This year, the Bard; William Shakespeare, is celebrating his 400th death anniversary and what else could be the better way to do than produce one of his plays in his honour. Tanghalang Filipino, CCP’s resident theatre group is presenting the Pangarap Sa Isang Gabi Ng Gitnang Tag-Araw; Tagalog version of one of a Shakespeare comedy Midsummer Night’s Dream.
|Teaser: Confrontation of Titania and Oberon(played by Liesl Batucan and Audie Gemora)|
Tanghalang Pilipino is known for mashing up classic story material with a twist. I have seen two Shakespeare works of TP like Macbeth where they themed it like the Japanese Kabuki theatre and The Merchant of Venice entitled Der Kaufmann, which is set during the time of the Holocaust. Der Kaufmann earned Gawad Buhay awards.
TP is also privilege to have national artist for theatre and literature the late Rolando Tinio to use his translation for this production and Mr. Carlos Siguion-Reyna to direct this Shakespeare comedy. Mr. Siguion-Reyna is using the comedy as comparison of chaos and order. The Theseus’ court symbolizes order and the forest symbolizes chaos. When I say chaos, it does not mean disorderly because there should be balance between order and chaos.
What make Shakespeare’s work applicable in today’s modern times are the universal themes of the stories that transcends time periods. You can see that most situations in Shakespeare also used in telenovelas as well as popular culture. I even remember a scene from Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, where the Klingon Chancellor Gorkon said that “You will not experience Shakespeare until you read him in original Klingon and General Chang quoted “taH pag taHbe” (“To be or not to be) from Hamlet Act 3 Scene 1. This is paralleled from history where the Nazi propaganda claimed that Shakespeare is their own.
Shakespeare also transcends boundaries. The women characters are also empowered. Jackie Lou Blanco plays the part of Hypolyta, the queen of the Amazons; says that her character even though was abused was able to soften the heart of Theseus. Ms. Blanco last performed for TP in Mga Ama, Mga Anak. Playing the part of Oberon the king of fairies, Audie Gemora admits this is first non-singing Tagalog play and his first Shakespeare.
The play will be held at CCP Tanghalang Huseng Batute. It may be small and cramped but it is my favourite among CCP Tanghalans. It gives an intimate and immersive theatre experience because the cast is up close and you might never know that sometimes, the actor/s might be sitting right beside you before entering the scene.
Not since Zsazsa Zaturnah the musical, it is also bilingual. Some lines will be English and some in Tagalog. Pangarap sa Isang Gabi Ng Gitnang Tag-Araw starts its run on September 30, 2016. For more theatrical updates, follow this blog and like