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Theater Scene: DUP’s Six Characters in Search of an Author | Anim na Tauhang Naghahanap ng May-Akda

WE’VE HAD ENOUGH of musicals recently (‘Ang Huling El Bimbo,’ ‘Eto Na! Musikal nAPO Sila‘), so when given a chance to see Dulaang UP’s 43rd Theatre Season opening play, Luigi Pirandello’s masterpiece, ‘Six Characters in Search of an Author’ and its Filipino translation by Rody Vera, ‘Anim na Tauhang Naghahanap ng May-Akda,’ we grabbed it right away. (Thanks to Merwyn of DUP’s marketing for the invite.)

It’s been quite a few seasons since we last watched a Dulaang UP (Unibersidad ng Pilipinas) play. Today was a must, to say the least, so we decided to catch the play’s Filipino translation: ‘Anim na Tauhang Naghahanap ng May-Akda’ at 3pm.

Directed by Professor Emeritus Tony Mabesa, Founding Artistic Director of Dulaang UP, one could expect nothing less from this seminal work of Modern theater.

Written in 1921, ‘Six Characters in Search of an Author’ is a meta-drama about characters looking for an author to finish their tragic stories. It is the first of the three play-offerings for this season.

DUP’s new Artistic Director, Banaue Miclat-Janssen (who succeeds Dexter Santos) said during the press launch the play “…challenges the audience’s perception about reality.”

True enough, the play tackles the wider theme of illusion and reality, and it is in Mabesa’s delicate direction that the audience will find themselves hooked from start to finish. We ourselves are dumbfounded by how the show is staged. It is a play within a play, and while the audience might feel a bit confused at the beginning, they could do nothing but become part of the show itself towards the end, and if not prepared, be shocked by a very powerful ending.

The all-student cast wasn’t a hindrance at all, as the cast is as fantastic as the play itself, and their portrayal, especially those of the six characters, are too powerfully-natural to ignore.

Dulaang UP Six Characters in Search of an Author

The cast of Dulaang UP’s ‘Six Characters in Search of an Author’ | Anim na Tauhang Naghahanap ng May-Akda. – Ely Valendez PHOTO

Dulaang UP Six Characters in Search of an Author Photo

The actors/cast of Dulaang UP’s ‘Six Characters in Search of an Author’ | Anim na Tauhang Naghahanap ng May-Akda – Ely Valendez PHOTO

Six Characters in Search of an Author begins with a company rehearsing a play when suddenly, a family dressed in mourning appears and claims that they are Characters in need of an author to finish writing their story. As the family shares their drama to the company, the director contemplates and eventually decides to stage it.

What follows is a series of re-enactments and argumentations between the Company and the Characters. As the audience ponders on a rehearsal process, the play asks—how, despite opposing viewpoints, can the truth be discerned?

Joining Mabesa and Vera are Ohm David (set design), Meliton Roxas, Jr. (technical direction and lights design), Bonsai Cielo (costume design), Carlo Pagunaling (make-up), Jack Alvero (sound and music design), Winter David (video design), Dino Dimar (photography), Steven Tansiongco (poster and graphics design) and Ian Ramirez (dramaturgy).

DUP Six Characters

You gotta catch it, our friends. The show runs from September 5 – 30, 2018 (with shows Wednesday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday) at the Wilfrido Ma.Guerrero Theatre, 2nd floor Palma Hall, U.P. Diliman, Quezon City.

For tickets and show-buying inquiries, contact Erika Lava (0906 224 1034) or Gio Dexter Santos (0916 555 2782) or you may send an email at dupmarketing@gmail.com; for sponsorships, contact Joshua Chan at 0917 677 5141; or you may also call the Dulaang UP Office (Tel.: 926-1349 / 981-8500 local 24-49).

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