Virgin Labfest, Shakespeare, John Arcilla in Tanghalang Pilipino's 2016-2017 season

Virgin Labfest, Shakespeare, John Arcilla in Tanghalang Pilipino's 2016-2017 season
May 21, 2016
Philippine Daily Inquirer

John Arcilla
Tanghalang Pilipino's planned 2016-17 season opens with the Virgin Labfest. While the annual festival of new plays had always been a co-project of playwrights group Writer's Bloc and TP since it was founded, it is now officially part of the company's season offerings.

Midsummer Night's Dream
To commemorate the 400th death anniversary of William Shakespeare, TP will stage "Pangarap sa Isang Gabi ng Gitnang Tag-araw," Rolando Tinio's translation of "A Midsummer Nights Dream," with dramaturgy by Rody Vera and to be directed by Carlitos Siguion-Reyna.

Audie Gemora is slated to play fairy king Oberon and Liesl Batucan is slated to play fairy queen Titania.

Planned cast includes Marco Viana as Lysander, Lhorvie Nuevo as Helena, Toni Go as Hermia, JV Ibesate as Demetrius, Jonathan Tadioan as Nick Bottom, Aldo Vencilao and Doray Dayao alternate as Puck.

Former AC member John Arcilla, who rose to mainstream fame for his portrayal of the titular character in the movie "Heneral Luna," is slated to play the lead role (Handyong) in TP's restaging of the musical "Ibalong."

Premiered in 2012, it's an adaptation of the origin myth of Bicol with libretto by Vera, music and musical direction by Carol Bello, costume design by Leeroy New, choreography by Alden Lugnasin, fight/stunt choreography by Jerry Ramirez, lighting design by Katsch Catoy, and set design and direction by Rutaquio.

Planned cast includes Delphine Buencamino as Oryol, Remus Villanueva and Cheeno Macaraeg as Young Handyong, May Bayot as Gugurang, Jonathan Tadioan as Aswang,

To follow is Guelan Luarca's Filipino translation of Sarah Ruhl's "Eurydice," an adaptation of the Greek myth, to be directed by Loy Arcenas.

Planned cast includes Nonie Buencamino as Eurydice's father, Lhorvie Nuevo as Eurydice, Marco Viana as Orpheus, Jonathan Tadioan as Lord of the Underworld.

Mabining Mandirigma
A restaging of "Mabining Mandirigma" is also in the plan. The musical has a libretto by Nicanor Tiongson, music and musical direction by Joed Balsamo, set design by Toym Imao, costume design by James Reyes, choreography by Denisa Reyes, lighting design by Catoy, sound design by TJ Ramos, video projection design by GA Fallarme and direction by Chris Millado.

The musical won 12 Philstage Gawad Buhay trophies this year, including Outstanding Ensemble Performance for a Musical and Outstanding Musical.

Batucan is slated to reprise her role as Mabini.  Also returning to the cast are Arman Ferrer and David Ezra alternating as Emilio Aguinaldo.

30th anniversary concert
Concluding the season is "Perlas," a planned concert to celebrate TP's 30th anniversary featuring songs from its repertoire of productions, including songs by composers such as Balsamo and Ryan Cayabyab.

To be directed by Millado, the show will have a script by Dennis Marasigan, set design by Imao and choreography by Denisa Reyes.

Planned productions may change or be omitted as the season progresses; contact TP to confirm.

Productions will be staged at different theaters at the Cultural Center of the Philippines.

Contact 8321125 loc. 1620 or 1621. Like Tanghalang Pilipino on Facebook. link: