I had the privilege to join the press night of Glenn Sevilla Mas’s ‘Games People Play’ on Tuesday, April 22.
Here is the review I wrote for BroadwayWorld.com.
BWW Reviews: GAMES PEOPLE PLAY by Glenn Mas
Manila, Philippines–Seldom do you see a play mounted on an almost bare stage, but delivers big impact to its audience–that’s what GAMES PEOPLE PLAY does, written by Glenn Sevilla Mas, a Ford Foundation International fellow who earned his MFA in Playwriting from the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC.
Director and set designer Ed Lacson Jr.’s production design, which features childlike design elements: cut out cardboard church, forest trees, and castle, clearly represent each main character, childhood friends Luna, Diego, and Julio, respectively.
According to Mas, the children’s games featured in the play are the ones he used to play as a kid such as taguan (hide and seek), bahay bahayan (imaginary family game), holen (marble hit game) and pitik bulag (blind game). In the storytelling, these games create interesting back stories of the characters as they revisit their childhood memories, especially those they used to play with one another. Each game is a rite of passage to adulthood.
Thea Yrastorza is Luna, a virtuous girl who becomes a nun; Kalil Almonte is Diego, a confused, fatherless boy who becomes even more confused as an adult; and Abner Delina is Julio, an effeminate boy who becomes an unhappy gay man. These actors also play multiple roles and are able to hold their audience with their intense performances; and with the subtlety they bring to their characters. They also play out the sensitive parts of the play in a tasteful manner.
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