Monday, February 20, 2006

short time (after time)

"Short Time", one of my earliest Palanca Award winning one act plays, will have a special staging this Friday at BareWALL, Fox Square Bldg, Connecticut St. Greenhills.

The news came as a surprise. Rico Guiterrez is a film director who wanted to make a film version of my play. Augie Rivera translated (and updated) my script into Filipino (an excellent job, something I cannot do for myself). Things were going well until the primary actor, Richard Gomez, backed out (no doubt because of the sex scene - half the play is supposed to be staged in underwear or in the nude). So the project was shelved until a new actor could be found. My history with films has been less than sterling (2 scripts filmed with me requesting my name struck out, my ultimately not going with Viva Films for "Salamanca" because of money matters, and this shelved project - it seems movies are just not for me.

Anyway, I look forward to spending 45 or so minutes watching my most popular play come to life again (I hope it's in Filipino). Honestly, I do not like much anymore, it seems so...simple and bereft of craft. But still, it is something I wrote and worked on, and maybe my current-day sensibilities will not be that offended.

It's an odd feeling. It's like I'm judging the playwright that I was 15 years ago (yes, it has been that long) and I'm absolutely certain he is not to my taste. "Short Time" was written in a realist/minimalist fashion, with just a bed onstage. Compared to my most recent prize-winning play, 2004's "The Kite of Stars", it's simply outclassed. As part of my body of work, it holds a special place in my heart - and maybe, just maybe, I'll like it again after seeing it on Friday.


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