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Tanghalang Pilipino opens 37th season with 'unfiltered' plays amid disinformation and ChatGPT

By NICK GARCIA Published Aug 22, 2023 7:13 pm

One cannot deny the role of art in educating and empowering the people—especially in this day and age of disinformation, unstable political climate, and ChatGPT.

Tanghalang Pilipino (TP), the resident drama company of the Cultural Center of the Philippines, is up to the task as it opens its 37th season.

With this year's theme "UNFILTER!," TP seeks to "hurdle any barrier, or obstacle that may hinder freedom of expression" through the "courageous act of being raw, honest, and unapologetic" in a bid to "liberate oneself, one’s loved ones, one’s people and country."

"'UNFILTER!' is an act of bravery, especially in challenging times," the company said.

To fulfill exactly that, TP will be staging three plays, namely: Anak Datu, Sandosenang Sapatos, and Pingkian: Isang Musikal.

Rody Vera's Anak Datu

Directed by Chris Millado and music by Josefino Chino Toledo

Based on a short story of the same name by National Artist for Visual Arts Abdulmari Imao, the TP rerun tells the story of the son of a village chieftain during the pre-colonial Philippines. The son, who was raised knowing his father's a former pirate, will learn more about their family history once his old man dies.

Vera reimagines the story as a trilogy by incorporating events in Mindanaoan history and Imao's personal life.

Show dates: Sept. 29, Sept. 30, Oct, 1, Oct. 5 to 8, Oct. 12 to 15 in 2023

Layeta Bucoy's Sandosenang Sapatos

Directed by Jonathan Tadioan and music by Joed Balsamo and Noel Cabangon

Based on the short story of the same name by Luis Gatmaitan, it's a revival of the musical that deals with a shoemaker's father and his deep love for his daughter, who was born without legs.

Show dates: Nov. 17 to 19, Nov. 23 to 26, Nov. 30, Dec. 1 to 3 in 2023

Juan Ekis's Pingkian: Isang Musikal

Directed by Jenny Jamora and music by Ejay Yatco

The original musical revolves around Emilio Jacinto, dubbed the Utak ng Katipunan, who's also known as Pingkian.

The play uncovers new facts about Jacinto's life based on Ekis's intensive research under the guidance of National Artist for Literature Virgilio Almario.

Show dates: March 1 to 3, March 8 to 10, March 15 to 17, March 22 to 24 in 2024

Tickets to the shows are available at TP and Ticket2Me.