PhilStagers to mount LGBT-themed plays

Amadís Ma. Guerrero - The Philippine Star
PhilStagers to mount LGBT-themed plays

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Stagers Foundation (PSF), led by Vincent “Vince” Tañada, is known for musicals that blend entertainment with political advocacy. These are staged in malls, school auditoriums, convention centers and venues all over the land. The target is the student sector and Vince and the cast, who all sing, dance and emote, make it a point to adlib, crack jokes and banter around just to keep the youths interested and amused even though the theme may be serious.

Recent long-running hits have been Bonifacio ang Sarsuwela, Filipinas: 1941, Pope-popular and Katips (Mga Bagong Katipunero), which is still running and will continue until early 2017.

Comes now a tectonic shift from the student market to adult audiences: Three one-act straight plays about gays, with LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) themes.

This was announced recently by Vince in a presscon-cum-preview at the PSF Studio in Manila. The event was actually a triple whammy. Besides the performances, there was a blessing of the newly-relocated and streamlined Tañada Law Office (yes, the guy is also a lawyer) and a victory party for Katips having won three major awards in the recent Aliw Awards (Best Musical, Best Director for Vince and Breakthrough Performance of an Actress for Adel Ibarientos).

The three plays are: Babasagin by Art Gabrentina, Dilaw o Pula by Vince and Bagyo! Burol. Beki... by Sonny Valencia. All three are directed by Vince, and the first two were performed during the press launch.

Babasagin is inspired by Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie and is set in a kind of boutique owned by a sexually-repressed woman, Paz (played by Cindy Liper). The laruang kristal are half-nude men and women, caparisoned in plastic and prancing around like mannequins. It is an arresting sight.

Into this shop comes Paz’s cousin Ramona (Arian Golondrina), and chaos ensues. Ramona tells Paz to stop behaving like an old maid, reminds her that they once had an affair. The boutique and its sex toys are thrown into disarray, and Paz is forced to confront her real self.

Pula o Dilaw is about two political prisoners, a Marcos loyalist and a supporter of Cory Aquino (played with intensity by Kierwin Larena and Chris Lim). The action spans many years, from Martial Law to the time of Gloria Arroyo. The flashbacks are announced when the two actors freeze, as if in horror. They argue, fight, become friends again and finally realize that they are in love with each other.

Unfortunately, only one of them will be released.

The third play which was not presented, Bagyo! Burol. Beki... promises to be a foil against the more serious works. It is set in the aftermath of Supertyphoon Yolanda, with three bekis (flaming fairies) busy attending to the wake of a fellow beki, who was not only a victim of the supertyphoon but was also named Yolanda. The three then decide to watch the Miss Universe pageant.

Cindy Liper (center) surrounded by ‘laruang kristal’

“It’s funny,” said playwright Valencia, Palanca awardee, during the launch. “It tells what happens to the four badings (including the corpse, presumably) after Yolanda. I was inspired by the Miss Universe beauties.”

All three plays will be presented as a mini-festival of pink plays by PSF at the Power Mac Center, Circuit Makati (formerly the Santa Ana Racetrack) in February, Arts Month (also the Month of Love). Call 0917-750-0107.

Director-actor Vincent Tañada


vuukle comment
  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with