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Tanghalang Ateneo closes season with philosophical fable ‘The King of the Birds’

King of the BirdsTanghalang Ateneo (TA), 2012’s ALIW Awards recipient of the Best Production of the Year (non–musical) award, closes its 34th Season with the first Philippine staging of “The King of the Birds,” from the classic Persian poem by Farid ud-Din Attar, as scripted by Jean Claude Carriere and Peter Brook. It tells the story of a nation of birds embarking on a difficult journey to meet their one true King.

The King of the Birds provides a unique experience that allows the audience to see not only familiar realities but, more considerably, invisible truths about Man’s nature and what he ought to be. Attar’s poem articulates insights in Sufism, an olden worldview that came before – and perhaps the precursor of – the Islamic conviction. Through this presentation of the birds’ journey, audiences of all factions are directed towards an awareness and understanding of a purer form of spirituality that could universally bind people together in their search for meaning and salvation.

Ron Capinding (AB Philosophy 1994, AdMU), director of TA’s “Confessiones” and DSWD’s “Laot Lungsod Langit,” and Gawad–Buhay 2012’s Outstanding Original Script awardee (William, PETA), directs the staging of this metaphysical piece of classical literature, with avant–garde designer, Gigi De Jonghe, doing the Production Design, theater professor and Fulbright scholar, Jason Vitorillo, doing the Choreography, and Dr. Ricky Abad, TA’s Artistic Director and two–time ALIW Awards Best Stage Director (2008 and 2012) as Artistic Adviser. “The King of the Birds” also features a cast of the finest members and alumni of Tanghalang Ateneo.

Although good theater both entertains and educates, the experience of TA’s “The King of the Birds” is more of an unlearning, a flight from the customary routes that obscure Man’s fundamental pursuit, and to the paths that lead us back to it. It is both an encounter with an ancient Middle Eastern fable that is so relevant to the modern times, and likewise a celebration of the power of theater in bringing audiences to other worlds and to deep self–examination.

“The King of the Birds” will run from January 17-19, 23-26, and January 30 to February 2 at 7 PM, with 2 PM Saturday matinees on January 19 and 26 and February 2 at the Rizal Mini Theater, Ateneo de Manila University.
For inquiries and ticket reservations, contact Gel Basa at 09176309097.

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