Dennis Marasigan is the director of Bombita.
MANILA, Philippines – As part of its silver anniversary celebration, Tanghalang Pilipino
(TP) presents TATLONG TABING: THREE PLAYS BY TONY PEREZ,
which had its launch on September 13 at Silangan Hall of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP). This is TP’s way of saluting Tony Perez, one of the architects of Philippine Theatre.
A sneak preview of each play was presented by artistic director Fernando Josef. director Tess Jamias of Sierra Lakes
and director Dennis Marasigan of Bombita
were in attendance to give brief backgrounders of the plays they are directing.
Tony Perez is a legend with his immeasurable contributions to the Philippine theater world. He is one of the 100 Filipino recipients of the 1898-1998 Centennial Artists Award of the Cultural Center of the Philippines. His other awards include the 13 Artists of the Philippines, four National Book awards from the Manila Critics Circle and the National Book Development Board, and the Gawad Pambansang Alagad ni Balagtas from the writers Union of the Philippines.A pictorial of the casts was allotted for the press and Q & A followed.
Tony Perez stressed to his audience about his writing, “I write for 30-year-olds.”
Among the themes that Perez tackles in his writing is about adult intense love, betrayal, separation, compassion, poverty, hunger, marriage, birth, and death are the focus of his plays.
Director Marasigan explained that there were several readings prior to actual rehearsal to get the young actors, most of them in their early 20s, to get them into the character[s] and make sure they understand what the role requires to get the message across.
“The challenge of the actors is to make sure the audience understands the message… It is not easy to be a 30-year-old overnight.”
Director Jamias on the other hand added that Perez’s plays are beautiful and are simple, but its simplicity was not that easy to tackle and portray.
“When I said payak
, I don’t mean easy especially with regard to the physicality and architecture of the play.”
Perez is known to be mysterious in many ways.
“I experiment with textures in dialogue” according to Perez.
This was further explained by Marasigan when he describes the script is like poetry in itself that possess a rhythm and cadence, which the directors don’t want to lose with adlibs so they enforce the word-per-word memorization and delivery.
When delved into Perez’s own psyche with regard to his fascination with the supernatural, the prolific playwright explains that this is a reaction towards religious fanaticism. He admitted that he is a product of Catholic school and a practicing Catholic still. Believing in the supernatural is ingrained in the Filipino culture ever since the Spanish occupation thus it made a great impact and influence in his writing.
“There is always reference to this aspect in my works. I’ve also had experiences from beyond. I believe there is no hell, everyone goes to heaven as life is all about love, relationships and angels.”
The cast of 'Bombita' posed before the press.
Some of Perez’s works have been translated into English such as Naomi Shihab Nye’s ‘This Same Sky’. He was also featured in ‘Asian Enigma: Psychic Detectives’ on National Geographic’s Discovery Channel and in ‘The Chronicle of Higher Education’.
Among his works performed abroad are ‘Trip to the South’ Off-Broadway in New York and in Singapore, ‘On the North Diversion Road’ in Melbourne, Australia and in Singapore; a dramatic reading of his short story ‘Paskil’ translated by Matthew Cunningham as ‘The Poster’ from the French translation ‘L’Annonce’ by Heloise Magannon during the ‘Documenta 12 Magazine Lectures’ bienalle in Documenta Halle, Kassel, Germany in August 30, 2007.
The plays featured in this trilogy trace the artistic development of Tony Perez as a playwright. ‘Sierra Lakes’ is a tension-filled usap-usapan
(dramatic conversation) that explores issues among four people caught in a complicated web of love and desire. It will be directed by Tess Jamias, an alumna of the TP actors company. ‘Bombita’ is a black comedy, which questions the blind obedience and subservience behaviour of young rookies in the military. Funny, but almost in a pathetic way, it reveals the emotional and intellectual short-comings of our men in uniform. It will be directed by Dennis Marasigan, TP’s former artistic director. ‘Nobyembre, Noong Akala Ko’y Mahal Kita’ is a case study of the absence of love in an average, middle-class male in contemporary Philippine society, is part of the multi-awarded playwright’s thought-provoking trilogy about love, friendship and companionship, and their consequences in life. It will be directed by Tuxqs Rutaquio, one of today’s most sought-after theater directors.
Tony Perez with actor Jonathan Tadioan.
Tatlong Tabing: Three Plays by Tony Perez will run from September 30 to October 23, 2011 at the CCP Tanghalang Huseng Batute. As part of the celebration, an exhibit of Tony Perez’s paintings will be mounted during the entire run of the production. Interested sponsors, show buyers, and block buyers may call the following numbers for more details: (632) 8323661, (632) 8321125 loc. 1620 or 1621 and look for Celestino or Paulo Perez.
Visit the official TP website at www.tanghalangpilipino.org.ph
for more information.