For its first offering as the newest theater company in town, SUGID Productions Incorporated, in collaboration with the Bantayog ng mga Bayani Foundation, is all set to present the restaging of Chris Millado’s “Buwan at Baril sa E Flat Major” on January 26, 2017 at the Ambassador Alfonso T. Yuchengco Auditorium of Bantayog ng mga Bayani Center located in Quezon Ave., Diliman, Quezon City.
About the Show
To be directed by Andoy Ranay, “Buwan at Baril sa E Flat Major” collects the stories of various characters whose lives, seemingly separate, intersect at a crucial juncture in Philippine contemporary history – the height of the anti-dictatorship struggle.
The schedule of performances are as follows: January 26, 27, 28, 29 (3pm and 8 pm), February 2, 3, 4, 5, 9, 10, 11, 12 (3 pm and 8 pm). A special Gala will be held on February 3 at 8 pm.
“Buwan at Baril sa E♭ Major” was written by Chris Millado in 1985 and originally directed and designed by Apo Chua, with the Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) producing it at the Rajah Sulayman Theater, Fort Santiago in Intramuros, Manila.
About the Playwright
Chris Millado is currently the Vice President and Artistic Director of the Cultural Center of the Philippines, Cinemalaya Festival Director, playwright, director and educator. Fully aware that his aesthetic sensibilities are in context with his childhood experiences on provincial Catholic rites, and Filipino folk pageantry, he plunged into street theater in 1982 – energized by the student and youth protest against the 1982 Education Act. Amidst the media censorship at this time, he, and fellow University of the Philippines theater majors, offered the theater as alternative media, as ‘living newspaper’.
From the street rallies and demonstrations, and maximum security prisons, to major Philippine and foreign stages, he maintains a truly Filipino perspective – reflective and relevant. Among his noted works are Panata Sa Kalayaan / Oath to Freedom; Peregrinasyon, Pinaytok and Nikimalika/Li’l Brown Brothers.
Tim Cada, Poch Gutierrez and Vincent de Jesus create the ambient music with live cello and classical guitar accompaniment to render the classical pieces required for the tenor and mood.
Gwyn Guanzon and Riza Romero’s costume captures the silhouette of the period, their minimalist set intends to highlight the human condition under political struggle. The production is designed in anticipation for the tour to colleges, universities and local government units.
For the 2017 restaging of “Buwan at Baril sa E Flat Major” the play proceeds as…
The Manggagawa (Worker), in the first story, long estranged from his family, meets his brother, Magsasaka (Peasant), in one of the pit stops of the historic May 1984 Lakbayan (People’s March). Their conditions and the reasons for joining the long march set the tone and theme of the entire play.
The Priest, in the second part, takes care of the refugees, represented by the Babaeng Itawis, who flew from their ancestral lands in the countryside after a military operation. The two talk with the members of the media and a fact finding team where the cruelty experienced by the indigenous people under militarization is revealed.
The Socialite, in the next segment, rehearses her part as a member of the negotiating panel as she prepares for a rally. This bourgeoisie, awakened by prevalent injustice, illustrates how the middle class views the marginalized sector of society and sympathizes with their need for change.
The Asawa (Wife) identifies the body of her husband, an NPA guerilla, and continues in a horrific narrative of capture and detention. She talks to his lifeless body, recalling their story of struggle and survival.
The Police Officer arrests and interrogates a Student in the final segment. Their exchange is intense as they struggle to outsmart each other. The police officer eventually releases the student, only to find out later that he was charmed and outsmarted by a most wanted activist.
The country’s topnotch actors who will play the pivotal roles in this play are as follows:
Angeli Bayani (Babaeng Itawis) – A ‘Philippine treasure’ according to international director Ang Lee for her role as nanny in the film Iloilo, a Palm d’Or in 2013 Cannes Film Festival winner, she is also the 2013 Gawad Urian Best Actress for her role in Lav Diaz’s Melancholia.
Cherry Pie Picache (Asawa) – 2011 Gawad Urian Best Actress of the Decade, she is a multi-awarded actress in the Philippines and international cinema. She performs in various theater companies since her debut role in Dulaang UP’s Supremo in 1993.
Crispin Pineda (Magsasaka) – Hailing from the ranks of workers’ theater in the early 70s to become one of Philippine theater’s formidable actors. He played key roles in Kahapon, Ngayon at Bukas, Ang Paglilitis, and St. Louis Loves Dem Filipinos to name a few.
Danny Mandia (Manggagawa) – Teaching theater at the Far Eastern University, he is one of the pioneers in dubbing animè and Mexican telenovelas in Filipino. He was a stage manager and actor for Rolando Tinio’s Teatro Pilipino in the late 70s, and eventually went on as lighting director and production designer.
Jackie Lou Blanco (Socialite) – Frequently nominated in Philippine film and television acting, she has worked in theater almost as long as in motion pictures, most recently in Tanghalang Pilipino’s Pangarap sa Isang Gabi ng Gitnang Tag-Araw, an adaptation of William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Her other notable theatrical performances are Lin Manuel Miranda’s In The Heights, Nick Joaquin’s Mga Ama, Mga Anak, and Soc Rodrigo’s Cyrano de Bergerac translation for Tanghalang Pilipino.
JC Santos (Pari) – Popularly known as Ali in ABS-CBN’s Till I Met You, he is a Dulaang UP homegrown, having taken lead part in Bilanggo ng Pag-ibig, Ibong Adarna, As You Like It, Hinabing Pakpak ng Ating mga Anak, and Orosman at Zafira among others.
Joel Saracho (Pulis/Interogaytor) – Busy traveling to represent for his role in Lav Diaz’s Hele Sa Hiwagang Hapis – a 2016 Berlinale Silver Bear, his recent television role is on ABS-CBN’s On the Wings of Love.
Mayen Estañero (Asawa) – One of Philippine theater’s precious gems, Mayen has been gracing the stage for more than a decade with her talents. A true triple threat, Mayen had been part of some of the most successful theater productions such as Himala, Zsa Zsa Zaturnnah. She was most recently seen perform in the Virgin Labfest’s Mula sa Kulimliman and Tanghalang Ateneo’s Boy.
Paolo O’hara (Pulis/Interogaytor) – Acting freelance for television, film and theater, he comes from a family of actors, but has long since made his mark in the independent film scene as director and writer. He is formerly a Tanghalang Pilipino Actor’s Company member.
Reymund Domingo (Manggagawa) – A regular of Repertory Philippines’ Theater for Young Audiences since his debut in their STAGES co-produced Peter Pan in 2011 at the age of 40, he was also Friar Lawrence in 2015 Manila Shakespeare Company’s Romeo and Juliet, and Butete in 2015 CCP’s Virgin Labfest’s Uod, Butete at Si Myrna by Layeta Bucoy under the direction of George de Jesus.
Ross Pesigan (Estudyante) – Currently appearing in various independent film and television series, he is an alumnus of Dulaang UP where he played, among others, a central character in Ang Nawalang Kapatid, an adaptation of Mahabharata.
About the Company
SUGID Productions Inc. is composed of directors, actors, designers and educators, with more than a hundred years of aggregated cultural work experience, aiming to tell the stories of our land and people, of the unheard and untold; and, listen to stories of parallel communities with parallel paths – distinct stories that are relevant and responsive to our time. We mean to engage peers and audiences alike, and offer spaces of conversation and participation.
The funds raised from the performances aims to bring this production to colleges, universities and local government units in Metro Manila and the provinces.
You can buy tickets here.
For more details about what’s happening in the Manila theater scene, please view our Theater Calendar.