By KRIZIA MAICA B. MAGBITANG
WITH THE resounding theme of probing into family relationships, Teatro Tomasino gives this main concept in Set C a twist as the characters in The Best Day and Higit Pa Dito plays around with the atmosphere and the audience throughout their entire act.
The Best Day centers on the eulogy prepared by the two sisters, Cara and Loisa for their deceased mother, Lorna. Director Alexandra Mora also points out that the first act of Ekis Set C is actually a devised play made to be realistic since a mourner is never really prepared to deliver a eulogy to a loved one. Without a script in mind, the actresses perform an impromptu eulogy while making the most out of the given setting around them.
Through their stories, they achieve a certain balance of humor and grief while giving the audience an image of what Lorna is like before her death. Its success relies on how the actresses craft beautiful eulogies and how they make use of their atmosphere. The play is capsulated with Cara and Loisa interacting with the audience to evoke a sense of familiarity to their deceased mother, and beginning until the end their performance provides a sincere and vivid experience to the play’s simple premise.
The second play, Higit Pa Dito is far more complicated as it delves further into Freud’s familial psyche as the two characters, Kael and his mother whom he calls Ma, is in an oedipal relationship nearing at its breaking point. The air around them is tense, and Ma’s restlessness is seen when she incessantly moves around the stage with Kael stringing along behind her. During his confrontation towards his mother’s indecisiveness, they also give a glimpse of Ma’s forgotten youth that eventually drove her into hysteria.
The years of emotional and physical trauma left by her husband who is now in jail still makes her suffer and struggle in repairing her own identity, all the while seeking solace to her son’s comforting touch. Her dream of climbing in a never-ending spiral ladder alludes to her current dilemma of going in circles with her life as she is caught between her conscience and her desire. While Kael, on the other hand, shows off a stoic exterior that only wavers at his mother’s gaze.
Higit Pa Dito starts off subtle with the actors’ chemistry subdued at first; it slowly builds up with the two finally acting on their repressed desires. The play’s tragic tone is consistent from the beginning until the end. As Ma enters a psychiatric ward in order to heal her mental wounds, revealing that she finally repels their incestuous relationship and choose to be a mother rather than a lover to her son.
The Set C of Ekis revolves around the closeness a family share and presents a whole other side that is not all smiles and laughter. It gives the audience a closer look at certain kinds of hushed and unscrutinized facet that others are too afraid to delve into. Teatro Tomasino’s production of “Ekis” was staged in UST’s Thomas Aquinas Research Complex Auditorium from September 5 to 9. F