Since the pandemic and threat of COVID-19, local theater companies have found ways to work around the limitations of lockdowns and health and safety protocols. Presenting plays virtually for audiences to watch from the comforts of their own homes is clearly the way to go.
One such virtual presentation is Password: O3d1pu5_R3x, Tanghalang Ateneo’s modern-day reimaging of Greek playwright Sophocles’ classic tragedy Oedipus Rex. (Read: 4 Online Plays That Pope John Paul II Would’ve Loved) The play streams on February 22, 25, and 27, and tickets can be scored through ticket2me.
Now before you go wailing “It’s all Greek to me!” and look for something light and easy to watch, here are three things to know about this play directed by Ron Capinding:
This Version of Oedipus Rex Hits Close to Home
Set during a pandemic, Password: O3d1pu5_R3x finds Pangulong Epido (Yan Yuzon) attempting to resolve the murder of Congressman Laio, while trying to understand how he figures in this crime. In searching for answers, Epido discovers the truth is not what he expects it to be. (Read: We Need to Talk About the YouTube Series ‘Basta Gagradweyt Tayo’)
The Play Is Shot Like a Movie
While stage presentations are typically presented via live streaming, with props, background sets, and actors in full costume, Password: O3d1pu5_R3x promises the same—with a twist.
“Cast and crew were given time to rehearse in the time-honored tradition of traditional live performance, and by the time [Capinding] films them on screen, they will be living out their characters in full emotive, intellectual power,” said a feature of the play. “Then—and this is perhaps the controversial part—[Capinding] and his creative team will piece together the filmed performances and then edit them into a coherent, hopefully passionate, whole which is what the audience gets to see.”
“Live readings are sometimes disrupted by poor internet connection,” reasoned the director.
Marian Rivera-Dantes Makes Her Theater Debut
News of the TV and film actress appearing in her first stage play began circulating in September. At first, she admitted to having second thoughts, but with moral support from her husband, fellow actor Dingdong Dantes (who was Ron Capinding’s student back in college at the Ateneo), Marian has embraced her role as Kreon, Pangulong Epido’s prime minister and sister-in-law.
In turn, she received a warm welcome from her castmates. “Welcome to the tribe Marian Rivera!” said Katski Flores, who plays Tiresias. “Enjoy and stay, will you?” (Read: Dingdong Dantes Launches Delivery App to Hire Laid-Off Showbiz Workers)
Fans also expressed their enthusiasm for the actress’s latest venture, which she posted on Instagram. “Ill wait for this!!” wrote ana_doherty430. “Go Mumsh Marian <3. “I’m gonna watch this, Queen Yan!” chimed missnawero. “Full support!”
Password: O3d1pu5_R3x also stars Miren Alvarez-Fabregas, Gabe Mercado, and Marlon Rivera.