Dolorosa beyond the neither. Theater Review

Bibeth Orteza is Pilar
Tanghalang Ateneo is honoring women in their 41st season with Dolorosa by Peter Zaragoza Mayshle under the direction of Jenny Jamora, it opens last August 16 at The Doreen Black Box, Arts Wing of Arete inside Ateneo De Manila University campus in Quezon City. They call this season as Ecriture Feminine, Sulat Babae in short The Women’s Season.
It is not easy watching Dolorosa, this is a 3-hour play set in three different periods of Philippine history starting at Spanish colonialization, to Japanese occupation and at the present time, it tells a story of a family from a father who artistically creates a Mater Dolorosa statue and later lost it, and her only child Pilar who explore the unknown world trying to find that important missing family patrimony that she can pass to her children.
Even though there are breaks in between hour of the play, Dolorosa is full of confusion at first set, giving you many questions on what is going on, you can feel that there is something to be developed in its story, yet you religiously being observant on the next scenes and to the next scenes, because it really involves a lot of characters that you will see only in that set, same goes to the to last two hours of the play.
Having the legendary Actress/Writer Bibeth Orteza as the old Pilar, is a joy to the play, she still proves that she can pull you from your chair amidst a full of young cast that surrounds her, truly she is a master of her craft and this is one performance you should see, but her younger self played by Zoe De Ocampo is another to watch out for, this girl can deliver no matter how kilometric the lines are, and she did it with clarity.
Our favorite part is where the five different Virgin Mary appear inside The Neither of Pilar’s world, Jamora execution of using all sides of the theater is brilliant to see, that is one magical part of Dolorosa that is so pleasing to watch, just prepare yourself looking at all directions to see those Immaculate mothers.
Zoe De Ocampo as the young Pilar
Dolorosa other cast are Ron Capinding, Claudia Enriquez, Rowie Gutierez, Aj Umali, Sabrina Basilio, Dani Capinding, Francesca Lois Dela Cruz, Kat Dizon, Kim Donato, Shaun Erwin Ocrisma, Darl Anne Dominique Alba, Zarya Almocera, Nicole Chua and Michaela Mendoza. The technical team are Elise Ofilada as the Dramaturg, Jomelle Era for movement design, D Cortezano as Lighting Design, Earvin Estioco is the Assistant Lighting Designer, Arvy Dimaculangan for scoring and sound design, Benjamin Padero and Carlo Tabije for the production design, Robin Aronson is the vocal coach and Rachel Swartz as the text coach.
Here are the playdates Aug 16, 17, 24, 31 all at 2:30 PM, and Aug 15, 17, 22, 24, 29, 31 are all at 7:30PM

Special thanks to Tanghalang Ateneo for all the photos.

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