Book on Tanghalang Pilipino history launched

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The book “Tanghalang Pilipino: Celebrating 25 Years of Philippine Theater,” by author and short-story writer Amadís Ma. Guerrero, was launched at the Cultural Center of the  Philippines.

The book is divided into chapters which “deal with material that provided the company with its unique identity.”

It begins with the group’s history; its objectives of “developing a national theater [group] that would develop original Filipino plays and mount translated foreign works”; and the rationale behind its original and updated logos.

Different theater forms  TP has staged are  discussed: sarsuwela (the indigenized Filipino theater form “with songs and dances” that evolved from the Spanish zarzuela); original musicals (with subject matter or themes that range from historical pieces and films to indigenous epics and oral-narrative chants; and even comic-book gender-changing superheroines); and plays that mirror societal issues (from political milieus to personal relationships and everything in between).

Guerrero gives summaries and histories of selected scripts or librettos; quotes from interviews with the productions’ respective directors and other collaborators; and excerpts of reviews published at the time of the productions.

The book reveals the inner workings and processes undergone by the backstage disciplines, featuring composers, translators, set designers, costume designers, and lighting designers who have worked on TP productions.

The book concludes with a section that showcases the actor, specifically the kind of actor molded in the TP spirit.

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