Tanghalang Pilipino Stages Filipino Version of ‘The Crucible’ with ‘Ang Pag-uusig’


The young women of Salem (Antonette Go, Lhorvie Nuevo, Blanche Buhia, Doray Dayao, Monique Nellas, and Eunice Pacia) fall under a spell in Ang Pag-uusig

Ang Pag-uusig, a Filipino translation of the Tony Award-winning play “The Crucible” by world renowned playwright Arthur Miller is the second production of Tanghalang Pilipino (TP)’s 31st season.

When teenage girls were discovered “trying to conjure spirits,” fear surrounded the villagers of Salem, Massachusetts in 1692. ‘Ang Pag-uusig’ explores the effects of this terror, paranoia, as well as the destruction of innocence caused by the rabid accusations of witchcraft began by spurned mistress Abigail Williams played by Antonette Go. The villagers became consumed by widespread hysteria – as they waited in fear who will be accused next.

John Proctor (JV Ibesate, foreground) seems oblivious of the growing threat around him in Ang Pag-uusig

Staying true to Tanghalang Pilipino’s theme of Utak, Puso, Bayan (Mind, Heart, Country), ‘Ang Pag-uusig’ remains to be provocative, dramatic, and relevant. With lives ruined and reputations destroyed, the play shows how apathy and fear allow those who accuse others to rise to power and gain control. Good versus evil, lies versus truth, and jealousy versus compassion and forgiveness are explored by the different characters in the play.

The word Pag-uusig can be translated as investigation (pagsisiyasat, paglilitis), interrogation (pagtatanong, paguusisa), persecution (pagmamalupit, pagpapahirap), or a prosecution (pagsasagawa). It serves as a metaphor for the hysteria and conflicting circumstances the characters find themselves in.

Director Dennis Marasigan comments, “It was clear to me that when Miller wrote this play, he used the Salem witch-hunt to express his sentiments about McCarthyism (the practice of making accusations of subversion or treason without proper regard for evidence) which was prevalent during his time. It is probably a testament to continuing relevance of the work that it is considered the most produced among Miller’s plays. According to him, one can tell whether a country has just come out of or about to fall under a dictatorship because a production of The Crucible serves as a reminder or a warning.”

Deputy Governor Danforth (Jonathan Tadioan), Elizabeth Proctor (JV Ibesate and Doray Dayao), and Abigail Williams (Antonette Go)

Marasigan continues, “Nevertheless, it is not the despots that Miller focuses on in the play, but how a community composed of people with the same beliefs, who know each other and are friends, neighbors and relations, can be slowly destroyed and set apart through accusations that are truly unbelievable, but which remained and became widespread due to apathy at first and then fear afterwards. Many lives had to be sacrificed before the majority had the courage to oppose and put an end to the persecution and killings.”

WHAT TO EXPECT

The Crucible is a classic, but Tanghalang Pilipino’s Ang Pag-uusig makes use of devised theater as a process for the production. It is a form of theater where the stage direction originates not from a director, but from collaborative, usually improvisatory, work by a group of people – in this case, TP’s Actors Company. This gives a fresh, modern approach on a classic play further enhanced by the intimate box setting of Tanghalang Huseng Batute (Studio Theater).

Due to mature subject matter, some scenes and languages are unsuitable for young audiences.
Ang Pag-Uusig is rated PG-13.

CAST AND CHARACTERS

The cast of Ang Pag-uusig

Antonette Go- Abigail Williams
JV Ibesate- John Proctor
Marco Viaña- Rev. Samuel Parris
Blanche Buhia- Betty Parris
Joshua Tayco- Rev. John Hale
Rhodora Dayao- Elizabeth Proctor
Monique Nellas and Ybes Bagadiong- Ann and Thomas Putnam
Lhorvie Nuevo- Rebecca Nurse, Mary Warren
Jonathan Tadioan- Deputy Gov. Danforth
Daniel Gregorio- Judge Hathorne
Erick Sindol- Ezekiel Cheever
Aldo Vencilao- Giles Corey
Eunice Pacia- Mercy Lewis

THE ARTISTIC TEAM

Director/Lighting Designer: Dennis Marasigan
Translator: Jerry Respeto
Set Designer: Ohm David
Costume Designer: James Reyes
Sound Designer: TJ Ramos
Assistant Sound Designer: Keziah Nino
Assistant Sound Designer: Isa Baltazar
Technical Director: Jo Ann Requiestas

Ang Pag-Uusig runs at the Tanghalang Huseng Batute, Cultural Center of the Philippines on these dates and times:

September 29, 2017 (Friday) – 8PM
September 30, 2017 (Saturday) – 3PM & 8PM
October 1, 2017 (Sunday) – 3PM
October 6, 2017 (Friday) – 8PM
October 7, 2017 (Saturday) – 3PM & 8PM
October 8, 2017 (Sunday) – 3PM
October 13, 2017 (Friday) – 8PM
October 14, 2017 (Saturday) – 3PM & 8PM
October 15, 2017 (Sunday) – 3PM
October 20, 2017 (Friday) – 8PM
October 21, 2017 (Saturday) – 3PM & 8PM
October 22, 2017 (Sunday) – 3PM

Tickets are PHP 1000 (VIP), PHP 800 (Bleachers), and at 50% off for students.

You can buy tickets HERE.

For more details about what’s happening in the Manila theater scene, please view our Theater Calendar.

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