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Playwright recalls the making of a ‘Butuanon’ dance-musical

By Ramon Jorge Sarabosing

Richard Vilar, the charmingly demanding director and me trade email messages, versions and revisions for the script/libretto of “Soog” (current) Butuan, slated Wednesday evening next week, August 2 at the
Father Saturnino Urios University gym.

It is produced by the City Government of Butuan as part of the Adlaw Hong Butuan celebration.

Vilar is a veteran of countless plays and musicals (on Mindanaoan dramaturgy) so I spoiled myself with the idea that he can easily stretch and improvise the script/lyrics more than I did (having written only a few, for Sinag’s Titing Trinquite productions and for Artist’s Quarter (AQ) with Mae Oclarit and Owen Jaen.

The director (in black cap) with the creative staff.

Collaboration is the key between us-writer and director- to come up with a tight story material. Vilar would patiently wait and add new dimensions as we go along.

A week followed, rehearsals began. Vilar executes dances with Dulimbay Theater Company, the resident performing arts group of Caraga State University, with the assistance of Alan R. Gitanes.

Dulimbay oozes with energy and vitality as they wrestle with neo-ethnic and modern dances, the director didn’t have a hard time. He even allowed them to explore themselves but constantly guiding them.

Rehearsal at Caraga State University gym.

Meanwhile, Vilar’s creative crew, production and costume designers OJ Fajardo and Mark Arnaiz are busy attending with needed materials, from the head dress to trading jars, etc.

The production coordinator, Omar Arellano comes once in a while to document and give inputs.

Few nights to go and it’s showtime, Butuan has a new masterpiece. But of course, I’m just biased!

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