“THE FOUR COMPETING PLAYS THAT WAS ALREADY STAGED AT PHILIPPINE STAGERS FOUNDATION’S NATIONAL THEATER FESTIVAL”
1.) P.I.N.K. (“PAGLILITIS SA IGLAP NG KAMATAYAN”)
This play was written by a young newcomer-member of Philippine Stagers Foundation, in person of Ms. Arien Santos. It tackled the enormously complicated relationship of a gay father and his gay son, as they both
died and they both were being held on a ‘heavenly and unique trial’ before they could enter HEAVEN.
The setting of this play was quite absurd and unique.
The characters were all gay, even the old ‘woman-like’ prosecuting judge and at the same time, also the ‘holder’ of the keys to heaven (portrayed with ‘angst’ by Jomar Tanada) was a ‘cross-dresser’ who wore a sexy evening gown. This old gay angel, along with two gay angels- one sent forth by heaven, and the other one, represents a dark angel sent forth by ‘purgatory’- added more delight to this dark comedic play with a dramatic twist.
JM Encinas, the very promising theater actor of PSF, was very impressive with his sensitivity and dramatic attacks to his gay character-son of a physically disabled gay father.
Kevin Posadas as the pretty transvestite angel assigned by heaven looked elegant, cool and candid-with a delicate touch of humor in characterizing his fantasy role, and to add, this handsome actor looked very much like a very pretty and ‘poised’ angel of death.
The other transvestite angel, portrayed by Angelo Camus, who was the ‘angel of death’ on purgatory’s side acted it out in ‘total character’ and wit. But Kevin stole the show away from him in most of the scenes.
John Paul San Antonio as the gay father was convincing and fitted the role so well, along with the other members and supporting players of the cast.
But somebody else stole the attention, aside from JM Encinas. It was Gabby Bautista, the child theater actor of PSF. He really ACTED with great “awe and wonder”. His role in this competing play for the National Theater Festival of PSF (Philippine Stagers Foundation) was the main ingredient and ‘soul’ of the play. The revelation of his character at the ending and final scene of the play was tremendous, heartwarming and captivating to the hearts of the audience who watched this play on its special and intimate preview.
It was the message of this play- that, of FORGIVENESS and LOVE- that made this play truly wonderful.
And the play’s director- Atty. Vince Tanada, put so much justice and execution in providing that.
2.) BALA AT KRUS
Written by Patrick Adrian Libao, this play tackled violence, sorrow and hatred. But it was presented by the writer in different way and with total originality and form, that somehow, the violence and hatred within
the story was totally embraced, understood and accepted.
Ms. Cindy Liper, a Best Actress awardee of PSF, portrayed the role of an endearing but mysterious Catholic nun who dared challenge the profound machismo and unaltered ego of the lead male character portrayed by the writer of the play himself, Mr. Patrick Libao.
The nun and the bandit were caught in a web “of burdening mental anguishes as the results of the Japanese occupation in the most saddening episode of Philippine history”.
The male bandit recalled in one scene of the play his very tragic past – wherein his whole family were all slaughtered by the Japanese soldiers and his female neighbors in a town- raped. While many infant babies were stabbed by the bayonets of the Japanese.
It changed him as a man and he became a fugitive.He couldn’t forgive.
But there was a great twist in the character of the female nun when she finally revealed to the bandit her true self- that she was the one who was raped and almost killed by this same male bandit she’s facing now and convincing to forgive for a chance and a closure to his dark past. The male bandit, upon realizing the true identity of the nun he was in confrontation with, was in an undescribable state of shock.., in agony, and in great disbelief.
For the first time, a female member of PSF proved her greatness and shone so brightly in this very dramatic play. From hereon, other female ‘Stagers’ would no longer suffer less in comparison to the male ‘Stagers’. With this great deliverance of an acting prowess from Ms. Liper, the female ‘Stagers’ have redeemed themselves and would no longer be labeled inferior to the men.
Kudos to the director of this play- Atty. Vince Tanada, again, for motivating fully the only two characters of this ‘play-act’. Without the director’s touch, the fragility of the characters within this play could have been easily broken.
A well-researched play that would put you in a ‘time travel’ of a long and almost forgotten past of the true Filipinos as they were then before, this play stood uniquely with itself. It captured the perfect texture, mood and feeling of a historical but conflicting, ‘tearful’ past.
Written by JV Cruz and Rotsen Etolle, this another competing play for the National Theater Festival of PSF gathered an array of fine PSF theater actors. It featured Cherrie Ann Bagtas, Nikki Joy Villaviray, Mark Miranda, Art Gabrentina, Poul Garcia and Kevin Posadas.
The setting was so lovable and charismatic that complemented to the very light attack of how the play was written and somehow transformed. And it left one member of the audience- a blogger-, breathless and overjoyed.
The simplicity of this play was the main ingredient why it really stood-out among the rest of the competing plays, plus the fact that it made the audience laugh a lot and get delighted. With the play’s lightness of delivering a powerful message to the youth and to the graduating highschool students as well, who are about to go into College and decide which College course to take, it only showed great concern and apathy to the young.
The excellence felt via this play could not be easily be pointed at. Could it be the fine acting of the whole cast? Or, the direction of Atty. Vince Tanada? The superb setting? The writers? Nevertheless, it all boiled into one: The play greatly delivered its pure intention.
That, of making you feel young all over again.
4.) “EMOTIONAL ROLLERCOASTER”
Written by Monique Azerreda, this melodramatic play which highlighted a love triangle and woman pregnancy’s ill-results to the lives of lovers and partners with great hopes for the future-, was intense but subdued, moreso, TIGHT.
And looking at the main three performers at the opening scene of the play was indeed, profoundly HEAVENLY.
They were all very beautiful and handsome. They exuded a great aura of angelic looks, totally enthralling. Even the most beautiful popular actresses and actors could be less at par- with the very polished and beauteous/handsome looks of the three leads in this play that implied a ‘personal touch’.
You’d feel happier after that, a little short after gazing at them at the opening scene wherein the three of them sat in all the three sides of a white table infront of the stage- all dressed in white, and looking like enigmatic statuesques- because you’d know that theater actresses and an actor like these were better not to be exposed too much, but rather, kept and stored like tasteful & expensive wines. It’s good, too, that they’re now in the theater world exclusively, because the ‘essences’ of their good looks and magnifying acting talents would be much more cherished, valued… and respected. Rather than be put into some scandalous tabloid rumors and gossips to boost a star’s popularity.
The main three performers of this play were: Monique Azerreda, Allence Villanueva and Kierwin Larena.
The play was intact but stylish. All the three performers- Monique, Allence & Kierwin acted with a great kind of “intense subtlety”.Truly, they were all so very good.
Atty. Vince Tanada, who again directed this play, achieved what the play had desired for- that of showing a woman’s ‘roller-coaster ride’ to a man’s heart and a man’s fault.
While loving two women at the same time.
words written by robert manuguid silverio
note: Philippine Stagers Foundation’s National Theater Festival will conclude on Saturday, May 4, 2013, with its last two competing plays to be performed and staged on that said date. PSF’s New Theater Season will begin by the month of July by staging two new plays- “Bonifacio: Isang Zarzuela” and “Pedro Calunsod: The Musical” simultaneously.