Tanghalang Pilipino Stages Guelan Varela-Luarca’s  Love Letter To Filipinos, ‘Nekropolis’

MANILA, Philippines—Tanghalang Pilipino’s final offering for its 36th season is New York-based acclaimed playwright director-actor Guelan Varela-Luarca’s “Nekropolis” to be directed by Charles Yee. It runs for only one weekend, starting April 20 to 23 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines Black Box Theater.

In a city where people slumber through the sound of gunshots and screens flicker with one breaking news after another, 10 characters try to survive and make sense of their lives. Amid the chaos, they seek to numb their senses with drugs, with sex, with God. Don’t we know this city to be our own?

Varela-Luarca, known for Palanca-winning plays like “Mga Kuneho” and “Bait” that debuted in the annual Virgin Labfest at the CCP, calls “Nekropolis” his departure from dystopian themes but at its core, this new play is a love letter to his home country.

In the playwright’s note, he said it’s a product of “dulambayanihan,” a coined term for “dula” (play), and “bayanihan” (the cherished Filipino spirit of communal unity and care) “Nekropolis” is the result of collaboration and improvisation sessions involving Varela-Luarca, Yee, stage manager Soc Amon, and the Tanghalang Pilipino Actors Company.

Yee is an artist-educator who recently completed an MFA in Directing from the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) as a Fulbright Scholar and an Asian Cultural Council Grantee. Among his directorial works at the CCP through the VLF are “Fangirl,” “Ang Sugilanon ng Kabiguan ni Epifania,” “Chipline,” and “Rosas”. In his directorial note, Yee said they tried to experiment with finding familiar and unfamiliar nuances, scenes that may be far but not detached from reality.

In the end, they found sense and meaning through the safe space that is theater. From text to the stage, Yee and the TP Actors Company are giving life to this recent Varela[1]Luarca masterpiece into an engaging, totally mind-blowing production.

Fresh from the acclaimed “Ang Pag-uusig,” TP Actors Company senior members Marco Viaña, Jonathan Tadioan, Lhorvie Nuevo, and Antonette Go-Yadao lead the ensemble composed of TP scholars Mark Lorenz, Vince Macapobre, Mitzi Comia, Arjhay Babon, Heart Puyong, Aggy Mago, Sarah Monay, Edrick Alcontado, and Judie Dimayuga. Dramaturg is Dominique La-Victoria, known for her prize-winning plays that were staged in the VLF like “Ang Bata Sa Drum” and “Chipline”.

The rest of the artistic team is composed of choreographer JM Cabling, production designer Tata Tuviera, lighting designer D Cortezano, projection designer Joyce Garcia, and sound designer-engineer Arvy Dimaculangan.

For inquiries, reservations, bulk or show buying, email tanghalangpilipinosales@gmail.com or call 0956 940 9430 and 0929 108 7116. For tickets, visit https://bit.ly/NekropolisTICKETS

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