Saturday, June 18, 2016

My New Play: "Mula sa Kulimliman"

Writing for the theatre isn't something one would expect from a comics creator, but since I had my little stint as a professional stage actor for a few productions, I guess playwriting would eventually sneak in there. So far, I've written four, three of which have been staged, with the fourth one going through rehearsals for this year's Virgin Labfest.

The play is called, "Mula sa Kulimliman," (From Kulimliman) and it tells of a housewife Lilia (played by Mayen Estañero) who has been questioning the truths she's had about her husband Gorio (Jonathan Tadioan). Gorio has been mostly absent, leaving Lilia to run the household with whatever meager means she has while taking care of their son Jerome (Timothy Castillo). There are elements of fantasy in there, and comedy, and drama, pretty much what one might expect in my stories.

The play is being directed by Hazel Gutierrez, with set design by Toym Imao, sound design by TJ Ramos, music design by Toni Muñoz, and featuring the talents of Karilyo and the Anino Shadowplay Collective.

I saw a run-through of the play last week, and though it's still pretty raw, it's definitely shaping up to be something special. The stuff that everyone brought to the table meshes really well. (But don't take my word for it--you have to see it.)

I will admit that at this point, one of the main reasons why I'm writing for theatre now is because of the Labfest, specifically the prospect of the material being staged. Even if I don't make it to the "magic 12," the possibility of it coming to life is enough to encourage me to see the writing through. In fact, I already have two possible submissions for next year. The first is "Hula Hoop," which was not accepted this year but can be resubmitted (after I do a lot of revising.) The second will most probably be a Josephine Bracken story.

I originally did this piece just for fun, placing Jose Rizal's wife front and center in her own fantasy adventure, without really being serious about creating an actual story. But then story fragments started to form in my brain, specifically character points for Ms. Bracken. As such, it won't be accurate historically, but I will definitely weave in details from the history books. I had started writing dialogue down, a conversation between her and a babaylan. We'll see what happens. 

If you want to watch "Mula sa Kulimliman," it will be part of Set C of this year's Virgin Labfest XII: Binyag. Set C will also include Maki dela Rosa's "Ang Mga Bisita ni Jean," (directed by Ariel Yonzon) and Guelan Luarca's "Bait" (directed by Mara Marasigan). Venue is the Tanghalang Huseng Batute of the CCP.

Schedule: July 1 - 3 and 8pm, July 6 - 8pm, July 7 - 3pm, July 16 -8pm, July 17 - 3pm

Tickets are available at Ticketworld outlets and online, and the CCP Box Office.

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