Tanghalang Ateneo, the longest-running theater company of the Loyola Schools will end its 37th Season, carrying the theme, “Staging Revolution/s” this month, with top Filipino playwright Rene Villanueva’s Kalantiaw.
Based on real-life events, this Palanca First Prize-winning play was originally entitled, Ang Kagila-gilalas na Kasinungalingan Tungkol sa Isang Kayumangging Bayan, following the life of historian Jose Marco and the hoax he created, the controversial Code of Kalantiaw. The play, first performed at the Cultural Center of the Philippines and then at the Theatre Le Rond Point in Paris by Tanghalang Pilipino, forces its audience to take a closer and more critical look at their sense of nationalism.
Focuses on this and the creation of history, Kalantiaw shines the spotlight on an unnamed young historian as he dives deep into the annals of Philippine history in search for the truth about life in pre-colonial Philippines. His research leads him to Jose E. Marco, a historian who allegedly uncovered an important piece of anthropological text depicting the rules and systems implemented during those times. The young researcher delves into the lives of those who were involved in the process of making the Code of Kalantiaw, which is considered an important part of the canon of Philippine historical texts. Many of Marco’s alleged texts are hinted at throughout the play as baseless fabrications that hold no value in the academic community. In the end, while the young historian is successful in disproving the claims of Marco, he also realizes that his search was in vain as it only led him to lies and deceit.
An ensemble of eight cast members will portray a total of 18 characters, each playing multiple roles: John Sanchez portrays Jose E. Marco/Matandang Lalaki, the creator of the hoax of the Code of Kalantiaw who comes back from the dead to explain his reasons for fabricating the said code. Sanchez also portrays Kalantiaw, a datu from the Visayas region who was believed to have created the brutal pre-colonial code.
Brian Ramos portrays Batang Historyador, a young academic who researched on the pre-colonial history of the Philippines, eventually being led to the discovery that the Code of Kalantiaw was merely a hoax created by Jose Marco. Ramos also portrays Luther Parker and Merton Miller.
Yvonne Ricaro portrays Asawa, Jose Marco’s wife, as well as “Katutubong Babae 1 to 8.”
Johnel Inojosa portrays the role of Matandang Historayador who is the mentor of Batang Historyador.
Avie Alcantara portrays Dr. James A. Robertson, the director of the national library and museum in the Philippines. He also plays the role of Estudyanteng Filipino.
Jego Mallillin portrays the roles of Jose Rizal and Giya; Chloe Fabul, the roles of Babae and Babaeng Guro; and Jerome Flor, the roles of Kusinero and Ama ni Marco.
Meanwhile, the artistic team of the Kalantiaw is comprised of Glenn Sevilla Mas, Artistic Director and Company Moderator of Tanghalang Ateneo); Joseph Dela Cruz, OIC Company Moderator; and Charles Yee, director.
The play will have its premiere on March 30, with the succeeding play dates, and will run through April 16 at the Rizal Mini Theater of the Ateneo de Manila University. Tanghalang Ateneo is on www.facebook.com/TanghalangAteneo.