Here’s a first look at Tanghalang Pilipino’s staging of Nick Joaquin’s ‘Nang Dalawin ng Pag-ibig si Juan Tamad’, adapted by multi-award winning playwright Rody Vera. The story is a mash-up of three folk tale characters– Juan Tamad, Mariang Makiling, and Bonte Banahaw.
The production marks a few firsts for the company– senior Tanghalang Pilipino Actors Company member Jonathan Tadioan’s directorial debut, and company member Marco Viaña’s first foray into professional production design.
“First time ko magdidirect for Tanghalang Pilipino. Ginagawa ko kasi dati, lagi ako nagrerepetiteur sa mga productions ng Tanghalang Pilipino na naproduce na or nagawa na,” said Tadioan. “This time ito talaga from scratch.”
He is carefully building this particular world of Filipino folklore by collaborating closely with Viaña for the sets and costumes, TJ Ramos for the music and sound, and Ronelson Yadao for the choreography.
“Ito yung unang production design task ko for a professional theater company,”, notes Viaña. “Ang nakita namin na mahalagang mapakita sa materyal ay iyung mahighlight iyung mundo muna nila Maria Makiling, nila Juan Tamad, kung ano iyung sinasabi natin na images ng Filipino folklore, and then ‘tsaka namin ipapasok iyung contemporary [tones]; iyung contrast ng dalawang mundo at iyung tamang timpla ng paghalo sa kanilang dalawa.
Ramos adds, “My task was how to create the world of Juan Tamad in terms of the soundscape, both with the music and with the sound. So kung mapapansin niyo kanina during the excerpt, noong umpisa, ethnic talaga siya. So as we went along the performances, mapapansin niyo may mga sumusulpot na mga contemporary elements (…) We’re bridging the ethnic music into the contemporary one and basically fusing these two worlds together.”
You can watch the excerpt performances in the video below, performed by The Tanghalang Pilipino Actors Company, with guest artists Cheeno Uy Macaraig, Dessa Marqueses, Jeremi Flores, Ariel Cruz, and Jonalou Fabon.
The show will run from February 16-March 11 at the CCP Little Theater.