Tanghalang Pilipino’s Coriolano: a play for turbulent political times

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THE Cultural Center of the Philippines’s Tanghalang Pilipino (TP) is about to stage a play that seems familiar in the context of current politics.

Coriolano, a translation by Palanca Award-winner Guelan Luarca of William Shakespeare’s tragedy Coriolanus, tells the story of a legendary Roman soldier who engages in politics, but whose temper and tyrannical personality lead him to choose allegiances that bring about his downfall.

A rarely staged Shakespeare work, Coriolano will be directed by Carlos Siguion-Reyna and will open on Feb. 22, as the closing play in TP’s 32nd season.

TP’s senior actor Marco Viana will play the title role, while the supporting cast will come from other theater companies like Frances Makil-Ignacio of Dulaang UP and Brian Sy of Tanghalang Ateneo.


Meanwhile, TP’s 33rd theater season will “will further strengthen TP’s commitment to theater that educates, entertains, and transforms minds and social consciousness,” said TP artistic director Fernando “Tata Nanding” Josef via Facebook when BusinessWorld asked the company about its 2019 outlook.

Some time in August, TP will present a “twin bill of two significant past musical productions,” said Mr. Josef. These are Mabining Mandirigma and Aurelio Sedisyoso — two historical dramas in the form of steam punk and rock sarsuwela.

The next few months will see the production of important and socially relevant shows: Bibeth Orteza’s Katsuri, a Hiligaynon version of John Steinback’s Of Mice and Men; the classic Ilocano epic Lam-Ang; and Batang Mujahideen, a story of the reconciliation of Muslims and Christians in Mindanao.

Coriolano will run from Feb. 22 to March 17 at the Little Theater of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP). Tickets are available at the CCP box office and at TicketWorld (www.ticketworld.com.ph).