MANILA, Philippines – Tanghalang Ateneo, the longest-running theater company of the Loyola Schools of the Ateneo de Manila University, will kick off its 41st season, “Écriture Féminine | Sulat-Babae: The Women’s Season,” this August with a full-length version of Peter Zaragoza Mayshle’s Dolorosa.
Multihyphenate Jenny Jamora (33 Variations, Every Brilliant Thing) will direct the material, which was originally a one-act play and part of the Virgin Labfest 14 staged readings last year.
Set in three periods of Philippine history, Dolorosa tells the story of a family whose devotion arms the women to face the tides of historical change. During the Spanish occupation, a wooden statue of the Mater Dolorosa, crafted by a master sculptor from Paete, Laguna, is mysteriously lost. In the Japanese era, Pilar, the sculptor’s granddaughter, discovers her powers of astral projection and is visited in an apparition by the Sorrowful Mother, tasking her to search for the missing statue.
Decades later, on Good Friday, Pilar’s three daughters reunite to piece together the rediscovered statue, while anxiously waiting for the arrival of their estranged mother, who has spent fifteen years in America for strange reasons difficult to understand.
Boasting a predominantly female cast, Dolorosa attempts to reconcile the relations of family, nationalism, sexuality, and faith; exploring the definition of womanhood amidst the changing tides of history — ever tenacious, often misconstrued.
Comedienne and film/theatre actress Bibeth Orteza plays the role of Pilar in her 70s, who has mysteriously returned to her daughters after a fifteen year disappearance.
Ron Capinding plays the role of Mariano, a native of Paete during the Spanish occupation, and sculptor of the Mater Dolorosa from whom the play takes its name.
Claudia Enriquez doubles as Elena, Mariano’s wife who goes on to join the growing Filipino rebellion, and Claudia, the oldest of Pilar’s three daughters.
Rainbow Gutierrez doubles as Victoria, Pilar’s mother during the Japanese occupation, and Alicia, the second of Pilar’s daughters.
Zoë de Ocampo doubles as Pilar, a twelve year old during the Japanese occupation, and Juliana, the youngest of Pilar’s daughters.
AJ Umali plays Padre Galiano; Mariano’s sponsor for the crafting of the Dolorosa, Pablo; Pilar’s father, and Tasyo; an arbularyo.
Sabrina Basilio plays Chedeng, a subversive during the Spanish occupation, and Mitring, a market vendor during the Japanese occupation.
Dani Capinding, Francesca Dela Cruz, Kat Dizon, Kim Donato, and Shaun Ocrisma play the five Marys, respectively representing different titles of the Holy Mother.
Tanghalang Ateneo’s Zarya Almocera, Darl Alba, Nicole Chua, and Mekaella Mendoza complete the cast as members of the ensemble.
The artistic team is completed by production designers Ben Padero and Carlo Tabije (Heneral Luna, Siargao), movement designer Jomelle Era (Desaparesidos), lighting designer D Cortezano (Desaparesidos, Marisol), sound designer Arvy Dimaculangan (Desaparesidos, Every Brilliant Thing), graphic designer Zoë de Ocampo (Alpha Kappa Omega, Stop Kiss), photographer Jojit Lorenzo, vocal coaches Robin Aronson and Rachael Swartz, and dramaturg and current Ateneo Creative Writing major Elise Ofilada.
The show will go onstage at the Doreen Black Box (Areté, Ateneo de Manila University) from August 15 to August 31, 2019, from Thursday to Saturday. Thursday and Friday shows will be at 7:30PM, while Saturday shows will be at 2:30PM and 7:30PM.
For ticket details and other inquiries, contact Heinrich Catan at 0923 081 9919.
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