By Victor N. Sugbo

Theater Evaluate
Lunop Han Dughan
Written by Samlito Abueva
Directed by Joycie Dorado Alegre
UP Visayas, Tacloban Metropolis
Nov. 7 and 9

LUNOP HAN DUGHAN, proven in Tacloban Metropolis on Nov. 7 and 9, introduced a brand new whiff of dramatic vitality to the normal Waray zarzuela and group theater after twenty years of moribund theater exercise in Tacloban. Earlier shows of Waray zarzuelas have been principally nostalgic revivals, notably the performs of Iluminado Lucente whose works nonetheless lend effectively to staging. Held for the 6th Commemoration of the Supertyphoon Yolanda Catastrophe, Lunop was not the standard zarzuela. Whereas it carried the trimmings of the shape — music, songs, dances, and dialogue — Lunop underwent a sort of reinvention. Surreal, metonymic and folksy, its new configuration appeared designed to check the waters of social acceptance with its new viewers.

A fancy narrative consisting of native delusion, lifelike occasions, minimal realia, previous people and new pop songs, surrealism, and the return of an previous love, Lunop unpacks surprises and a sure realization. The primary shock was that the unique music performed through the deluge scene and the Magna Mater’s lamentation scene have been compositions of Nationwide Artist for Music and UP Professor Emeritus Ramon Santos, who additionally performed the efficiency of his unique compositions, performed by the rondalla musicians of the Leyte Kalipayan Dance Firm and Leyte Nationwide Excessive Faculty Particular Program for the Arts.

The second shock was the looks of UP soprano and voice professor Alegria Ferrer as Magna Mater (earth mom) whose theatrical presence and vocal prowess, essaying the sung prophecies and lamentation, electrified the stage.

Regardless of their publicity to vibrant Ok-pop, J-pop, selection exhibits, and cinema, the younger viewers have been no completely different from their great-grandparents who watched an Iluminado Lucente zarzuela in Plaza Rizal someday within the late 1940s and ’50s. Like previous habitués of Lucente zarzuelas, they participated in Lunop by applauding each time an actor or set of actors sang. Of their seats, they’d sometimes hum the music together with the actors. They might additionally burst into waves of muffled giggles and guffaws each time the star-crossed lovers, Urbano and Maribel, met one another intensely, singing their plaintive unhappy songs.

The revival of folksongs which will have been forgotten by Tacloban lightened unhappy and heavy moments in Lunop. It made the older viewers nostalgic. It additionally offered the youthful viewers a style of melodic Waray compositions written by the just about forgotten Pablo Rebadulla of Calbayog and A. Jaro of Tacloban, together with the brand new bouncy tunes written and composed by Samlito Abueva.

Lunop is a directorial oeuvre of Joycie Dorado Alegre. For her, theater efficiency isn’t an inert object. She views it as a fluid material. Because of this, the sensorial texture of the play undergoes common evaluation, modification, reinvention or revision. Theater directing, on this case, turns into an energetic orchestration of components that transmutes from appearing to blocking, from singing to dancing, a jagged seek for the suitable theater syntax. As such, appearing undergoes frequent modification. Solely the textual content is left untouched. Relying on exigencies, nonetheless, it too will get altered. On this regard, the play’s textual content is rarely remaining, and is in transit.

As if these should not sufficient, Alegre treats her actors like clay whose appearing and singing she should hold shaping and reshaping. On this means, every stage presentation turns into a dangerous auditory and visible journey, as adjustments launched into every efficiency of the play may break right into a vulgarity. This strategy to theater resonates from her previous theater work, the place she envisioned and nonetheless envisions the play’s efficiency as an unremitting seek for the figurative theater morpheme that will deliver out what she thinks the viewers ought to really feel and consider in the long run.

In Lunop, Alegre boldly juxtaposes the hyperbolic time of Dang and Mulay (within the Mount Danglay delusion) with the lifelike narrative time of Urbano and Maribel. In each tales, Dang and Mulay and Urbano and Maribel meet tragic deaths; Dang and Mulay, within the lethal embrace of an enormous crab that strangles them; Urbano and Maribel, within the whirling flood waters of a brilliant storm. This juxtaposition implicitly paints Urbano and Maribel as possible incarnations whose ill-fated lives have been already written within the stars.

The story of Lunop is a straightforward narrative a few married couple, Maribel and Turing, who by pressure of circumstances, are compelled to marry. Turing is a dynamite fisher, a womanizer, and a ingesting sot. Maribel marries him as a result of her father owes a big debt to Turing’s father. The union is blessed with three kids however it’s not a cheerful marriage. The arrival of Urbano within the coastal village the place Turing and Maribel stay complicates matter. A mariner on trip, Urbano will get to speak to Maribel throughout a fiesta celebration in Turing’s home. On this transient time they’ve, Urbano and Maribel profess love for one another, however they each know their love can by no means be fulfilled. Turing catches Urbano and Maribel speaking intently and instructions Urbano to go away his spouse.

The incidence of a violent storm turns the coastal village of Turing and Maribel in disarray. That is additional aggravated by the rising flood waters driving folks to larger grounds. Caught within the flood waters, Urbano finds Maribel and her kids on an elevated space, however even that is claimed by the flood. Maribel slips into the rising water and Urbano tries to save lots of her, and of their flurry to save lots of one another they’re seen by Turing who can also be struggling to save lots of himself. Unaware of impending hazard, Urbano and Maribel are overrun by an unmanned cargo ship which the violent storm winds and the surging swollen sea drive within the course of Turing’s coastal group. Now alone, Turing redeems himself from his guilt by assuring his kids of his love and care.

How Alegre unravels the easy narrative of Urbano and Maribel and the sick destiny of Turing is in itself fascinating. With actors who undertook nights and nights of grueling appearing, she mounts the play on a layered round stage. Designed by UP Architect Jose Danilo Silvestre, it turned the tight however fragile cosmos the place nature outlined human destiny and the place lives rose and fell. With the minimal use of realia, Lunop opened for Alegre the chance to play with metonyms. The location of two seats in a spot on the stage, as an example, turned the house right into a metonym for a front room. Apparently, the predominantly pink mats of Basey, Samar within the fingers of strange-looking sea harpies (dancers) turned a wall in a single scene, and horrifying sea waves in one other scene — dance sequences co-designed with choreographer Eulogio Plameran. The lighting of candles on the penultimate scene stood for the tapos, a ritual marking the top of prayers for the useless. Furthermore, the reappearance of Dang and Mulay in direction of the top of the play animated the emotional low level of the viewers in that Urbano and Maribel appeared like resurrected souls within the afterlife. In our cosmos, there are actually no finalities. There are simply passages. Using metonymy and delusion, the presence of Magna Mater and the gossamer Mount Danglay backdrop created by painter Archie Zabala, offered a surreal really feel to the play’s efficiency.

The lifelike plot and dialogue and the surreal environment inherent within the stage presentation comprised a paradox that Alegre needed to cope with. She, nonetheless, transcended these by placing actors beneath intensive coaching so they may enact their roles with a finely tuned devotion to create plausible stage selves exterior of their very own. Notable right here was the appearing of Pierre Dan Ampo, who actually absorbed his loud-mouthed and menacing Turing persona. Equally noteworthy have been the laudable performances of Urbano (Gabriel Asanza) and Maribel (Lina Fe Simoy) because the ill-fated lovers whose conferences have been at instances humorous, many instances poignant and unhappy. Turing and Maribel’s kids Aliya (Elizabeth Zamora), Makoy (Jay Cris Juyad), and Egay (Melanie Ladica); the comedian characters of Sayong, (Danica Ybañez), Tiyong (Mark Joseph Daduya), Doming (Ivan Ray Pontoy), and Dulce (Rosary Jasmine Padilla); the Theater Arts college students who acted as strange-looking sea harpies — all turned in credible performances. Regardless of the brevity of their appearances, they contributed to the profitable staging of Lunop as written by Samlito Abueva. As soon as extra Alegre proved her value as theater director cum auteur. The enthusiastic public reception of her work in Lunop was an attestation.

The presentation of Lunop Han Dughan was made doable by the UP Visayas Tacloban Faculty, the UP Workplace of the Vice-President for Educational Affairs (Enhanced Inventive Work and Analysis Grant) in partnership with Silhag Cultural Affiliation within the Philippines and the Nationwide Fee for Tradition and the Arts. The An Waray Occasion Record likewise served as sponsor.

Dr. Victor Sugbo is a multi-awarded poet, professorial lecturer of Literature and Communication in UP Visayas Tacloban Faculty.

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