The world’s greatest playwright. The brains of the Philippine Revolution. And an iconic gay writer-criminal from France.
This is the unlikely trinity that will animate the 39th season of Dulaang UP, which begins on July 4 with a restaging of “Ang Nawalang Kapatid,” a music-drama takeoff on the Indian epic “Mahabharata.” The season’s theme is “Regaining Integrity.”
Taking center stage, so to speak, are William Shakespeare with “Measure for Measure,” Apolinario Mabini in the play “Ang Huling Lagda ni Apolinario Mabini” and Jean Genet with “Bilanggo ng Pag-ibig.”
“Measure for Measure” is in celebration of the Bard of Avon’s 450th birth anniversary, and will presented in both English and the Filipino adaptation called “Hakbang sa Hakbang” (translation by Ron Capinding). Alexander Cortez, DUP artistic director, directs.
“Measure for Measure” is neither comedy nor tragedy, although everything is resolved satisfactorily at the end. It is about a decadent kingdom, a treacherous officer-in-charge (Angelo), a man condemned to death for premarital sexual relations (Claudio), and his sister Isabella who fights for justice.
Jeremy Domingo and Russell Legaspi will alternate as the Duke of Vienna, while Tarek El Tayech and Randy Villarama will play Angelo. Manuel Tinio, Cedrick Juan and JR Macanas are Claudio, and Cindy Lopez and Delphine Buencamino are Isabella.
“I envision a play as a deep religious commentary,” says Cortez. “Also, I wish to highlight women’s oppression amidst an exploitative relationship. There is a very strong profeminist leaning in this production.”
“Measure for Measure/Hakbang sa Hakbang” will run Aug. 20-Sept. 7.
“Ang Huling Lagda ni Apolinario Mabini” is written by Floy Quintos, with music by Krina Cayabyab. Dexter M. Santos directs. It is elegiac in tone, concerned with the last days of Mabini’s exile in Guam and his homecoming as “a broken man… dealing with the disillusion of a failed revolution,” according to Quintos’ notes.
Roeder Camañag is Mabini, with JC Santos as Artemio Ricarte, Jean Judith Javier as the nurse and Leo Rialp as General Taft, backed up by the DUP ensemble.
The play will run Sept. 24-Oct. 12.
The work inspired by Genet’s life and love is “Bilanggo ng Pag-ibig,” a production “devised” by Rody Vera and directed by José Estrella.
“While offering much reflection on what it means to live amidst poverty, crime and war,” says Cortez, “Genet’s work also exposes the writer’s bold persistence to revolutionize the world through poetic subversion.”
“Bilanggo ng Pag-ibig” runs Feb. 24-March 22, 2015.
Another DUP offering is “The Country Wife,” a Restoration (1660-1700) play by William Wycherley that has been adapted into a contemporary Filipino setting by Nicolas B. Pichay and now called “Ang Misis kong Promdi.”
Tony Mabesa directs. The play is a comedy and will be staged Sept. 24-Oct. 12.
All of the plays will be staged at UP Diliman’s Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero Theater ([email protected]).
“With the staging of ’The Country Wife’,” declares Cortez, “all the major dramatic periods of the Western theater—Greek, Roman, Italian, Elizabethan, Jacobean, Restoration, etc.—have been staged by Dulaang UP.”