Playwright George de Jesus asks: “Where does love go when a relationship ends? Does it go away? Why does it linger? Can it be completely forgotten?”
He tackles the answers in his play “Kung Paano Maghiwalay,” a collection of vignettes about disintegrating relationships, which will be staged by Egg Theater Company from May to June.
Almost a decade ago, he was discussing with friends the movie “Closer,” specifically the scene where one character (played by Natalie Portman) can be seen falling out of love with her lover (played by Jude Law).
“That inspired me to write this play, drawing from the experiences of some of my closest friends’ own break up stories,” he says.
Hope and heartache
“KPM was first staged before the concept of ‘hugot’ became a full-blown trend in both plays and movies,” he laughs.
The play debuted as a staged reading in the 2008 Virgin Labfest, followed by a limited run and several productions by college theater groups.
Hope and heartache seems to resonate well with theatergoers. Despite the limited showings over the past few years, the play has gained a following.
“It surprises me when I get to meet young people, students who are familiar with the play even to the point of knowing certain lines that affected them—very ‘hugot,’” says De Jesus.
Inquirer Lifestyle’s Theater Section editor Gibbs Cadiz gave it an honorable mention for best play (full-length) in his 2009 yearend round up.
Love and marriage
And, get this, in spite of the play’s premise, it was actually used as a ploy for singer Aiza Seguerra to propose to actress/dancer Liza Diño in 2014.
“We staged that one-night show specifically for the proposal,” he says. Seguerra had reached out to De Jesus asking if he had any plays where the surprise could be revealed.
“I suggested KPM and adjusted some scenes so that it ends with the proposal. Liza didn’t have a clue the entire time. We claimed it was a ‘fund-raiser’ production just so that Liza would think it’s a legit production.”
“The play dramatizes the quest in finding and defining love, a universal topic placed within the context of the Filipino psyche.”
De Jesus is striving to “develop new theater pieces that are reflective of the life of the contemporary Filipinos and the universal values and truth that affect their lives.” In other words, plays that touch on the everyday concerns of the Filipino everyman (and woman), all while trying not to be preachy.
“We’re bringing it back because I think it still resonates with a lot of people.”
“Kung Paano Maghiwalay’s” cast includes Renante Bustamante, Rachelle Gimpes, Mara Marasigan, Victor Medina, Juliene Mendoza, Stella Cañete-Mendoza, Sheena Ramos, Paul Jake Paule, Gabs Santos, Sarina Sasaki, Lian Silverio, Andrea Tatad, Floyd Tena, Affy Varona, Andrei Vegas and Teetin Villanueva.
Directed by De Jesus it runs May 19-June 4 at Pineapple Lab, Makati City. —CONTRIBUTED INQ