A musical adaptation of India’s greatest epic closes Dulaang UP’s 38th season. Ang Nawalang Kapatid, adapted from The Mahabharata by playwright Floy Quintos, with original score by Ceejay Javier, directed and choreographed by Dexter M. Santos, is a re-telling of the epic battle between the Kaurava and Pandava families. The story focuses on the anti-hero Karna, a brave young man who must choose between loyalty to his family or to the state which made him a prince.
Ang Nawawalang Kapatid was originally written as a children’s play for the Ateneo Children’s Theater and was first produced for their 2011 season. This new version allows for many more of the complexities of the original material to be dramatized. New arrangements of the original songs were created by Ceejay Javier, whose original works include “Isang Panaginip na Fili”, “Astig”, “Alex in Wonderland”, “Break Away Antigone”. He is best known as Musical Director for Atlantis Productions’ “Next To Normal”, Disney’s “The Little Mermaid”, “Carrie”, “Addams Family”. As expected, the new staging will showcase Dexter Santos’ flair for images and movement as seen in his previous works “Maxie the Musical”, “Collection”, “Orosman at Zafira”.
In adapting the Indian epic, Floy Quintos has chosen to highlight the story of family and blood ties, and the conflicts that these bring about. Karna, who in Indian literature is traditionally the anti-hero, is now a young man searching for his dharma, his truth and destiny, while unaware of his true blood ties. The young and energetic cast is made up of the Dulaang UP Ensemble, with a live band. Krina Cayabyab is vocal director.
Through this production, Dulaang UP seeks to bring the timeless story of The Mahabharata to a wider audience. By filtering the epic through the sensibilities of Filipino artists, the production shows us our Indian roots and its enduring impact on our culture. The production highlights how the epic has shaped strong values like loyalty to family which is so much a part of South East Asian culture.
The artistic staff is completed by Gino Gonzales who designs the costumes, John Batalla who designs the lights, Ohm David who designs the set, with musical arrangement by Louise Ybañez, additional choreography created by Al Garcia, Jeffrey Hernandez, Stephen Viñas, Vincent Pajara, technical direction by Meliton Roxas Jr. and Ohm David, dramaturgy by Teetin Villanueva and Jeffrey Hernandez and poster design and photography by Dino Dimar.
Ang Nawalang Kapatid runs from February 5 to February 23 at the Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero Theater, 2nd floor Palma Hall, University of the Philippines-Diliman. For tickets, sponsorships and showbuying inquiries, call Samanta Hannah Clarin or Camille Guevara (+632) 9261349, (+632) 4337840, or (+632) 9818500 local 2449; or email firstname.lastname@example.org.