Tanghalang Tikom XI: Silence Breaks Barriers



DESPITE THE lack of sound, silence can be both compelling and evocative. It is a loud expression that can echo a variety of meanings. In its 11th year, the Communication Arts Students Association held its annual Tanghalang Tikom, which aimed to tell silent narratives that exhibit certain points of concentration. Staged at St. Raymund de Peñafort Building rooms 101 to 103 from May 16 to 19, and produced by all junior Communication Arts students, Tanghalang Tikom has again shown stories can still be told, despite silence being consistent in the act.

Solitaria by Spectra Productions

Solitaria discusses the story of how people are willing to do anything, even the most hideous things, if it meant that they could get their family back together. Spectra Productions tells the haunting and thrilling story of Solitaria, a woman who captures people who stray into her home, in hopes of completing the family that she once lost. 

The play is commendable for its storytelling—as Solitaria courses through different time periods with clarity and the transitions were smooth and easily understandable. Certain repetitive scenes, although vital to the story, seemed to be quite dragging. It also made it easy for the audience to tell what was going to happen next. Despite that, with Solitaria’s use of complimenting color schemes for the lighting and production designs, and through the appropriate musical cues, the execution of the play truly left the audience anticipating for more. 

Tres Marias by The Theatre District

Tres Marias catches its audience off-guard as it initially brings a homey and warm feeling. Its production design centers on a typical old Filipino house. As the play continues, the audience is ultimately catapulted into a story that deeply discusses self-identity—if an individual knows who they truly are. 

The play’s keen eye to detail is apparent throughout the play; it puts focus on the intricate personalities of each of the characters by showing certain repetitive movements and how they relate to one another. The play’s transition from one act to another may be unclear at times, but the actors’ animated performances were able to shape and strengthen the story as they tell a tale of discovering one’s true identity.

Atomic No.10 by MASDAN Productions

With a title like Atomic No.10, it is easy to mistake the play as one embellished with science-fiction elements; however, make no mistake, as it is a lighthearted slice of life type of play which features the inner workings of Riley, a young man with Asperger’s Syndrome through vivid lights, pastel colors, merry dance numbers, and 80s-themed music in a retro-themed diner.

The play, in its simplest form, is about friendship, acceptance, and belonging. While the transition from one scene to another could have been executed more smoothly and the build-up of the story improved upon, nevertheless, with a cast whose acting prove great understanding of their characters and an eye-candy production set that managed to set a natural-looking setting for the actors, the play was able to finish with flying colors.

Illution by Emporia Productions

Illution, not going far off from its title, is a play riddled with mystery and suspense. From its production set, lights and music, one will immediately be able to tell what kind of play he or she have signed up for. The strong opening of their play further establishes the tension that their stage design and lighting were able to set at initial entrance.

In spite being undeniably well-produced, the play is not recommended for the weak at heart, in mind and in spirit as it does not only leave its viewers at the edge of their seats throughout its duration from beginning till end, but even after one has exited the theater. The lights linger, so much as the dark and menacing presence of each and every character that has made his or her appearance on stage.

Comprised of four stories striking each in their own right, the 11th year of the annual Tanghalang Tikom once more showcases the natural artistry present among the students of the Faculty of Arts and Letters, and in this case, specifically among the members of the Communication Arts Student Association. F

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