I’m feeling all bummed out, fatigued and not really in the best of moods right now. Two days I have been going through Facebook liking things I see and wanting to share them but I was just really, let’s say, poofed, for the lack of more original terms.

But I see this trailer of Dulaang U.P.’s upcoming play – The Seagull/Ang Tagak by Anton Chekhov and it’s enough to make me jump up in my seat.

I am an absolute Chekhov fan.

Before I was this and that, and this and that, I was a Biology major undergraduate. Dexter Santos, also then still an undergraduate, was supposed to give a directing workshop to the members and applicants of UP Repertory Company one Saturday morning. He and I waited at the venue for two hours for the supposed participants. None came. So we decided to just head over to the Tanghalang Hermogenes Ylagan (THY) at the Faculty Center of UP Diliman where Three Sisters was on.

It had Frances Makil-Ignacio, Miren Alvarez, Chol del Corro, Tommy Abuel, Paolo Fabregas, Fonz Deza, Camilla Kim, Edna Mae Landicho and also one of my favorite professors Amiel Leonardia, acting in an adaptation directed by no less than Anton Juan, in the intimate setting of the THY in a cruciform configuration.

There is not a lot of plays that move me. Sometimes I would get moved by just how fantastic the visuals are, or the light design, or the music, or the movement, but that play, had none of the  flamboyance and was very raw yet very subdued. I was moved to tears.

I can still remember every bit of it. Astounding, considering how good my Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind skills have become after much practice.

And when I became a Theater major graduate student, the more I fell in love with Chekhov. So much so that my mentor would tend to remember me every time a Chekhov play is on in the metro.

And there you go, a Chekhov play. Please Sir Tony, make it good, make it good…

A seagull is shot and everything unravels.

Dulaang UP’s second offering on its 37th Season, The Seagull/Ang Tagak, is a compelling discourse about art, life, and love presented through intricate characters and situations in what is widely considered to be master dramatist Anton Chekhov’s greatest work. In the middle of these romantic and artistic conflicts are more elaborately developed characters, a staple of Chekhov’s works. This comedy in four acts effectively discusses themes in art and life that remain relevant in this day and age.

The Seagull/Ang Tagak is directed by the venerable Tony Mabesa, and will be staged both in English (translation by Tom Stoppard) and Filipino (translated by Rolando Tinio). The production stars theater veterans Ana Abad Santos, Frances Makil-Ignacio, Ces Quesada, Leo Rialp, Menggie Cobarrubias, Jeremy Domingo, Alfonso Deza, Stella Cañete Balucas and promising actors Carlo Tarobal, Zafrullah Masahud, Nadine Samonte, and Karen Gaerlan.

The Seagull /Ang Tagak runs from September 19 to October 8, 2012, 7:00 pm for weekdays and 10:00 am and 3:00 pm for weekends at the Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero Theater, Palma Hall, University of the Philippines Diliman.

For more details, please call Dulaang UP Office at (63 2) 926-1349, (63 2) 981-8500 local 2449 or (63 2) 433-7840.


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