(Draft) I just had the most EPIC experience in watching a theater play today.
[/] Hinarang ng Guard.
[/] Natawagan ang cast.
[/] Sinundo ng staff.
[/] Diniscountan ang ticket.
[/] AT Pinaupo sa front row center seat.
I thought that was the highlight of my theater experience for the month April but my experience and realization after watching the show was awesome.
I was supposed to watch W;T the day after when I got stuck with my homework and decided to run to Trinity University of Asia to watch there and then. I did not realize that the security of the TUA is very strict that they are demanding for tickets before I can actually enter the campus. Of course, since it’s an impromptu decision, I wasn’t able to buy one. So I tried calling the number in the poster asking how I can enter, (or buy a ticket for me to enter the campus). That was 5:50 pm, 10 minutes before the start of the show.
Fortunately, the phone rang and someone answered the phone. The universe must be playing games with me, the person on the other end of the line was the cast/ producer of the show, Francis Mattheau. Fortunately, though, Francis was very accommodating and find people to help me (actually fetch me) from the entrance going to the theater house.
Fortunate events after fortunate events, the staff told me that the price ticket for today’s run, since it was a TUA sponsored event, was at P300.00 pesos only (Original P1000). And it did not end there, she even ushered me to the front row!
I must have done something great to deserve this. Thank you to the cast and staff!
Now on the play.
Tami Monsod played the role of Vivian Bearing, a brilliant and uncompromising professor of English Literature diagnosed with a terminal ovarian cancer. She specializes in the Holy Sonnets of John Donne famously know for his literary pieces on death, poetry, and the use of “;” instead of “,”. Ms. Tami Monsod nailed tremendously the role of Vivian. Sobrang galing, at madadala ka talaga. She had an amazing interpretation of Vivian Bearing. Her act was very precise and you can really see and feel that she gave all her heart (and hair) to give justice to the role. There were a lot of scenes that I would already want to stand from where I’m sitting and hug her.
Mikkie Bradshaw played the role of Susie Monahan, a registered nurse, and chief nurse in charge of Vivian. I met Mikkie Bradshaw from Fun Home where she played the role of Middle-Aged Alison (I’m so glad she remembered me). She was my favorite character then, and again in this play. I am so amazed by how she transformed from a middle-aged confused kid to a compassionate and very kind nurse. I will never forget the last scene with her and the dead body of Vivian where I almost lost control and planned to go up to the stage to hug and comfort her. Susie highlighted the most significant trait of the Nurses in the health care community which is compassion. They are smart, reliable, and compassionate. A trait that is often lost by people in this field.
I had a chance to talk to Mikkie after the show and I asked her how was it playing the role of Susie. She said it was very different, and difficult at the same time. She needed to squeeze her brains out to understand some of the lines since there was a deep literary poem, and she had to act to be genuinely kind.
Bibo Reyes played the role of Jason Posner, M.D. Of all the characters, he was the character I relate myself so well. He was an oncologist, a scientist, a researcher. He studies and conducts research to save lives of many people (such as I). But in doing so, forgets the life of the human being in front of him. He was so into his research that he went almost desperate just to make his research succeed. Like many researchers and doctors nowadays, often, we see patients as mere cases studies and good sources of data that we forget that it’s a life of a human being that we’re dealing with. Bibo was so effective with his role, aside from his charm that captivated the audience that very moment he stepped out of the stage, he delivered his lines and gave an awesome portrayal of an aspiring Oncologist, ambitious scientist, inhumane doctor, and desperate human being wanting to help mankind but forgets to be a human.
Other casts include Raymund Concepcion as Harvey Kelekian/ E.M. Ashford/ Mr. Bearing, Francis Mattheu, Jillian Ita-as, Anikka Estrada, and John de Lima as the Lab Technicians/ Students/ Fellows.
“It is not my intention to give away the plot; but I think I die at the end.” – Margaret Edson, Wit
The story revolved around the last remaining days of Vivian Bearing, a great professor of English Literature. She was diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer and had to undergo a chemotherapy treatment– an unguaranteed and experimental chemotherapy treatment. It was a narration of her life: as a student in English literature, as an uncompromising professor, as a daughter, as a patient, as a subject for a case study.
The story is very moving as it captures and marries English literature, through words and sonnets; and health science, through data and research. I like how the play showcased the commonalities of the two fields and their common differences.
It reminds every literary major, health sciences experts, and human beings in the audience to be human. To never forget, as we strive for greatness and optimum knowledge, to be kind. Sometimes, as literary majors, we are too overwhelmed by understanding and interpreting life and death into words that we forgot about life, and to live. Sometimes, as health researchers, we are too perplexed by the wonders of the human body that we forgot to be human, and that who we’re dealing with are humans.
We must always strive, not to be great, but to be kind. “Now is a time for, dare I say it, kindness. I thought being extremely smart would take care of it. But I see I have been found out.” ― Vivian Bearing,
After going out of the theater teary-eyed and extremely moved, I highly recommend that you watch this play, “W;t: A play by Margaret Edson”. It is the first time that the play is being adapted in Asia brough to you by Twin Bill. They still have five remaining shows: April 29 (3:00 pm and 8:00 pm), April 30 (3:00 pm), May 2 (8:00 pm) and May 3 (6:00 pm) at Mandell Hall, Trinity University of Asia.
Holy Sonnets: Death, be not proudDeath, be not proud, though some have called theeMighty and dreadful, for thou art not so;For those whom thou think’st thou dost overthrowDie not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me.From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be,Much pleasure; then from thee much more must flow,And soonest our best men with thee do go,Rest of their bones, and soul’s delivery.Thou art slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men,And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell,And poppy or charms can make us sleep as wellAnd better than thy stroke; why swell’st thou then?One short sleep past, we wake eternallyAnd Death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die.
—-Photo opportunity with the cast—-