Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Theater Review: Ateneo Fine Arts' Games People Play -- an Intellectually-Stimulating Production!

We all have a lot of childhood memories, many of which, I'm sure, more or less shaped us for who we've become as adults. 

In Games People Play, an Ateneo Fine Arts production written by Palanca awardee Glenn Sevilla Mas,  three characters try to understand why they are the way they are by revisiting their childhood, specifically the games they used to play with each other when they were still very young.

Luna, played by Thea Yrastorza, is a trusting girl who becomes a nun pursued by the most lustful dreams. Watch why she became that way no thanks to her kooky parents who have some of the most funny scenes in the play.

Diego, played by Kalil Almonte, is a confused and fatherless boy who becomes an even more confused young man, while Julio, played by Abner Delina, is an effeminate boy who grew up to be an unhappy gay man.

All three actors excellently played the main and supporting characters. It was amazing to watch them transform into various people in seconds with just a few props and the quick changes in voice, body language, and facial expressions. I'd have to mention that Abner playing Consuelo, Luna's mom, and Kalil, playing both Julio's sisters were really such a hoot! You will definitely laugh out loud as we did when you get to watch them do so.

Audiences really enjoyed at the hilarious moments and we also sympathized with the characters during the sad parts. Each of the games they played represents a rite of passage and a significant moment in their coming of age. 

According to the playwright, the story was inspired by a quote from child psychologist and writer Bruno Bettelheim: "The monster a child knows best and is most concerned with [is] the monster he feels or fears himself to be." 

Definitely, this play will leave you with introspective thoughts about your own childhood and those of the people you regularly interact with. It will make you wonder why some individuals grow up to be full of positivity, why others only seem to find the worse in others while many fall in between the two categories. 

Congratulations to Thea, Kalil, and Abner for such wonderful performances; Sir Glenn for the great story; Teresa Barrozo for the haunting and whimsical original music and sounds; director and Ed Lacson Jr. for the minimal but very creative set design; and the rest of the production team. Thank you Tita Toots Tolentino for introducing us to this unique and Proudly Filipino play!

Catch Games People Play at the Ateneo Black Box Theater until this Saturday, April 27, only. Make sure to reserve tickets early because they're running out very fast. For updates, please like www.facebook.com/ggpgamespeopleplay.

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