Minutes into the Q&A and still no questions from the young audience, only excited buzzing and turuan--until a man stood up, introduced himself as a member of the press, and asked the lead performers--Eula Valdes as Blanche DuBois, Neil Ryan Sese as Stanley Kowalski, Meryl Soriano as Stella--what their individual experiences were like in making the play.
Eula said playing Blanche and acting onstage were way, way different from what she's used to doing on film and TV, so she didn't pass up the chance when offered the role, and won't hesitate to do it again if asked. (Hint of a rerun?) Neil and Meryl and the other cast members added that the task was made easier because, during rehearsals, the ensemble worked as a team, there was no division between celebrity and ordinary theater actor, the fidelity was to the material, etc.
Any other questions?, prodded Floy. Going once, twice...
Finally--a student motioning for a microphone. His question: What can we learn from this play?
Big applause and cries of “Yes!” from the kids. Obviously, this was what they were waiting for--a neat, easily digestible summation of what they'd just seen that they could then quote, repeat or echo in their required reaction papers come school day. Why crack their heads trying to decode what all the play was about when here were people who could, just maybe, do it for them?
They didn't reckon with Eula, who took the mic and... turned the tables on them: “Di ba we should we be the one to ask you that question? What have you learned? Since prinesent na namin e,” she said, very sweetly.
Laughter, then more applause--louder this time, the kids enjoying the spectacle of seeing one of their own outwitted and now squirming before the microphone. Egged on to answer the challenge, the boy gathered up enough courage, took to the stage and said, haltingly and breathlessly, “Ang natutunan ko dito ay dapat maging totoo sa sarili, 'wag itago kung ano ka talaga.”
An A for him for guts and effort. Whether that's the real point being imparted by Streetcar/Flores is debatable, but at least he arrived at it by his own wits--an important reminder that was underlined by Eula's gentle but instructive pushback, and one that hopefully struck a chord with more than a few of the students: They shouldn't expect to be spoon-fed; they have to start thinking on their own.