Sipat Lawin Ensemble 2011 season line-up

Sipat Lawin Ensemble
Yay! My article on the 2011 season launch of Sipat Lawin Ensemble was used by Philippine Daily Inquirer for its May 16, 2011 issue.
Sipat Lawin Ensemble kicks off 2011 season with surreal play
(Published under the title: Lorca dream play to be staged)
By Walter Ang

"We don't make plays, we create experiences," is Sipat Lawin Ensemble's tagline for its 2011 line-up.  The group showcased excerpts of upcoming productions at the launch of their season.

The launch, held at Puerta del Sta. Lucia at Intramuros, began with Sisa (of Rizal's "Noli Me Tangere") giving birth to 150 babies while facing the San Agustin Church.  Audience members were given masks, made to make animal noises, tasked to interact and dance with SLE's actors, and where even instructed to "kill" each other by secretly sticking their tongues out at their "victims."

"Seventy-five people 'died' on the floor that night," said artistic director JK Anicoche.  The interactive activities were meant to showcase the group's brand of theater-making, "SLE operates on themes of 'Intervention. Inter-action. Invasion,'" he said.

This May, SLE staged "Paglipas ng Limang Taon," Rody Vera's Tagalog translation of Federico Garcia Lorca's "When Five Years Pass." (The run ended yesterday.)

Tuxqs Rutaquio directed this play that "tells the story of a Young Man who will finally marry his fiancée after waiting for five years. However, 'when five years pass,' his fiancée is no longer the same person he once knew."

rOm3oW LUVZ juLz
Animals and lovers
In July, the group will restage their devised four-actor "Imperio Animalia" (adaptation of George Orwell's "Animal Farm") directed by Anicoche with production design by Don Salubayba. The production is usually staged in public areas that have a fountain.

The group's "jejemon" comedy version of William Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" is set to tour basketball courts in different barangays in August.  SLE will conduct workshops in barangays and incorporate local talents (acting and backstage, including set/costume/props design) for unique performances.

This production is an evolution of a devised adaptation (to critical acclaim) by Dulaang Sipat Lawin, the resident theater group of the Philippine High School for the Arts.  It's also been restaged by Tanghalang Pilipino.

The previous version was titled "R'meo luvs Dew'lhiett" and used "jologs" language interspersed with National Artist for Theater Rolando Tinio's Filipino translation.

"We're working with playwright Layeta Bucoy and we've updated the title to 'rOm3oW LUVZ juLz,' to reflect our search of the quintessential 'language' of this generation after the first decade of the 21st century," said Anicoche. "Aside from 'jejemon,' we'll also use fliptop, a form of rap battle done in the streets."

In November, SLE will stage the musical "Manhid" by Auraeus Solito, to be directed by Tuxqs Rutaquio.  The musical is about two groups of superheroes, one of which is employed by a demonic Minister of Humanity who plans on enslaving Filipinos with an epidemic of Kamanhiran.

"These opposing teams battle for the future of the Philippines," said Anicoche. "Manhid" was first staged in 1989 where the defunct band Eraserheads first performed their hit song "Kailan."

In January 2012, SLE is set to stage "Battalia Real," based on the Japanese cult-movie "Battle Royale" where a group of students is forced to exterminate each other in a dystopian future.

"In the movie, 42 students are placed on an island with the instruction that after three days, there should only be one survivor," said Anicoche.  "In our version, we will have 12 shows involving 12 university theater companies and one playground in the old prison cells of Intramuros."

Launch of 2011 season
Available for booking by schools, offices and organizations is SLE's touring comedy-musical "Pragres," based on the short story "Progress" by National Artist for Literature F. Sionil Jose.

Set during Martial Law, "Pragres" is "a satire on lazy government employees and government bureaucracy as we follow the travails of Marina, a provincial senior clerk, who goes to Manila to seek the endorsement of her promotion. As she encounters one bureaucrat after another (all played by one other actor), she drowns in incompetence and corruption."

Once every three months, SLE also stages "Strange Pilgrims," an open-platform performance that the group describes as "Opera + Music + Contemporary Dance + Film + Theatre + Art."  Usually staged in small art galleries, living rooms or bars and involving guest artists from different disciplines, past installments have featured works from pole dancer Eisa Jocson, UP Dance Company, musician Diwa de Leon and playwright Layeta Bucoy.

In line with its guerilla tactics, performance dates and venues for "Strange Pilgrims" and most of the group's shows are usually announced only a few days before the actual performance through the group's website ( and Facebook account (add "Sipat Lawin Ensemble").

SLE now has Season Passes that start from P300.  Depending on the category, passes can provide discounts for additional tickets, free drinks at certain shows, and even the opportunity to have dinner with the ensemble during one of their rehearsals.

Call 0917-5008-753 or 964-5949.

Also published online:

What do you think of this season line-up?  Share your comments.

No comments :