by João Valença for the Madalense family group.

June 7, 1930.

May 4, 1931.


Magazine in two acts, with music by João Valença and José Capibaribe. Premiere at Teatro Santa Izabel.

December 5, 1930.


Farce comedy in three acts, presented by Grupo Gente Nossa at Teatro Santa Isabel.

November 22, 1931.


Comedy in three acts premiered by Grupo Gente Nossa, at the celebration of the 55th anniversary of the inauguration of the current Santa Izabel building.

December 10, 1931.


Police farce in three acts, in collaboration with Valdemar de Oliveira and Eustórgiio Vanderlei. Premiered by Grupo Gente Nossa.

August 11, 1933.


Operetta in three acts, score by Valdemar de Oliveira. Premiered by Grupo Gente Nossa.

December 16, 1933.


High comedy in three acts. Premiered by Grupo Gente Nossa. Social drama.

May 13, 1935.


Magazine in collaboration with Santos Carvalho and carried by the Portuguese company of this author at Teatro Santa Isabel.

No date information.


Farce in one act.



Magazine in a prologue, two acts, two apotheoses.



Comedy in three acts.



Entreato, taken on the radio.


S. O. S.

Last play by Samuel Campelo. High comedy. Staged by the company Renato Viana, in Ceará, it was successful, but in Recife it was left unpublished. Criticism of totalitarian principles


* written especially for Grupo Gente Nossa.

On January 10, 1939, Samuel Campelo died, a milestone in the history of theater in Pernambuco.



Recife, November 30, 2006.

sources consulted

MELO, Clóvis. Samuel Campelo. Revista do Instituto Arqueológico, Histórico e Geográfico Pernambucano, Recife, v. 37, p. 281-294, jan. 1941/dez. 1942.

OLIVEIRA, Fernando de. Teatro de Amadores de Pernambuco. Available at: Accessed on: 24 nov. 2006.

SAMUEL Campelo (foto). Available at: Accessed on: 25 nov. 2006.

SAMUEL Campelo. In: ALMANACH de Pernambuco, Recife, 1905. p. 113-115.

SAMUEL  Campelo 1889-1939. [S. l.]: Tip. Baptista de Souza, [19--].

SAMUEL Carneiro Rodrigues Campelo. Available at: Accessed on: 24 nov. 2006.

how to quote this text

BARBOSA, Virgínia. Samuel Campelo. In: PESQUISA Escolar. Recife: Fundação Joaquim Nabuco, 2006. Available at: Accessed on: month day year. (Ex.: Aug. 6 2009.)