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‘Okay, I’m nuts!’ When she was about to play Mary Tyrone, the drug-addled mother of a dysfunctional family in Eugene O’Neill’s “Long Day’s Journey into Night,” Daisy Avellana went to a well-known doctor to research on drug addiction. She needed guidance on how an addict—a woman at that—moved, thought and comported herself.
COUNT THEM—22 productions in just the first five months of the year, from the small two-character drama (“Red”) to the all-stops-out musical extravaganza (“Ibalong,” “Katy”). Local theater is at its most prolific and exciting in years; and so, before the last days of summer ring the curtain down on the old season to usher in the new by June—and with memory the only antidote to the ephemeral nature of theater—we thought we’d look back and salute the performances that lit up the stage and occasioned cheers in the previous months.
By Amadís Ma. Guerrero
Growing up in San Fernando, Pampanga, where his father, an army colonel, was based, Tony Perez tended to be reclusive, although he was happy enough with his toys.
By Alya B. Honasan
Ano, Ateng, gusto mong umarte?” Normally, a question to be pondered carefully. But then again, it was Floy Quintos asking me to join the cast of his new play, “Collection,” and I am an avowed “Quintoshian” (albeit part-time) actor.
By Leloi Arcete
Cris Villonco’s acting credentials are impressive for someone of her age. Barely 30 and this young woman has two Philstage Gawad Buhay! Best Actress Awards under her belt, and has had more than 30 productions with some of the leading Filipino theater companies.
By Amadís Ma. Guerrero
We were walking to Katipunan Avenue in Quezon City coming from Ateneo de Manila University, my grade school and high school alma mater: the legendary stage director Onofre R. Pagsanghan, myself, and a bright college student who was complaining about the religious instruction at the Ateneo.
By Tats Rejante Manahan
The year 1980 saw the world premiere of a landmark theater piece by Ballet Philippines entitled “Rama, Hari.” It was a creative collaboration among several artistic stalwarts, three of whom became National Artists: Salvador Bernal (scenography and costumes), Bienvenido Lumbera (libretto) and Rolando Tinio (English translation).
By Gibbs Cadiz
National Artist for Literature F. Sionil José, in a recent column, called it “the ancient problems of our theater”—the lack of resources, say, and more gravely, the continuing lack of audiences, which was the prevalent lament during the sparsely populated National Theater Festival held in November this year at the Cultural Center of the Philippines.
By Rody Vera
I was fortunate enough to get cast in Tanghalang Pilipino’s critical hit “Stageshow,” the last and most fabulous play by the late, great Mario O’Hara. Doing the show was both exhilarating and disappointing, though. Exhilarating because every time we performed it, something magical was happening to all of us. It was so irreverently Pinoy and unflinchingly human. And during every show we felt Mario’s spirit watching over us laughing, the way he probably used to do every Christmas.
The chandelier and the candelabras have been packed and sent away, and so as the Cultural Center of the Philippines bids farewell to the international touring production of “The Phantom of the Opera,” it has now opened its doors to theater productions of a more homegrown bent.
A seagull is shot and everything unravels. Dulaang UP’s second offering for its 37th Season, “The Seagull (Ang Tagak),” is a compelling discourse about art, life, and love presented through intricate characters and situations in what is widely considered to be the greatest work of master dramatist Anton Chekhov.