This midyear University of the Philippines Los Banos theatre season’s release features several plays from playwrights Maynard Manansala, Vladimeir Gonzales, U.Z. Eliserio, and Chuckberry Pascual. The theatre festival entitled “Dagan: Serye ng Pagtatanghal” showcases stories of heartbreak, LGBTQ+ love, trauma, camp, and political commentaries on current social issues.
All offering that sense of heaviness, dagan, within their premises. Supervised by theatre
professors Jeremy Dela Cruz and Julia Pacificador, the theatre festival brings together the
UPLB community in celebrating the craft of theatre.
Chuckberry Pascual’s “Alejandro” features Gabriel, a middle-aged bakla in a relationship with the younger Alejandro, and his tirades with the snooping motel guard and janitor. Alejandro offers a glimpse of the reality of relationships for elder bakla in this comedic yet heart-punching play on love, betrayal, and lived reality of the bakla. Gabriel’s experience parallels Larry’s story in Maynard Manansala’s “Big Night”. Set in a bathhouse popular to gay patrons, Enrico attempts to reestablish an old bond between himself and the love of his life, Larry, who however tells him how he feels. Another play from Maynard Manansala, with U.Z. Eliserio, explores the grief Kiko experiences as he opens up to his mother, Fely, during his Tiyo Baldo’s burial.
Consistent with the theatre festival’s offering of various plays, Maynard Manansala’s “Dalawang Gabi” features the two very different nights for the relationship of Debbie and Lester in this two moments they share; Debbie, however, is Lester’s teacher. Vladimeir Gonzales’ “Elevator Action” tells the story of Ben and Gus who questions the morality of their work and “K-Town Chalala” in the camp reimagining of Philippine society through KDrama. Still from Vladimeir Gonzales, “Walang Kuyugan: Isang Operaserye” retells a popular show’s attempt to become the number one evening show once again. U.Z. Eliserio and Maynard Manansala will take you through rainy days in search of wants through “Symposium”.
Directed by theatre majors, this collective staging of various plays of various themes presets the stage for a bountiful theatre experience for theatergoers in UPLB and the nearing communities.
Let us experience these stories of love, heartbreak, betrayal, grief, and fun through the art of theatre. That said, we will see you there!