iWant bridges the gap between onstage and online as it presents “Tanghalang Pilipino sa iWant,” a collection of plays by Tanghalang Pilipino, the resident drama company of the Cultural Center of the Philippines, to raise funds for local theater workers and artists.
Streaming on June 12 to coincide with Independence Day, the six original Filipino productions are based on stories from Philippine history and literature and some adaptations, namely “Mabining Mandirigma,” “Lam-Ang,” “Sandosenang Sapatos,” “Pangarap sa Isang Gabi ng Gitnang Tag-Araw,” “Coriolano,” and “Der Kaufmann.” They will be available for free on iWant until July 12.
Steampunk musical “Mabining Mandirigma,” featuring multi-awarded theater and film actress Monique Wilson, foregrounds the unparalleled heroism of Apolinario Mabini when he faced threats from American colonizers and “ilustrado” Congress members after he was appointed as Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo’s chief adviser, until his capture and exile in Guam, and eventually his death.
JC Santos stars as the hero in ethno-epic musical “Lam-Ang,” which reimagines “Biag ni Lam-ang,” considered the oldest folk epic in Luzon. Also starring Anna Luna, it chronicles the conquests of Lam-ang from the land of Nalbuan and envisions the local traditions that are in danger of disappearing forever.
The colorful creation that is “Sandosenang Sapatos” follows wheelchair-bound Susie, a little girl who dreams of fulfilling his shoemaker father’s wish to have a ballerina for a daughter. Every year on her birthday, she travels to a place called dreamland where the Diwata (Shoe Fairy) gives her a pair of shoes, which enables her to walk and dance. It stars Trixie Esteban and May Bayot-De Castro.
A complicated web of romance set in the grandiose mystery of Athens is featured in “Pangarap sa Isang Gabi ng Gitnang Tag-Araw,” an adaptation of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” which centers on the love interplaying around four young Athenians portrayed, featuring striking performances by Audie Gemora, Teroy Guzman, Liesl Batucan, Randy Villarama, and Richard S. Cunanan.
In a rarely-staged Shakespearean play entitled “Coriolano,” a legendary Roman soldier turns into a tyrant, leading to his downfall. It features a gripping performance from Tanghalang Pilipino Actors Company senior member Marco Viaña, together with Frances Makil-Ignacio and Sherry Lara alternating as Coriolano’s strong-willed mother, Volumnia, and Brian Sy as Tulo Aufidio.
A retelling of Shakespeare’s best and famous comedy, “Der Kaufmann” (“The Merchant of Venice”), follows the misadventures of enigmatic Portia, who outwits a bitter and shrewd moneylender, Shylock. A play within a play, it relives the horror of the Holocaust, with the Nazis directing the Jewish “actors,” underscoring the dehumanizing effect of racism and intolerance. Starring Jonathan Tadioan, Regina De Vera, and Tuxqs Rutaquio, the play has since enjoyed critical success and garnered seven Gawad Buhay awards.
Tanghalang Pilipino has successfully presented 114 productions within 15 seasons while generating one of the best attendance records among the CCP’s resident companies in their mission to use theater for education and to develop Filipinos’ sense of nationalism.
Donations are accepted via BPI (Tanghalang Pilipino Foundation Inc., Savings Account: 3131-0387-46) and GCash (Munera Garcia, Number: 0915-4538933). For more details, log on to ktx.abs-cbn.com.
Catch all six Tanghalang Pilipino plays for free from June 12 to July 12 on the iWant app (iOs and Android) or iwant.ph.