Watch "Ang Prinsipeng Duwag," "Ang Binibining Tumalo sa Hari and "Ang Prinsipeng Mahabang Ilong" in the PETA production Mga Kuwento ni Lola Basyang. Photo: Courtesy of PETA


For the month of October, young kids and the young-at-heart will enjoy watching fairy tales that have a moral lesson as interpreted by the Philippine Educational Theater Association. Expect colorful costumes and musical productions in the theatrical version of Mga Kuwento ni Lola Basyang. Three of Severino Reyes' stories have been reworked by contemporary writer Christine Bellen to illustrate moral lessons and kindheartedness through an extraordinary theatrical masterpiece.


The grand old dame will retell her stories including "Ang Prinsipeng Mahaba ang Ilong," which is the story of a prince who was cursed with a nose as long as an elephant's; "Binibining Tumalo sa Mahal na Hari," a story about a maiden who earns the ire of the king of Tondo and endures three challenges that test her cleverness; and "Ang Prinsipeng Duwag", which is about a prince who is ridiculed for his refusal to fight wars.


Phil Noble's set for PETA's Mga Kuwento ni Lola Basyang is non-linear, filled with scaffoldings, platforms and pilled boxes, where Phil directs his actors to explore, wander and slip and slide in youthful exuberance. Phil's direction can easily be dismissed as complex, but his love for drama and movement simply expels a youthful energy to the entire performance.  


In an interview with the director himself, Phil gleefully reminisced about his childhood, his fondness of watching dexterous circus players wander up and about during fiestas in his hometown Taal, Batangas and his own playful character that embraced the vivacity of these circus acts. He remarks that his vision for Lola Basyang came from these vivid recollections.  


"In directing Lola Basyang, I brought together all my memories of my childhood and used my love for the circus, wishing that the audience will enjoy the circus as much as I do. I want to create a playground with this play. I want the children to know what the circus is all about. I want them to play with Lola Basyang...I want us all to be childlike, to be children again, even for a while..."


Children (of all ages) enjoy watching Phil's masterpiece because it invites us to a place that is unknown to most people--where the enchanted meets the child, and the child meets the enchanted. A visual spectacle on its own, Mga Kuwento ni Lola Basyang will bring life to a rich memory of each one's childhood. 


Mga Kuwento ni Lola Basyang will be on tour and shown at the PETA Theater Center on October 3-5 and 10-12, 2008 (3 pm). For ticket inquiries and reservations, please call PETA Marketing at 4100821/ 7256244 or 0927-7031437, or send an email to petampro@yahoo.com