While more known for producing the Four Classics—“Florante at Laura,” “Noli Me Tangere,” “Ibong Adarna” and “El Filibusterismo,” the staging of which has become important educational tools to high school students who study these Filipino stories and novels—Gantimpala also mounts English plays.
“Every year, we make it a point to present English plays as a response to the requests of English departments,” says Artistic Director Tony Espejo. “As a director, it is always challenging to discover something new in these plays, which have been done by other companies in so many ways. To be able to present it and give it a new lease on life thrills me no end.”
“In ‘The Necklace,’ our audiences see how Mathilde’s folly and recklessness bring her much tribulation. In ‘New Yorker,’ poking fun at Filipinos who now act and sound like Yankees after only a brief stint in the US is so much fun,” he adds.
Gantimpala has also embarked on the National Artist Production Series—plays and short stories written by National Artists for Literature and Theater and revived on stage; and the biennial Pearl Theater Festival—revivals of the most memorable Bulwagang Gantimpala productions, children’s musicals, English plays and other well-loved classics.
Cast in “The Necklace” and “New Yorker in Tondo” are Kakai Butista, Pamela Hundana, Migui Moreno, Fame Flores, Marjorie Lorico, Berl William Angeles and Hazel Orencio.
Assisting Espejo to mount the twin-bill production are Joseph Matheu (lights designer), Marianne Sedotes (set designer), Albert Figueras (costume designer), Carlos Niño Percil (choreographer), Glenda Alday (production manager) and Gean Allain de Leon (assistant director/stage manager).
Performances are slated on Jan. 15-16, 10 a.m./2 p.m., SM Southmall, Las Piñas City; and on Jan. 22-23, 10 a.m./2 p.m., AFP Theater in Quezon City.
“The Necklace” and “New Yorker in Tondo” are presented in cooperation with the National Parks Development Committee and Ever Bilena Cosmetics.
For inquiries, call the Gantimpala Theater Marketing Office 8995745/8963503 or visit www.gantimpalatheater.multiply.com.