By Precious Lee Cundangan
Tanghalang Pilipino (TP), the resident theater company of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), grows more and more daring as it continues to tackle intriguing subjects and theatrical productions that blow the minds of the audience.
After its run of the immortal Filipino sarsuwela “Walang Sugat,” TP transports its audience back to modern times with the political play “Walang Kukurap,” penned by Layeta Bucoy and directed by Tuxqs Rutaquio.
The play is based on the dramaturgical research among collaborating artists, and on testimonials from anonymous political insiders and government whistleblowers, which create a montage of insights about Philippine politics and graft and corruption — enriched by personal stories of TP’s company of actors and production people.
"The question that lingered in my mind: But what if public office is taken as an extension of one's private interest or what if public office is perceived as the means to further such interest? What if public trust is ignored for public office is treated as a private trust fund," Bucoy stresses.
Inspired by political blogger Christopher Bonoan who wrote a piece on the proposition that public office is a public trust, Bucoy's highly-political play reminds the audience that these so-called public servants should serve with utmost integrity, efficiency, and patriotism, and lead modest lives.
According to Bucoy and Rutaquio, the play is a suspense thriller that fuses both traditional theater and live interviews — plus unscripted performances. Though its story blurs fiction with reality, the play promises a well-researched premise.
“The play is fast-paced and provides mind-bending analysis of a corrupt system that has been plaguing the country,” Rutaquio adds. The idea of kumukurap (blinking) is the germinal idea that inspired his directorial concept: if an audience member “blinks,” he might miss some important details of the story.
“Walang Kukurap,” which aims to serve as a microcosm of national politics, presents the lives of five families in a small town in the Philippines, and explores the dynamics of politics ruled by black money, political dynasties, unbridled nepotism, and the rise of “new blood” politicians.
The play stars Suzette Ranillo, Nar Cabico, Sherry Lara, Delphine Buencamino, Mymy Davao, Ding Navasero, Crispin Pineda, Paulo Cabanero, Peewee O'hara, Nonoy Froilan, Lou Veloso, Jonathan Tadioan, Marco Viana, Regina De Vera, Nicolo Magno, Ralph Mateo, Remus Villanueva, Doray Dayao, April Joy Inigo, and Jovanni Cadag.
The play also features Filipino rapper Gloc 9 on special dates.
“Walang Kukurap” runs from tonight, September 14 to Sunday, October 7 at CCP's Tanghalang Huseng Batute.
For more details, visit TP’s official website at www.tanghalangpilipino.org.ph or call (632) 832-1125 locals 1620/1621, (63) 9177500107, TicketWorld (632) 891-9999.
Photos by JR Sala.