Tanghalang Pilipino crosses over to digital platform via iWant

by Matthew Escosia
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Amidst the quarantine econnomy, the magic of theater continues as it transcends platforms and crosses over to the online space. Coinciding with the Philippines’ Independence Day celebration and in line with the Pantawid ng Tanghalan fundraising project, the Cultural Center of the Philippines and Tanghalang Pilipino (TP) will be streaming six theater productions from June 12 to July 12 through the streaming platform, iWant.

“Pantawid ng Tanghalan, a fundraising project, aims to seek help for Tanghalang Pilipino to be able to sustain its commitment to providing the public with artistically excellent and socially relevant productions even during this pandemic,” said Carmela Manuel, company manager of Tanghalang Pilipino.

Directed by Fitz Bitana and Marco Viaña, “Lam-ang,” staged in 2019, is an ethno-epic musical topbilled by JC Santos that reimagines and reinterprets “Biag ni Lam-ang,” the oldest among the folk epics of Luzon. This musical is inspired by the published Ilocano version of Isabelo delos Reyes and tagalog translations of Angel Acacio and Ariel Tabag.

“Lam-ang” also stars Anna Luna performing as Kannoyan with Tex Ordonez- De Leon, Hazel Maranan, Karenina Ng, Paw Castillo, among others, and the members of the Tanghalang Pilipino Actors Company. The production was co-presented by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, Project Mayheim Productions and Okada.

The fourth run of “Mabining Mandirigma” staged last September 2019, starring international musical star Monique Wilson is also part of this special offering.

Written by Dr. Nicanor Tiongson, this musical play depicts the heroism of Apolinario Mabini. “Mabining Mandirigma” boasts of incorporating Steampunk music in the material. Selected performances of the songs in Mabinin Mandirigma are available on Tanghalang Pilipino’s Youtube Channel:

“Coriolano,” a rarely-staged Shakespearean play, tells the story of a legendary Roman soldier who turned into a befallen tyrant.

It was translated into Filipino by Guelan Luarca and directed by Carlos Siguion-Reyna. Marco Viana, who earned a citation for his performance, plays the title role of this production.

“Pangarap sa Isang Gabi ng Gitnang Tag-Araw,” staged in 2016, is an adaptation of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, translated by Rolando Tinio. Centered around the marriage of Teseo and Hipolita, multiple characters traverse a complicated web of romance all set in the grandiose mystery of Athens.

The production was directed by Carlos Siguion-Reyna and features performances from Filipino theater legends including Audie Gemora, Teroy Guzman, Liesl Batucan, Randy Villarama, and Richard S. Cunanan. It also stars Rafa Siguion-Reyna and the members of the TP Actors Company.

“Der Kaufmann,” staged in 2013, is an adaptation of The Merchant of Venice, adapted by Rody Vera using the translation of Rolando Tinio. A controversial play, Vera has masterfully adapted this classic.

He lifts Antonio and Shylock’s dispute in one of history’s darkest spots: the Holocaust. It has also enjoyed critical success and even garnered seven Gawad Buhay. This memorable production is directed by Rody Vera and Tuxqs Rutaquio, former TP Associate Artistic Director.

Also directed by Tuxqs Rutaquio, “Sandosenang Sapatos” is a children’s story written by Dr. Luis Gatmaitan and adapted for the stage by Layeta Bucoy. Wheelchair-bound Susie dreams to fulfill his father’s dream of having a ballerina for a daughter. This production, heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time, boasts of having memorable tunes and strong performances from then-child theater star Trixie Esteban, May Bayot- De Castro, and a host of formidable young theater performers.

The book is now a huge success and Sandosenang Sapatos Premium Edition, which is now a Hiyas Classic, is available for purchase through OMF Literature. The cast recording of the play is also available for streaming on Spotify and Youtube. You can watch it here in Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/4GUqNwWQmNHfXtnrnmlR1E  and Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch.

You can help Tanghalang Pilipino by donating through scanning our BPI QR code seen on our public materials.

You can also depositing your donation to:

Account Name: Tanghalang Pilipino Foundation Inc.
Savings Account Number: 3131-0387-46
Bank Branch: BPI – Harrison Plaza

Gcash Number: 09154538933

You can also donate through KTX, ABS-CBN’s ticketing platform: https://bit.ly/KTXPantawidNgTanghalan .

Let’s keep our culture alive by supporting our very own theater production such as Tanghalang Pilipino.

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