RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - There were five minutes to go before the public would enter and watch the 6 PM performance of the theatrical show "Abrazo", at Caixa Cultural do Recife, when the company Clowns de Shakespeare was told that the session had been canceled.

The play, which addresses topics such as repression and censorship, was banned by the host federal banking institution without any discussion. Created in 2014 in the wake of the 50th anniversary of the Brazilian military coup, the show had already toured in about 20 states over the past five years.

The canceled performance would have . . .

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