Watching theater with new eyes

I remembered what Floy Quintos told us in the recently concluded "Theater Talk" at the PETA Center, that to watch a play, you have to set your mind to what your imagination has to offer. All senses at a hightened level is a must, including your creative mind at work. Rid your minds of can't. The rest will unfold before your eyes.

I had the chance to see "Insiang" last night. I must say that my vacation leave paid off - more than what I expected. Attending Quintos' talk on appreciating theater indeed helped me in opening myself to the alternative world "Insiang" has offered that one fine night. I came to CCP with the thirst for a big-time stage production.

The moment I entered Tanghalang Huseng Batute, my sense of smell was at its peak. Seeing the production photos of the play from the entrance gave me a sneak peak of the set, and when I entered the theater, it smelled like a place of rust, old wood, used plastic bottles, and a whiff of dirty laundry and stench of an over-crowded slums area. It was a squatter's area type of set. Every piece of it was done in great detail. Seeing it as a whole, my hightened sense of sight came next. Creative sounds of kittens in crying in agony for milk and a moving tricycle activated my sense of hearing. It felt complete inside.

As per AJ's advice, me and my theater enthusiast plus one took the arena seats. He said it was the best and I'm so glad I followed your advice!

One of the initial lines that were delivered out by Toyang, the laundrywoman will immediately guide you to be in her mind. She controlled everything as Insiang's life will unfold to you one by one in smooth succession. You will know the lead character as if you are gossiping about them. I instantly became a tsismosa myself asking "Who is Insiang?"

The type of language used in the script is as graphic as Insiang's world, which added more impact to the story: from start, to climax, to resolution. It reminded me of how our past neighbors fight about water rations.

Sheenly Vee Gener effectively played the role of Insiang. I was amazed with how she delivered her lines and how she shifted from a sweet and mysterious Insiang to a one raged young woman full of worldly grudges. Ricky Davao hasn't lost his charm, although this is the first time I saw him in person performing on-stage (He played the role of the bad guy named "Dado"), I realized that he is indeed one of the finest actors in Philippine show business. He played his character with such sharpness and precision.

The rest of the cast did the same. One powerhouse cast I must say especially in making the play more realistic.

One more thing, I remembered Insiang's last scene, inviting Toyang to do a dance. Two things that I realized are one: Insiang wanted to dance to help herself let go of her dark past, and two: She wanted to cherish her winning vengeance.

I just started appreciating theater with new eyes; I haven't done this while watching Zsa-Zsa Zaturnah and Miss Saigon. I love these two but remembering how I was spoon-fed with to appreciate it in the past, somehow I regretted those times where I could've watched it with such craving. Clearly, watching Insiang transformed me into a theater glutton. Truly, a unique experience.


"Insiang" now on-stage at the CCP Tanghalang Huseng Batute on November 16-18, 23-25, 30 and December 1-2, 8:00 P.M. on Fridays and Saturdays with 3:00 P.M. matinees on Saturdays and Sundays. For tickets and other information, call Ticketworld (891-9999), CCP Box Office (832-3704), or Tanghalang Pilipino (832-3661).


Official Website of "Insiang"

Tanghalang Pilipino's "Insiang" stars Sheenly Vee Gener, Ricky Davao, Mailes Kanapi, Mae Paner, Peewee O'Hara,Roeder Camanag, Paolo O'Hara, Donnel Bolanos, Vanni Liwanag and the Tanghalang Pilipino Actors' Company.

Directed by Chris Millado


I was happy to see Floy Quintos himself last night at CCP watching the same play. Sir Floy, I forgot to thank you for the talk you gave us at PETA. It helped me a lot in more ways than you can imagine. My apologies for that finger-crunching handshake of mine :-)

Also watching with us last night is the great F. Sionil Jose. I was starstrucked by his presence. I admire his book "Ermita" so much.

Thank you Gibbs for the tickets!

Lastly, to my new theater enthusiast friend, thank you for sharing this culture-enriched experience with me.


AJ of said...

Ganda ng Insiang no? :)

Nadriamez said...

I love it AJ sobra :-) Nakaka relate ako kay Insiang!