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One of the best plays I’ve seen this year (half of it) is Floy Quintos’s Angry Christ (directed by Dexter Santos). It is about the American painter, rather of Filipino descent, Alfonso Ossorio’s period of artistic metamorphosis while doing a mural in their family’s chapel in Negros island. The play’s book is rich in real and imaginative details of the struggles for identity and expression (both artistic and gender).

Photo by I.R. Arenas

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This is a scene from Sarah Ruhl’s Eurydice, staged by Tanghalang Pilipino. Here, Orpheus (Marco Viaña) returns to the underworld, clueless of the second death of his wife Eurydice (Lhorvie Nuevo). As memories are impermissible in the underworld, they can no longer recognise their bond in the living world nor feel the warmth of their short-lived love.

Photo by I.R. Arenas

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Roxane (KL Dizon) and Christian (Edward Benosa) meet at a war encampment, while Cyrano (Boo Gabunada), who secretly loves Roxane, looks from afar. Edmond Rostand’s Cyrano de Bergerac is translated and adapted into Filipino as the musical Mula sa Buwan. Unrequited love seems a universal motif in stories that proves to quell the pangs of heartbreak, as one learns that others endure the feeling, too.

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Photo by I.R. Arenas