Tanghalang Saint Paul’s Theatrical Production “Bente Uno”
Tanghalang Saint Paul’s Theatrical Production “Bente Uno” Rocks Levesville Hall St. Paul University Manila’s Theater Club, Tanghalang Saint Paul, had its first theatrical production for S.Y. 2018-2Date: March 22, 2020Posted by: One Paulinian
by Christopher Go and Dana Mikaela Palad
St. Paul University Manila’s Theater Club, Tanghalang Saint Paul, had its first theatrical production for S.Y. 2018-2019—a two-act play, Bente Uno, on 28-29 November 2018 in Levesville Hall.
Bente Uno was composed of two chronological one act plays, the first entitled Oras, directed by Ana Clarysa Calvo, and the second entitled Aklas, directed by Lawrence Esteban, with the overall direction of Yvonne Gaebrielle Russell.
The play started off with a group of panicked students wearing casual clothing, frantically ordering the audience to stand up for the singing of the National Anthem. After that, the panicked students were assaulted by supposed soldiers forcing them out of the Levesville Hall.
The play finally begins with the first part entitled Oras, a one act play that tells the story of a critically-ill little sister named Mikaela (played by Aaliyah Madeja), her brother, who is a mechanical engineer named Carlo (played by Lance Tinio), and her sister, who is a teacher named Bea (played by Chesca Cristobal and Danica Desalisa), as the family desperately look for ways of getting medicine for their little sister in the curfew time, despite knowing its harsh and heinous consequences at the time of Martial Law.
After the tragic end of the first act of the play, the second part of the play entitled Aklas tells the story of a journalist named Catherine “Erine” Lopez (played by Jenie Ruth Gita and Mary Joelle Arada) reporting to police officers P01 Canlas (played by Pablo Medina) and Col. Syquia (played by Jani An Descalzo and Richard Nicolas) about a corpse lying in her backyard. This leads to revealing dark corruptions and acts of the police during Martial Law, to the reality of “desaparecidos,” led by Buboy (played by Sam Gonzales and Benigna Algo), and other disturbing and inhumane acts done by Col. Syquia, leaving the audience in the Levesville Hall with uncomfortable thoughts and realizations.
“As one of the actresses who played Erine, I want to thank everyone who supported our show because without you, our show wouldn't be as successful as it is today. I hope to see you again in our next production. But as Miss Erine Lopez, I want to tell everyone who watched the show that let us not be blind to the harsh realities of Martial Law because what we are doing is shedding light on the truth about this era. Thank you so freaking much,” Arada said.
At the end of the play, people left amazed by the phenomenal performances of the actors and actresses, and realizations, one of which Russell was hoping for in this production.
“My goal for every production is for the audience to leave the venue as changed persons in a way, even in the slightest. The topic of Martial Law will forever be relevant and we figured that it’s time for a topic such as this one be discussed in St. Paul,” Russell said, when asked what inspired her to present the play.
“Thank you to all of those who supported and watched our play. I hope that you have learned what our play is trying to convey and bring forth a response to our message. Let us not be scared to fight for our rights. Let’s be a Catherine Lopez in the world full of Col. Syquias,” Russell added, as a message to the people who watched the play.