With its big crowd and packed theaters and concert halls that do make up anything but social distancing, live entertainment has taken a big blow due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Far from the bright lights and electric atmosphere, the industry has since seen many workers displaced because of the lockdown. Case in point: Some of London’s biggest West End shows like Hamilton, The Phantom of the Opera, Mary Poppins, and Les Miserables being put on hold until next year, with producer Cameron Mackintosh recently warning “potential redundancies.”
[related: In Focus: Mikhail Red On Cinema's 'New Normal']
Close to home, Tanghalang Pilipino—the resident drama company of the Cultural Center of the Philippines—is no stranger to this problem. And so to dodge what the Delfont Mackintosh Theatres group abroad would have called a “cultural catastrophe,” Tanghalang Pilipino partnered with iWant to allow Kapamilyas at home to stream socially-relevant and culturally-important plays.
Pantawid ng Tanghalan aims not only to educate and inspire viewers, but to also lend a hand to theater workers at Tanghalang Pilipino through donations. It takes after PansamanTANGHALAN, an initiative launched in April that allowed patrons to watch plays digitally.
It comprises six previously staged Tanghalang Pilipino plays—and while the number might not seem like much, what it lacks in quantity is more than made up for in quality. The following plays cover a broad spectrum, from our country's own rich heritage and history, to translations of Shakespeare's classics, and even a children's musical!
[related: Cultured!: Bicolano Celebs Featured At Online Bicolano Poetry Reading Series]
The more historically-minded out there might be interested in seeing Mabining Mandirigma: A Steampunk Musical, a story about the revolutionary leader Apolinario Mabini, reimagined in a vibrant steampunk setting, and, perhaps most interestingly, starring stage veteran Monique Wilson as Mabini. More than just history, however, Mabining Mandirigma also asks, as Wilson said at the Pantawid ng Tanghalan press con, "What freedom means, and what independence means."
Looking even farther back in history, the pre-colonial Ilocano epic Lam-Ang: An Ethno-Epic Musical is also another one for the history fans out there, tackling questions about leadership. It basically follows Lam-Ang's coming-of-age story as a godly human.
View this post on Instagram
The folktale of legendary proportions makes a grand return! With impressive set design, gripping performances, and inspired by the rich Ilokano culture, Lam-Ang: An Ethno-Epic Musical, is a feat in retelling the oldest folk epic in Luzon. Lam-Ang also features the impeccable chemistry of its leads, JC Santos and Anna Luna, who play Lam-ang and Kannoyan, respectively. Lam-ang will be available for streaming on iWant this June 12, as part of TP's ‘Pantawid ng Tanghalan’. “Pantawid ng Tanghalan,” a fundraising project, aims to seek help for Tanghalang Pilipino to be able to sustain its commitment to providing the public with artistically excellent and socially relevant productions even during this pandemic. You can help us by donating through scanning our BPI QR code seen on our public materials or through depositing to the details below: BPI Account Name: Tanghalang Pilipino Foundation Inc. Savings Account Number: 3131-0387-46 Bank Branch: BPI - Harrison Plaza GCash Gcash Number: 0915-453-8933 You can also donate through KTX, ABS-CBN's ticketing platform via https://bit.ly/KTXPantawidNgTanghalan #PantawidNgTanghalan #PansamanTanghalan #LamAng #TanghalangPilipino #UtakPusoBayan
[related: Hot Stuff: New Song 'Korona' Aimed To Counter Apathy In Crisis]
National Artist Rolando Tinio's work is included through his translation of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream called Pangarap Sa Isang Gabi Ng Gitnang Tag-Araw. Set in ancient Greece and depicting the magical events in the leadup to the wedding of the main characters Teseo and Hipolita, this play is more than just fairy tale, however, and is still grounded in real life, exploring the nature of love through its interweaving stories.
View this post on Instagram
Get ready to experience the ups and downs, the twists and turns of love, all over again! Multiple characters humorously traverse a complicated web of romance in 'Pangarap sa Isang Gabi sa Gitna ng Tag-Araw', Rolando Tinio's translation of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Directed by Carlos Siguion-Reyna and featuring Audie Gemora, Jackie Lou Blanco, Teroy Guzman, Liesl Batucan, Rafa Siguion-Reyna, and Richard S. Cunanan, and the TP Actors Company, is a play that guarantees to leave you laughing from beginning to end. 'Pangarap sa Isang Gabi sa Gitna ng Tag-Araw' will be available for streaming on iWant this June 12 to July 12, only on 'Pantawid ng Tanghalan'. “Pantawid ng Tanghalan,” a fundraising project, aims to seek help for Tanghalang Pilipino to be able to sustain its commitment to providing the public with artistically excellent and socially relevant productions even during this pandemic. You can help us by donating through scanning our BPI QR code seen on our public materials or through depositing to the details below: BPI Account Name: Tanghalang Pilipino Foundation Inc. Savings Account Number: 3131-0387-46 Bank Branch: BPI - Harrison Plaza GCash Gcash Number: 0915-453-8933 You can also donate through KTX, ABS-CBN’s ticketing platform via https://bit.ly/KTXPantawidNgTanghalan #PantawidNgTanghalan #PansamanTanghalan #PangarapSaGitnaNgTagAraw #TanghalangPilipino #UtakPusoBayan
In an exploration of politics through Shakespeare, Rody Vera's reimagining of The Merchant of Venice into Nazi-era tragedy Der Kaufmann: Ang Negosyante ng Venecia definitely isn't one to miss. Neither is Guelan Luarca's translation of the rarely-staged Coriolanus—Coriolano, depicting the rise and fall of a ruler turned tyrant, asking where people should draw the line with supporting their leaders.
[related: Now Showing: 'The Tapes' Proves The PH Is Ready To Take On The Global Horror Genre]
If all of this seems a little too serious and high-brow for those looking for fun and magic, the musical adaptation of Dr. Luis Gatmaitan's children's book Sandosenang Sapatos is sure to tug at your heartstrings—young and young-at-heart alike!
Pantawid ng Tanghalan is available on iWant until July 12.
ALSO READ: In Focus: Mo Twister On How Fatherhood Changed Him For The Better
Photos courtesy of iWant and Tanghalang Pilipino