Ang Paglilitis ni Aling Serapya, a play that is of relevance today as it challenges the very concept of human morality and justice, gets a spectacular revamp by the Theatre students of St. Paul University Quezon City. The “trial” opens in December.
The play, originally called as Ang Paglilitis ni Mang Serapio, is written by Filipino playwright, educator, and historian Paul Dumol. It is considered to be the first Philippine modernist play because of the context of the story. To make it more relevant without losing its original vision, the BA Communication program students added some twist in the story: the gender switch and the apocalyptic setting of the story. A reclusive state in Asia ignites World War III by unleashing its nuclear bombs that started retaliation upon retaliation of its enemies and allies. All sides lost the war as the toll of devastation brought humanity to the brink of extinction. Radical climate and geographical changes, destroyed civilizations and human mutations lie in its aftermath.
The inquisition in the play unfolds in a post-global nuclear holocaust. Serapya, the protagonist, belongs to a beggars’ trope, receiving alms from luckier survivors who run other more “successful” federations. Her group, known as Cirque Atomique, is a gypsy-like crew performing to patrons who can pay in cash or
in kind. The ragtag motley crew scavenge their costumes and props from museums and galleries. The new order has spawned chaos and cynicism of the law of societies and the very fabric of its smallest unit, the family.
Paglilitis ni Aling Serapya will be held at the James B. Reuter Theatre in St. Paul University Quezon City on December 1 and 2. The first show starts at 3 p.m. and the second show at 6 p.m. More information about the play is posted on Ang Paglilitis ni Aling Serapya on its official Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages.