“Pero sa ngayon, eh kinakaya parin. Pero sa gaano katagal? Ha, sa totoo lang, di ko rin alam.” (one of DLSU HTG’s lines in their DuLa Salle 2k14 promotional video)
August 16, 2014 – I was very fortunate to witness DLSU Harlequin Theatre Guild’s talent and creativity as they manifested it through their 4 plays 1 show created by its own members to raise awareness in climate change through surrealism and dystopian depiction. The play was titled, “Juan Day”, shown at William Shaw Little Theater.
The play unfastens with “Ang Paglilitis”. Terra, or Mother Nature is being trialed in court due to her alleged contribution to different deaths and catastrophes that hit the country. This one-scene play simply told the audience that all tragedies were due to Terra being pushed to her limits when she gets unappreciated. The cast was euphoric and very enjoyable to watch as each portrayed their roles flawlessly.
The second play was dubbed “Chatroom” where Adel and Kleo, a couple who battles the cold weather due to climate change is celebrating their 5th anniversary online. They are separated as the cold weather would not permit them to meet and going outside would mean risking their lives. Several emotions and behaviors are shown when the two chat as the supporting actors did an extraordinary job on acting. Not only was it humorous but also witty as the time was set in the future when frankly, conditions like theirs can be possible if we neglect the sudden temperature changes and/or drops in our environment today.
The third play, “The Cabin”, is about three lucky passengers; Rodney, a photographer; Tim, a businessman; and Miguel, and ex-convict who get aboard a cruise ship with only the basic necessities for survival. The three try to make the most out of their prize by asking too much of the stewardess’ assistance. As the short moves on, they demand too much from the stewardess and insist several things from her while she responds that not much should be wanted as what was provided was the supplies in order to live. It was very entertaining because of the song dance numbers but was also heavy as it reminded the audience that we only need the basics in order to live and need not to want more.
Last of the four was “GAIA Disposal Agency”, where doctors perform a costly gene modification on babies in a clinic. Emily, the protagonist, is near her birthing period but is faced with financial problems. If she fails to pay the price for her baby modification, she has to surrender her infant to the agency where she works. The ending was obvious though I liked the fact that it had a sci-fi touch to its plot that separated it from the other three plays. This short depicts humanity’s thirst for perfection as well as destruction.
In general, “Juan Day” has managed to exceed my expectations (it being the first legit college play I have watched) as it sent a clear message to the audience where climate change is a growing problem that need not to be neglected. What is spectacular about NOW and what we can do NOW in order to help our environment, is that we have another one tomorrow. The play was realistic, comical, witty, and slaps you in the face for being so ignorant all these years. I left the theater with a smile on my face but also awareness in my temples.
*The photos are mine unless otherwise specified.