Saturday, January 23, 2016

In the Name of True Independence

Tanghalang Pilipino commemorated Apolinario Mabini's secquicentennial birth with "Mabining Mandirigma"-- a daring steampunk musicale last July. 

This year, after the success of Heneral Luna (the general who remained faithful to their cause til the very end) on the big screen, it will have a rerun at the Cultural Center of the Philippines.

In this production, Director Chris Millado engaged contemporary aesthetics & music with historical figures like Mabini & other characters during his time. This is a history lesson meant for millenials and the selfie generation.

Picking up from June 12, 1898 when Mabini first joined the revolution, it showcases his public life in Aguinaldo's government as the 1st adviser.  Tiongson says Mabini conceptualized the entire ideology of the revolution, the day to day workings of it, and the structure of the future republic.

As a surprise, Mabini is portrayed by acclaimed female thespian, Delphine Buencamino.

Playwright Nicanor Tiongson is delighted that it's not only Mabini that's being performed by a female. He takes pride in gender-free casting for theater.

Director Chris Millado agrees that it's actually an Asian theater tradition that refined characters are played by females-- intellectuals, refined gentlemen, and educated men.

Toym Imao is also excited as this is his first set design in theater. He put together different symbols of the Philippine revolution with current experience. 

"Mabining Mandirigma" will run from Feb 19- March 13 in CCP.


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