The subversive, seditious sarswela of Lola Basyang August 2012

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I had prepared some notes for a possible article on the upcoming production of "Walang Sugat" by Tanghalang Pilipino but the article didn't push through. I"m using some of the notes, sentences that I'd already written, and the alliterative and clever (ehem, kekeke) title that I had thought of for this short blog post announcement.

Tanghalang Pilipino
"Walang Sugat"

A wounded Tenyong, who has joined the revolution against Spain, rushes to his sweetheart Julia, who is being forced to marry another man, to keep his promise of binding their hearts as one before his death.

"Walang Sugat" is a sarswela, a Filipino musical theater form evolved and indigenized from the Spanish zarzuela, written in 1898 by Severino Reyes, more popularly known by his pen name Lola Basyang, the grandmotherly figure of children's stories fame.

"Walang Sugat" is considered one of the "seditious plays" of the early American colonization, when Reyes and other playwrights would disguise anti-Spanish and anti-American imperialism sentiments through their works.

First staged during the early 1900s, the figure of Uncle Sam would replace the Spanish friar-villain character in some shows, allowing American authorities to deem the material as subversive and causing Reyes to be incarcerated.

Cris Villonco plays Julia
Noel Rayos and Antonio Ferrer alternate as Tenyong

Additional text by Nick Tiongson
Music by Fulgencio Tolentino, Constancio de Guzman, and Mike Velarde
Additional music and music direction by Chino Toledo
Choreography by Nonoy Froilan
Set design by Tuxqs Rutaquio
Costume design by James Reyes
Lighting design by Katsch Catoy

Originally slated to open on Aug. 9, "Walang Sugat" has cancelled shows for Aug. 9-12 due to monsoon flooding of Metro Manila. 

Show will open on Aug. 16 and run until 26 at Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino, Cultural Center of the Philippines. Ticketbuyers of the August 9-12 shows will be accommodated in these shows. There will be no extension or immediate re-run because of venue unavailability. 

CCP does not allow audiences beyond the actual number of seats (421) in Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino (Aurelio Tolentino Theater). To avoid the inconvenience of travelling to CCP only to find out that there are no more tickets available at the box office, contact 832-1125 loc. 1620 and 1621, 0917-7500107, 0918-9593949, and 218-3791.

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