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PETA Stages Filipino Adaptation of Rabindranath Tagore’s THE POST OFFICE, 8/6-9/12

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Amal, a 10-year-old ailing child in Indian poet and dramatist Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore's (1861-1941) symbolic play "Dak Ghar" or "The Post Office", is now named Abel in Philippine Educational Theater Association's (PETA) contextualized adaptation "Ang Post Office".  Featuring Filipino child actor Martin delos Santos and stage luminaries Bembol Roco and Bodjie Pascua, with live vocal score from multi-award winning children's choirs - the Kilyawan Choir and the Loboc Children's Choir - Abel's moving story premieres on August 6, 2010 and will run through September 12, 2010 at the PETA Center Theatre in New Manila, Quezon City. 

Carlos Palanca award-winning writer Rody Vera reconstructs a contemporary milieu based on the originally Bengali narrative of one of Tagore's most enduring inspirational works. The newly-adapted piece transposes early 20th century rural Bengal into a modern day Filipino town.

The characters in the play are also reborn into their respective Filipino counterparts: a "taho" vendor for the dairyman, a Philippine National Police (PNP) chief for the King's watchman, and a "sampaguita" vendor for the rose seller, for instance. 

In "Ang Post Office", Abel lives with his foster parent Mang Pedring. The young orphan's doctor, who doesn't know any better, has little hope for his patient's full recovery. However, Abel remains unfazed.

Abel greets the world with radical optimism through the lone window of his room: he meets a "taho" vendor who instantly becomes his new friend; a few other young boys who play with his old toys; a young "sampaguita" vendor who promises to return after selling her flowers; a security guard who tolls the bell announcing the time; and a policeman who talks about the King's postmen tasked to bring royal letters to the village.

Abel also becomes a friend to Poldo, who tells him larger-than-life stories about kingdoms far away. 

But above all, Abel fervently awaits the arrival of a letter from the King that he anxiously expects from the royal postmen.

As the night slowly falls, Abel's health condition also worsens. Then there is a knock on the door, the royal postmen have arrived. It is now time for the King to meet with Abel.

"The Post Office" was most recently staged in New York City by a Bangladeshi theatre group, Charanik, which played five performances at the New York International Fringe Festival in Lower Manhattan in 2001. The production featured a strong multiracial cast with three different young actors playing Amal - a Latino, a South Asian, and a Chinese. 

On May 7, 2011, the world will celebrate Tagore's 150th birth anniversary.  Tagore, the first Asian who won the Nobel Prize in Literature, is also often referred to as Bengal's Shakespeare. 

PETA's "Ang Post Office" is its second offering for the 43rd season.  The production showcases the theatre company's young budding artists Lao Rodriguez, Ian Segarra, Jojo Atienza, Jack Yabut, Lot Lot Bustamante, Abner Delina Jr., Ness Roque, Jason Barcial, Mary Jane Medina, Josh Tecson, Sweet Ramos, and Julia Chua.

Gardy Labad directs the show.

PETA's "Ang Post Office" has been receiving art grants from the Prince Claus Fund for Culture and Development, National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), UNESCO Commission for the Philippines, MISEREOR/KZE, and Zest Airways Inc.

For ticket inquiries and reservations, contact PETA Marketing and Public Relations at (632) 725-6244, (632) 410-821 or (63)917-8044428. You may also visit http://www.petatheater.com.

Playdates: August 6 (3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.), 7, 8, 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, 22, 23, 27, 28, 29, September 3, 4, 5, 10, 11 and 12 (10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.)


PETA's "Ang Post Office"


PETA's "Ang Post Office"


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