Florante at Laura:The Play

October 22, 2010

PRESENTING:

THE ART

THE ACTORS’ REPERTORY THEATER

KWENTO NG PAG-IBIG NINA FLORANTE AT LAURA, ALADIN AT FLERIDA

(FRANCISCO BALAGTAS)


THE CAST

ARNOLD REYES                    Florante

ADELFA ARGUEL                  Laura

DON UMALI                          Aladin

GENEVIE PALILEO                Flerida

TONY ROMA                         Sultan Ali-adab

ANDRO MORGAN                 Adolfo

SAM NEPOMUCENO            Menandro

JEROLD IGHARAS                 Duke Briceo

CHERO BALDONADO          Haring Linceo

SHYNE REDOTA                             Prinsesa Floresca

MARTY LEGANSON              Antenor

EJ CANILLAS                          Heneral Osmalik

JOEL TAN                               Kristiyano

ALLAN MACATUNO             Kristiyano

LURI NALUS                          Moro

IAN ULDADO                        Moro

SHERYL REDOTA                  Harem Dancer

FATIMA VILLAR                    Harem Dancer

JOY GUERZON                       Harem Dancer

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Florante at Laura Summary

October 22, 2010

Synopsis

The story is about the struggle and love of the Duke Florante and Princess Laura of Albania during the war between the Christian Albanians and the Moros (Muslim people).

Plot

In the Albanian forest

The story begins deep within a dark, gloomy forest. Florante, a duke of the Kingdom of Albania is tied to a tree, lamenting the death of his father, Duke Briseo. He is driven mad by the thought that his beloved, Princess Laura, has fallen into the arms of his enemy, Count Adolfo, son of Count Sileno. Nearby, two starving lions keep watch and try to attack Florante. He is saved, just in time, by Aladin, a Muslim prince who happens to be at the forest at the same time. Weak and bewildered, Florante faints.

The merciful soldier nurses Florante to health. Upon recovery, Florante is initially taken back by Aladin who he considers as an enemy due to his Islamic faith. After a few explanations are made, however, Florante is grateful and begins to tell his story.

Florante’s tale

The son of a princess and a royal adviser, Florante grew up in happiness, showered with love. He liked to play games when he was six, and was almost killed by a vulture that entered in their mountain cottage, which was also followed by the attack of a falcon, who snatched his cupid diamond. He was saved by his cousin Menalipo, an archer from Epirus.

At the early age of 11, his parents, Duke Briseo and Princess Floresca, sent him to Athens, Greece to study under Antenor, a renowned teacher. There, he met Adolfo, a fellow countryman, the brightest student in their school. After 6 years of study, Florante surpassed Adolfo’s capabilities, talents and intelligence, gaining popularity.
While acting during a school play, Adolfo attempted to kill Florante. Fortunately, Florante’s friend, Menandro, was quick enough to intervene. Adolfo headed home to Albania after his failed attempt. One year later, Florante received a letter from his father, announcing the death of his mother.

Though filled with grief, Florante waited two months before he returned home. Menandro, unwilling to be separated from him, accompanied him on his journey. Upon his arrival to Albania, an emissary of the kingdom of Crotone requested his assistance in the incoming war against the Persians. Florante had not the will to refuse, for the King of Crotone was his grandfather.

During his stay in Albania, Florante was invited to the king’s palace. There, he was stunned by the sight of Laura, the daughter of King Linseo, ruler of Albania.

Coming to the aid of Crotone, Florante fought with the Persian general, Osmalik for 5 hours, finally slaying him in the end. He stayed in Crotone for 5 months before returning to Albania to see Laura. He was surprised by the sight of a Persian flag waving atop the kingdom. He recaptured the palace and saved his father, the king, and Adolfo. He also saved Laura from being beheaded from the hands of an Emir. He was declared “Defender of Albania” for his bravery, deepening Adolfo’s envy and hatred.

Florante protected the kingdom, once more, from the Turkish forces, under general Miramolin, an acclaimed conqueror. This took place in Aetolia, where he later received a letter from his father. The letter summoned him back to Albania. He left his troops in the care of his friend, Menandro. Upon returning, he was ambushed by 30,000 soldiers under Adolfo’s orders and was imprisoned for 18 days. There, he learned of the tragic fate of his father and the king. Under Adolfo’s hands, they were beheaded. Florante was then exiled into the forest and tied to the tree. “Never allow someone to be your priority while allowing yourself to be their option”

Aladin’s Tale

After months of wandering in the forest, the Persian, Aladin shares that he is also in a similar circumstance.

Sultan Ali-Adab accused his own son, Aladin, of leaving his troops and allowing his conquered enemy to be recaptured. He arranged for his son to be beheaded. Flerida, very much in love with Aladin, begged the Sultan not to kill, but merely exile his son. In return, Flerida agreed to marry the Sultan, who was very taken with her.

Reunion and Peace

Aladin’s speech is interrupted when they hear voices. A woman narrates her escape from a kingdom and a marriage. She speaks of her search for her beloved, a search which lasted 6 years. She shares that while deep in the forest, she heard cries for help. Finding a lady about to be raped by a man, she uses her bow and arrow to kill him. The woman introduces herself as Flerida.

The lady saved by Flerida is revealed to be Laura, who begins to tell her story. While her love was away at war, Count Adolfo gained the popularity of the people, having lied to them and turned them against the king. Count Adolfo then rose to the throne, forcing Laura to be his queen. An army under Menandro, Florante’s childhood friend, was able to overthrow Adolfo from power. Adolfo, seeing all was lost, fled into the woods, taking Laura as hostage.

After hearing all this, Florante and Aladin reunite with their loved ones. Florante and Laura returned to Albania, and became king and queen. Aladin and Flerida returned to Persia, where Aladin became the new sultan as his father committed suicide. The two kingdoms lived in harmony and peace.


Filipino writer

October 22, 2010

Francisco Balagtas

Francisco Balagtas, later Francisco Baltazar or nickname Kikong Balagtas or Kiko, was born on April 2, 1788 in the barrio Panginay in the town of Bigaa, now known as Balagtas in his honor, in the province of Bulacan. He was the youngest of four children: Felipe, Concha, and Nicholasa. His parents where a blacksmith, Juan Baltazar, and Juana de la Cruz.

As a young boy, Balagtas loved to watch the land and hear the sound of the leaves. He saw beauty in the sparks caused by the pounding hammer of his blacksmith father. He even heard music in the sound of the horses’ shoes.

Balagtas studied in a parochial school in Bigaa, where he studied prayers and catechism during his elementary years. Once Baltazar was eleven he moved to Tondo, Manila to work as a houseboy for his aunt, Doña Trinidad, who sponsored his studies. He enrolled at the Colegio de San Jose, where he graduated with degrees in Crown Law, Spanish, Latin, Physics, Christian Doctrine, Humanities, and Philosophy.

Dr. Mariano Pilapil taught him how to write while one of the most famous Tondo poets, José de la Cruz (Huseng Sisiw) mentored his poetry. Cruz challenged Balagtas to improve his writing, and even refused to edit Balagta’s poetry. He continued to write more awits, corridos and moro-moros.

In 1835, Balagtas moved to Pandacan and met Maria Asuncion Rivera, who would later serve as a muse for his writings, such as in Florante at Laura as ‘Celia’ and ‘MAR’.

Balagtas’ feelings for Maria were challenged by Mariano Capule. The influential Capule used his wealth to imprison Balagtas and marry Maria. In prison, Balagtas relates the parallels of his own situation in Florante at Laura.

During an age when Filipino writings were written in Spanish, Balagtas wrote his poems in Tagalog. Scholars are lead to believe his poems reflect the abuses of the Spanish colonists.

Upon Balagtas’ release from prison, he published Florante at Laura in 1838. In 1840, he moved to Udyong, Bataan and served as a Major Lieutenant. There, he met Juana Tiambeng of Orion, Bataan whom he would wed in 1842. Together, they had eleven – five boys and six girls – although seven died.

In 1849, Governor-General Narciso Claveria ordered that every Filipino native adopt a Spanish surname. Henceforth, Balagtas became known as Francisco Baltazar. He was imprisoned in 1856 for shaving the head of Alferez Lucas’ housemaid, forcing his wife to spend their entire fortune to pay the court expenses. In 1860, he was released and continued writing to support his family.

Upon his death bed, Baltazar asked that none of his children become poets like him, who had suffered under his gift. He stated that it would be better to cut their hands off than to let them be writers.

Francisco Baltazar died on February 20, 1862.

Balagtas is considered the equivalent of William Shakespeare and the “Prince of Tagalog Poets” for his impact on Filipino literature with Florante at Laura regarded as his defining work. In fact, he is so greatly revered in the Philippines that a tradition held for debating in extemporaneous verse is known as ‘Balagtasan’.


Quote

October 16, 2010

” The goal of education is to replace and empty mind with  an  open mind”

– Malcolm Forbes


Theatrical Performances

October 15, 2010

FEATURED GROUP PERFORMERS

THE ACTORS’ REPERTORY THEATER ( THE ART) started on February 19, 2002 with its production of a twinbill : New Yorker in Tondo and May Katwiran ang Katwiran. Performances were held at the Batangas National High School Gynasium, Batangas City.

THE ART’s Artistic Director, Edith S. Mandigma is a product of the then Teatro Pilipino owned by the late Rolando S. Tinio at the Cultural Center of the Philippines and the Metropolitan Theater. Ms. Mandigma continues on making theater productions applying the experience and knowledge earned from Teatro Pilipino and the other theater group she was with so many years, Student Theater Artist Foundation, Inc.

THE ART’s main objective is to showcase great literary works of the world and Filipino famous playwrigths through the performing arts for the students in Manila and the provinces.

To realize this objective, THE ART sought the help of PROSCENIUM ENTERTAINMENT owned by its Artistic Director, Cedric Lao Nicomedes. Its functions are to help provide talents, give insights to the production and financial assistance through marketing the shows. Since THE ART is basically on the creative area, PROSCENIUM ENTERTAINMENT, a more established company, supports the production.

THE ART’s partnership with PROSCENIUM ENTERTAINMENT started from the year 2003 to present. The productions are as follows : 2003-2004 Romeo and Juliet; 2004-2005 Ang kwento ng Pag-ibig nina Florante at Laura; Aladin at Flerida; 2005-2006 A Midsummer Night’s Dream; 2006-2007 Hamlet; 2007-2008 Ang Hiwaga ng Ibong Adarna; 2008-2009 The Merchant of Venice and the present, 2009-2010 A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

THE ART’s ultimate goal is to become one of the country’s most patronized theater company. To realized this goal, They will continue honing talents, enhance production design, adapt more literary works and be an efficient tool for class discussions for the students and teachers of all levels; primary, secondary, and tertiary both public and private schools.


Quote

October 15, 2010

” To do your best is to be one man to be picked out of a thousand”


THEATER

October 14, 2010

A THEATER HEART

 

I have been into theater since college(school theater). I myself acted in a play, a mere school play. I’ve done lots of petty works from propsman to  actor to director. I’ve experienced to do even the smallest role onstage and backstage and… I still have the longing in my heart to perform in a big stage. I hope soon.

 

I’ve already been to different venues and I’ve seen different sets of stage. How they transform the stage into something else. A wonderful place with props, arts, colors, ligths etc…

 

I am truly fascinated by the magic of this art. I love theater.

 

I happen to watch The ART( The Actors’ Repertory Theater) performed last year in Souther Luzon State University, Lucban, Quezon. The Play was “Midsummer Night’s Dream” by William Shakespeare. It was played in Tagalog. I can say the performance was great. Two thumbs-up. I’ve seen how they moved the audience including me, the excellent acting performance of every character, the transformation of the stage into different settings, the fusion of humor. The love for the art and artists were evident when the show ended because I can see the craving of the audience for more play and they promised to comeback the next school year.

 

I told myself to feature The ART in my space so that others can see and wait for them just like me. I will soon post them next and their plays.

 

The ART marked something in me that forced me to cultivate the talents of my students in this kind of art. I then, organized the theater group in our school rigth after( I will also posts some performances of them in my blog).

 

Today, I continue to embrace the theaters’ magical body and I am sure , I am poisoned by its venom that is now flowing in my blood stream. As a matter of fact, I joined the “ BUSILAQ”(Bukluran and Sining sa Lalawigan ng Quezon). I will be active for sure.

I know if I’m not producing a local/school play, I will be into writing… into writing plays and writing about some watched plays.