The UP Playwrights’ Theatre (UPPT) will open its 26th theater season, which has “Honoring Defiance” as its theme, with Nick Joaquin’s Fathers and Sons and its Filipino translation—Mga Ama, Mga Anak—by National Artist for Literature Virgilio S. Almario and prize-winning poet-screenwriter Jose “Pete” F. Lacaba beginning September 6, 2017.
Directed by Dulaang Unibersidad ng Pilipinas (Dulaang UP) Founding Artistic Director Antonio “Tony” Mabesa and set in the mid-1970s, the three-act Fathers and Sons centers on Zacarias Monzon, once known as the “Caritela King”, who, in the last few days of his life, attempts to regain his reputation while reminiscing his past wealth, success, and power.
In a statement, UPPT said the “play dares to reveal the cycle of atrocities that linger in a patriarchal household, as it resonates themes of identity, resistance, and acceptance.”
Staged to commemorate the birth centennial of the late National Artist this year, UPPT’s production of Fathers and Sons is the play’s fourth. The Philippine Educational Theater Association (Peta) first mounted it in 1977, followed by Tanghalang Pilipino (TP) in 1995 and 2014.
During a press conference and preview on Dulaang UP’s 42nd and the UPPT’s 26th theater seasons on August 14, Mabesa said the reason he is mounting Fathers and Sons is that he has always loved the play, calling it “wonderful.” He added that he has always been a fan of Joaquin.
Veterans actors Leo Rialp and Menggie Cobarrubias alternate as Monzon, and lead a strong cast that includes many top-notch talents in Philippine theater today. They are Rody Vera, George de Jesus, and Greg de Leon (as Monzon’s son Celo); Stella Cañete-Mendoza and Banaue Miclat-Janssen (as Monzon’s spinster daughter Nena; Adriana Agcaoili and Issa Litton (as Celo’s socialite wife Sofia); Belen Calingacion and Olive Nieto (as Monzon fanatic Mrs. Paulo; Carlo Tarobal, Tracy Quila, and Mark Dalacat (as Celo son’s Chitong); Candy Pangilinan, Paula Benitez, Sarina Sasaki, and Chloe Tandez (as go-go dancer Bessie); and Vincent Macapobre and Ian Ramirez (as laborers).
Joining Mabesa in the artistic team are set designer Ohm David, costume designer Eric Pineda, lighting designer Meliton Roxas Jr., sound designer Jethro Joaquin, and dramaturgs Charmaine Aranton and Nour Hooshmand. ALVIN I. DACANAY
Fathers and Sons/Mga Ama, Mga Anak runs from September 6 to 24 at the Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero Theater, 2nd Floor, Palma Hall, University of the Philippines Diliman, Quezon City. For ticket, show-buying, and sponsorship inquiries, call Camille Guevara at 0917-8239531 or the Dulaang UP Office at (632) 926-1349 or 981-8500 local 2449, or send an email to email@example.com.