Artistang Artlets, the official theatre guild of the Faculty of Arts and Letters at the University of Santo Tomas, is staging this September a Tony Perez play, Sa North Diversion Road.
Perez is known for “dark and moody” explorations of the human psyche, influenced largely by his background in clinical psychology. The only Tony Perez work I’ve read so far is Cubao: 1980, a coming-of-age novel about a barkada of adolescent hustlers plying their trade in the titular place and time. The novel is acclaimed for its experimental prose that is reminiscent of The Catcher in the Rye and its controversial subject matter (at least, during the time it was published). I particularly remember Perez’s clever comparison of the milieu of Cubao to a cat in heat.
SNDR, on the other hand, has been a favourite among theatre companies, and was even filmed once. Like Cubao, SNDR confronts another “taboo” topic: infidelity. The subject has since become a staple in Philippine movies, what with all those mediocre “mistress movies” the major studios have been churning out recently. So it would be interesting to see how much has changed in Filipinos’ attitude towards infidelity through Artlets’ SNDR staging that is being produced by Christine Emano and being directed by Maria Kristina Magno.
In an interview with the Philippine Daily Inquirer last February, Perez said he prefers to write about the “Filipino psyche” because unlike social issues – works on which he calls “ephemeral” – such a topic lasts.
“[I] would rather write a play remembered and restaged a 100 years from now because it addressed the psyche of the Filipinos rather than current issues,” he said.
Disclosure: I am receiving free tickets for this post
Sa North Diversion Road. Directed by Ma. Kristina Magno and produced by Christine Emano. At the Tan Yan Kee Auditorium, Tan Yan Kee Building, University of Santo Tomas, on September 24, 25, 26 and 27, 2013. Time slots are 10am, 1pm, 4pm and 7pm. For inquiries, contact Cymon Denise Mercado at 0927-329-6953 or visit Artistang Artlets’ Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/ArtistangArtletsUST