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Advocacy, Arts, Culture, Entertainment, Lifestyle, Literature, Stories, Theater

Two Equally Challenging Plays in PSF Theatre Fest


Two original straight plays written by Philippine Stagers Foundation’s (PSF) home-grown talents JP Lopez and JM Encinas were presented on Saturday, April 13 at PSF’s home studio in Sampaloc, Manila. Lopez penned ‘Tang Na Mo Funeral Parlor’ and Encinas for ‘Mang Hang’s Restaurant’, respectively.

The two plays tackled timely themes that Filipinos would easily and definitely identify with and fit this year’s theatre fest’s theme: ‘Lipunan, Bayan, Diyos’ (Society, Country, and God). PSF’s artistic director Vince Tañada the two plays.

JP Lopez's 'Tang Na Mo Funeral Parlor' is one serious play that explores the five stages of loss and grief.

JP Lopez’s ‘Tang Na Mo Funeral Parlor’ is one serious play that explores the five stages of loss and grief. Vince Tañada also directed the play.

JM Encinas's 'Mang Hang Restaurant' entertained its audience with its timely plot and characters presented in the play. It was directed by Vince Tañada.

JM Encinas’s ‘Mang Hang’s Restaurant’ entertained its audience with its timely plot and characters presented in the play. Vince Tañada directed the play.

Encinas’s piece is something that everyday Filipinos would be reminded of especially if they get to commute around the Metro. Three of its main characters represent three racketeering individuals, which people would already have second thoughts of dealing with them as soon as they encounter any of these characters. A guy disguised as a missionary, the other guy as a labour union volunteer, and a woman pretending as a social worker supporting this and that. One day, they got invited by a Chinese restaurateur to dine in a newly opened restaurant and eat-all-you-can for free promo. The backgrounds of the three characters got revealed in the restaurant.

Meanwhile, Lopez’s piece is more of a serious theme. It attempted to explore the theme of ‘life after death’. Three dead characters were talking about the five stages of loss and grief. As the story progressed, another character entered the scene and revealed how these three characters intertwined with each other and how they deal with their unfinished businesses on earth. Since the whitewash set the play’s ambiance—it painted a feeling of being isolated and the woman in black’s inclusion provided more drama and tension for the entire play.

Each year, PSF holds its theatre festival alongside with its summer workshops. Two plays get to vie every week and until May 4, out of the eight plays—four will be selected and awarded as best plays.

To watch plays every Saturday, you may contact +639273913447.

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