ON ITS 30th year, Artistang Artlets (AA), the official theater guild of the Faculty of Arts and Letters, employed a new production tack to draw in the audience.

Anatomiya ng Pag-ibig, staged last September 15 to 17 at the Albertus Magnus Auditorium, is about the lives of several people whose love stories take a tragic turn as they try to fill in the void in their respective lives.

A new twist — the theater-in-the-round, where the audience is situated close to the performers to provoke a feeling of involvement, marked AA’s adaptation of award-winning playwright Allan Lopez’s drama on love and its wages.

Directed by Keavy Vicente and choreographed by Jhuneil Antipala, the play narrates 12 love stories told in episodic sequence.

The play is a combination of various genres such as melodrama, thriller and comedy. Bliss and sorrow are portrayed in the play that roll into a unifying theme of love and the its wages.

A character in one of the stories resorts to suicide due to a failed relationship, showing the drastic means people do out of love. Another details the physical abuse between two lovers which highlights domestic violence in the country.

Bizaare comedy involves a child requesting for tinola out of his dead grandmother’s body.

Interpretative movements and sexual innuendos evoke violence and sex in certain episodes.

Set against the backdrop of the human anatomy, the arteries-inspired leotards of actors and props that looked like internal organs served as metaphors and a literal figure of how the body works. For example, the ovary was used as the main prop, which suggested that the female organ is more seen as a sexual rather than a reproductive organ.

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Anatomiya ng Pag-ibig won third place for the category Dulang Ganap ang Haba at the 54th Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature in 2004, and was originally staged at the first Virgin Labfest at the Cultural Center of the Philippines in 2005.

Lopez, meanwhile, has won numerous awards for his dramatic plays, such as Doble Kara and Kasaysayan, which have been performed in various schools and Virgin Labfests across the country. Brylle B. Tabora

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