Arete, in cooperation with Ateneo Fine Arts, Tanghalang Ateneo and the Kellogg Institute for International Studies, is staging RD3RD, a bold adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Richard III set in the present-day Philippines.
Directed by Dr. Anton Juan and Ateneo Professor Emeritus Dr. Ricardo Abad, with dramaturgy by Dr. Judy Ick, the play reinterprets the tale of England’s vicious king in light of the blood-filled War on Drugs, seeking to answer one question – how do tyrannies rise?
Opening Thursday, January 11 at the Ateneo Fine Arts Black Box Theater, the production features a formidable cast that with Abad and Ick include Jamie Wilson, Ron Capinding, Jay Valencia-Glorioso, Katski Flores, Joseph Dela Cruz, Missy Maramara, Itos and Cholo Ledesma and Teroy Guzman, who plays the title role. Guzman has previously won critical acclaim for essaying Shakespearean roles in Macbeth (UP), King Lear (PETA), and Othello (Tanghalang Ateneo). The artistic team includes Marta Lovina (production design), Miyo Sta. Maria (lighting design), Itos Ledesma (sound design) and Tata Tuviera (costume execution).
Director Juan, Professor of Theatre at the University of Notre Dame, explains the need for RD3RD to be performed in this day. “It is in these times our rituals should speak out even more urgently to the world,” he says. “To question the indifference of those who watch, to understand and put to light the terror, the disbelief of many who think these killings are necessary, to reflect on our own inhumanity in accepting ‘the necessary means to an end’”.
Director Abad welcomes the staging of RD3RD as one of the initial offerings of Arete, the fine arts hub of the Ateneo de Manila which houses the Ateneo Art Gallery, multiple studios and classrooms, and 500-seater and 900-seater theaters. “What makes RD3RD unique is the immediacy of its message, the common political conviction of cast and crew, and the chance to apply what I seek to encourage as Artistic Director of Arete – performances that are collaborative, edgy, interdisciplinary and meaningful to the times,” Abad declares.
RD3RD will be staged on January 11-14, 18-21 and 27-28 at the Ateneo de Manila University’s Black Box Theater, located in the Fine Arts Annex on Seminary Drive (near the College Covered Courts). Performances are at 8 PM with additional 3 PM matinee shows on weekends. Ticket prices are ₱500 for regular viewers and ₱300 for students.