Long queues of excited viewers snaked through the auditorium gates as students jostled for space to watch three IPAG productions perform in road tours last September. Large crowds milled outside the theaters where the IPAG performed three of its touring productions this 33rd Season.
First, there was Suhi, a reshaping of the Greek tragedy Oedipus re-set by playwright Steven Patrick Fernandez to the Mindanaon world of feudal wars and political enmities. Suhi packed most of the 29 play dates from September 8 to 22 at the MSU-IIT Mini Theatre in Iligan City and the Xavier University Little Theatre in Cagayan de Oro City.
Then, Tatlo Sa Isa, the sequel to the well-traveled Tales From Mindanao, IPAG’s saga of Mindanao dances, music and stories, enthralled two full houses at the University of Santo Tomas College of Medicine Auditorium in Manila.
Finally, SugaTula, the transcreation of the poems of Southern-based writers, packed the Capitol U gym in Cagayan de Oro City last September 30. To accommodate the intimate nature of this multi-media production, IPAG made full use of the stage space and a portion of the hall merging performance and audience in a close audience-play encounter.
Characteristic of box office successes and well-received productions, the plays drew the audiences that continued to stream in through darkened entrances to claim the last available seats. In the final Xavier U Suhi performance, ushers sat patrons on the floor of the stage a few inches away from the borders where the actors end their performances because the audiences had already filled up the aisles. Audiences bursting at the seams electrify any watching experience, consequently indicating to observers that theatre is alive and kicking in these parts.