The De La Salle-College of St. Benilde Theater Arts Program and Office of Culture and Arts treated people to a different kind of experience through the play, “Ang Dakilang Teatro ng Daigdig.”
Described as an allegory, the play—translated to Filipino by George de Jesus III from the original text of “The Great Theater of the World” by Spanish dramatist Pedro Calderón de la Barca—was directed by Nonon Padilla and was also inspired by Tony Perez’s “Hoy, Boyet.”
In the play, the audience was challenged to reflect on questions like: If you were given the chance to live a different life, would you still be the same person? Would you choose to live a righteous path worthy to be seated at the right hand of God?
Here, God is “The Author” who directs and assigns the roles of empty entities and dresses them up to fit their part. Characters are given personalities that contradict their previous status —for instance, a humble man turns into an arrogant king, and a simple woman transforms into a narcissistic and selfish brat.
More questions: If death comes knocking at your door, would you be ready for it, and be content that you have made the right decisions in life? Have you treated others well?
It was a thought-provoking play and a good opportunity to realize that people form their own respective identities. Along the way, there is excitement and anxiety, and that to dwell on the latter may cause worry and crisis.
The underlying images, metaphors and symbolism took us on a journey to get in touch with our consciousness while confronting a myriad of issues.
This play within a play was a reminder that we stop wishing misfortune on others, because, from beginning to end, we are equal, and it is only a matter of perspective and how we use what is given to us.
The play also taught us that, regardless of age, gender or status, we are always given a choice—whether to dwell on things that will feed our ego, pleasure, selfish desires, or a choice to immerse in growing, learning, and, like a tree, become fruitful so that others may also be blessed with our existence.
It also made a statement that nobody is perfect, and with so much hate out there, let’s help make the world a better place.