Saturday, August 29, 2009

Gantimpala Theater presents "Kanser [Noli Me Tangere]" (Aug 29-Sept 20, 2009)

(Text by Alwin Ignacio)

The second installment of Gantimpala Theater’s Four Classics, Kanser (Noli Me Tangere) penned by award-winning playwright Jomar Fleras, under the direction of Adriana Agcaoili, brings back on stage the life of the European educated Don Crisostomo Ibarra and his lady love Maria Clara, and the many interesting and intriguing characters of San Diego.

Director Adriana Agcaoili says, “The Noli Me Tangere, Dr. Jose Rizal’s first novel is the basis for Fleras’ award-winning play, Kanser. As a historical record, his novel is a powerful and very real testament that Rizal – and all the revolutionary Eliases, the victimized Sisas and Crispins, and the broken idealists like Ibarra – made for our motherland. As live theater, Fleras play makes for an entertaining two hours of watching and what is wonderful about it is that, it will really allow you to ponder on the many issues that it presents.”

The cast includes Jao Mapa (Crisostomo Ibarra), Fame Flores and Meliza Reyes (alternately portraying Maria Clara), Jojo Rieguera (alternate for Ibarra/Padre Salvi/Padre Syubila), Manolet Concepcion (Padre Damaso), Dante Balois (Pilosopong Tasyo), Ed Murillo (Capitan Tiago), Xeno Alejandro (Elias), Meldea Flor Formacil (Sisa), Irra Cenina (Padre Salvi/Padre Sybila/alternate for Mang-aawit), April Anne Dolot and Agnes Ramos (alternately portraying Doña Victorina), Hazel Orencio (Doña Consolacion), Niesty Lopera (Don Tiburcio), Vangie Inocencio (Tiya Isabel), John Zyke Snatos (Basilio), John Dencel Galoso (Crispin), Molts Meneses (Teniente Guevarra/Tarcilo), and Von Arroyo (Mang-awit).

“This is my first time to play the role of Crisostomo Ibarra and I must admit that this is a very challenging character,” says Jao Mapa. “Ibarra is an idealist, a young man educated from Europe who went home to spend his life with his beloved Maria Clara. When he comes home to San Diego, he sees that Filipinos were being oppressed by the Spaniards and even he, an ilustrado also experienced the oppression. As an actor, people must see my transformation from a naïve young man to a hurting and hunted enemy of the government.”

He adds, “I am very thankful to Gantimpala Theater for giving me the opportunity once more to work with them. I appreciate the discipline, hard work and the high level of professionalism of all the people who are part of this production. I just hope that I deliver what they expect from me and that our audiences will enjoy and learn from our play.”

Assisting director Agcaoili re-create the world of Crisostomo and Maria Clara are Jose Jeffrey Camañag (Associate Director), Andy Villareal (Lights Designer), Marianne Sedotes (Sets Designer), Albert Figueras (Costumes Designer), Darby Dizon (Choreographer), Jorge Cabullo (Production Manager), Wilmark Oliver Tabio (Stage Manager), and Tony Espejo (Artistic Director).

Performances are on August 29 (6pm), Open Air Auditorium, Luneta, Manila; September 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, and 13 (10am/2pm), AFP Theater, Quezon City; and September 18, 19, 20 (10am/ 2pm), SM South Mall, Las Piñas City.

Gantimpala Theater’s Kanser (Noli Me Tangere) is fully supported by the National Parks Development Committee.

For inquiries, please call the Gantimpala Theater Marketing Office, look for Ms. Glenda Agravante at (632) 899-5745/ 896-3503/ 474-5198 or visit:

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