Maria João BRILHANTE has been teaching at FLUL since 1979 both in the graduation and post-graduation courses, and also at Köln University (1993), Évora University (1998), Drama and Cinema School (Lisbon, 1999), Univates (Porto Alegre-Brazil, 2000), Algarve University (2003), Trondheim University (2005), Montpellier University (2017).
She directed the Centro de Estudos de Teatro (CET), a research unit of the University of Lisbon, in 1996-2000 and 2004-2008, where she is Senior Researcher responsible for the projects Textos de teatro de Autores portugueses quinhentistas, an electronic critical edition of classical Portuguese drama of the XVIth century and OPSIS: base de dados iconográfica de teatro em Portugal, an iconographic data base on Portuguese theatre, both having received funding from the Ministry of Science and Technology (opsis.fl.ul.pt).
She was also responsible for the coordination in Portugal of the project Texto e imagem : perspectivas críticas para investigação em Artes Cénicas (Theatre and images: critical perspectives for the research in Theatre and performance) which gathered a group of researchers from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro- Unirio, the São Paulo University and the Lisbon University (2008-2010). She was one of the members of the Theatre Company “Produções Teatrais”, where she was responsible for Production (1979-1989).
Later she was a theatre critic (JL, 1981-1984, Público, 1989-1990, and Sinais de cena, since 2005) and a member of the Portuguese Association of Theatre Critics. She translated for the stage several plays La dispute, La Fausse Suivante, Le triomphe de l’Amour, Les jurements indiscrets, Marivaux, Madame de Sade, Mishima, Cuisine et dépendances, Agnès Jaoui / Jean Pierre Bacri, L’ours et la lune, Claudel. She was, from 2008 until 2011, the President of the Administration of the National Theatre D. Maria II and a member of the Prix Europe pour le Théâtre. She has published essays, organised books on literature, theatre translation, theatre iconography, Portuguese theatre history and drama