Monday, June 24, 2013

My Experience as a Noob Playwright

I was at the CCP last Saturday, to watch the technical dress rehearsal of my play, "Kung Paano Ako Naging Leading Lady." I wasn't able to attend a number of rehearsals prior to the TDR, so I was coming into the theater with a little more naivete.

The play was the third of the set. The first one was "Pamamanhikan," written by Bernadette Neri and directed by JK Anicoche. It's a poignant light drama-comedy about the relationship of two elderly women as they prepare a meal for a visiting daughter. The second one is Em Mendez' "Ambong Ambo," directed by Roobak Valle. It tells of two sisters who are at a bit of odds because of their father, who suffers from delusions. I'd call this a more surrealistic drama, as it makes references to the epic tale "Ibalong" of Bicol.

Do forgive my superlatives...When "Kung Paano..." came on, I was in for a delicious ride. I was shifting in my seat during the performance, nervous and exhilarated at the same time. As a writer, I was more than impressed at what director Chris Martinez, the cast, and the technical crew did with the material. Stage manager Minay Capile told me they were working with about 100 light and sound cues. I didn't know if my play would work, particularly when it came to the fight scene. But choreographer Carlon Matobato made it all the more riveting, and Chris added little touches here and there that made my jaw drop. I wouldn't want to give anything away, but suffice to say I was so inspired that when I got home, I did another "poster" for the play, which you see here. I went as far as trying to capture the likenesses of the actors.

This is perhaps the one thing that's satisfying for a playwright--when the director's interpretation and the playwright's intention align.  Moreover, when the director adds his own personal touches without veering from the point of the material. Plus how the actors provide their personal "attack" to the role, adding a kind of nuance and flair to the lines I had not seen while writing them. It's a totally different experience compared to me drawing my own work in comics form. I'm curious to see what the comics adaptation of the play would look like, which I hope to release later this year. (I'll refrain from identifying the artist for now.)

"Kung Paano Ako Naging Leading Lady" will have four performances: June 28 (Friday) 3pm and 8pm, July 3 (Wednesday) at 3pm, and July 5 (Friday) at 8pm. Tickets are available at all Ticketworld outlets, as well as the Ticketworld website. It stars Kiki Baento, Skyzx Labastilla, and Hans Eckstein.

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