QUEZON CITY, Philippines—A multimedial hallucination take on the tragic love story of William Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ will be the basis for Dulaang UP’s Ruby anniversary and 40th theater season opener titled ‘#R</3J’ (hashtag R broken-heart J), which opened on Wednesday, August 26 till Sunday, September 13 at Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero Theater, Palma Hall, UP-Diliman.
The said presentation marks Dexter M. Santos’s first play as DUP’s newest artistic director. It is a collaboration of professionals and up-and-coming artists. Santos heads the artistic team as the show’s director along with Guelan Varela-Luarca as the playwright who adapted the piece on two young star-crossed lovers whose deaths ultimately reconcile their feuding families. Krina Cayabyab (music composition and design), John Batalla (lights design), Ohm David (set design), Winter David, (video design), and Darwin Desoacido (costume design) are also part of the team in making sure to providing the audience with an exceptional play that the university-based theater has been doing since then. This project features the Dulaang UP Ensemble and the works of young choreographers, video designers, installation artists, and dramatists with theater veterans like Ricky Ibe, Mitoy Sta. Ana, and Leo Rialp.
Dexter shares his thoughts about the production, “I have always wanted to do Romeo and Juliet. The idea of staging it for this season started last year as we closed ‘Ang Huling Lagda ni Apolinario Mabini’. It was envisioned to be an adaptation for this generation, something that my students and their contemporaries could relate to and easily identify with.
“Shakespeare’s classic tragedy of the star-crossed lovers has been adapted countless times in history. As a matter of fact, Dulaang UP has already staged it in 1987 directed by Cris Vertido. I trusted my instinct and decided to push through with it as a love letter to the youth of this generation.”
‘#R</3J’ retells the story and transforms the setting of Verona into a concrete jungle at the heart of Metro Manila—teeming with corruption, revolt, advertisements, sex, social media, and condominium units. It captures the essence of the most enduring tragedy juxtaposing the young lovers’ romance with the present society’s many forms of ‘commodified’ and ‘convoluted’ love. Scenes on globalization, ultra-violence, Internet foolishness, generation gap do seek to dramatize via a psychedelic mix of all available art forms, the post-modern tragedy of our generation. But with all its efforts of destroying the city, the family, the government, even Shakespeare—it will never triumph over love.
For tickets, reservation, sponsorships, and show buying inquiries, call Samanta Hannah Clarin or Camille Guevara at (632) 926-1349; 433-7840, 981-8500 local 2449 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. For updates on the show, like Dulaang UP’s official page at facebook.com/DulaangUnibersidadNgPilipinas.