By RICA AREVALO
A parody of Nick Joaquin’s A Portrait of the Artist as Filipino is on stage with the Palanca-winning piece of Nonon Padilla’s Ang Larawan ng Pilipino Bilang Artist(a) at the De La Salle – College of Saint Benilde, School of Design and Arts Campus on Nov. 28, 29 and Dec. 1.
Manila Bulletin Lifestyle sat down with two of its stars, Bembol Roco and Sherry Lara. After three decades, the Marasigan sisters return from New York, USA and are back living a lavish lifestyle with a lagoon and tennis court.
Sherry plays Paula Marasigan. “At the CCP, I’ve done Larawan thrice. But I was Pepang there. Now, it’s Paula and the director is a good friend of mine, Nonon,” says the 2004 Gawad Urian Best Supporting Actress nominee for Crying Ladies.
Bembol says, “I love doing theater works. Another reason is because of Nonon. He was the one responsible for getting me back to theater after 14 years of acting.”
As Agustin Moreta, Bembol goes kilig seeing Candida again. “I tried to be crazy as I can. It’s a different kind of play so I tried to do what I think would be effective,” says the 2011 Cinemalaya Best Actor.
Working with Philstage Gawad Buhay awardee Padilla was a bliss. “Nonon is known to be a cerebral person. Sobrang matalino,” reveals Bembol.
Sherry adds, “In fact I consider him a genius. He knows his craft.”
The Marasigan sisters are not in Intramuros but live in the exclusive Forbes Park with a totally different situation. Tony Javier (Alan Bautista) is back as a dance teacher and tries to fix his relationship with Paula. Yes, they get married after learning that he sired the twin boys of Paula.
Both Sherry and Bembol love the theater. “It gives us the greatest fulfilment as an actor. There is more discipline,” muses the St. Paul’s Manila alumnae. “It is the one that gives you the most fulfillment.”
Bembol adds, “You can experiment on approaches. You can do a lot of things that you cannot do in TV or film. I consider theater as a classroom for me. I learn a lot from theater even after 44 years of acting.”
Sherry, a Tanghalang Pilipino Actors Company pioneer tells us about the challenges she faced. “Memorization is not a challenge for us because it is an everyday thing. The challenge is to find who the character you are playing,” she noted.
Retiring is also not in their vocabulary. Bembol reiterated, “No such thing as long as we are capable and healthy. I’ll keep doing this.”
What are their advice for wannabe actors? Sherry shares, “The proper mindset would be dedication and discipline. Sometimes if you are good but you don’t have tenacity, no discipline, nothing is going to happened. It would defeat the purpose of what you’re doing. It has to be really love for theater.”
“Pure dedication. Obviously, there is no monetary gain here. That is very clear. We do it for the love of the craft,” beams Bembol.
He admires the older generation of actors. “My favorite actors are Vic Silayan, Leopoldo Salcedo which I had the opportunity to work with. I find the older actors more disciplined and serious about their work.”
Ang Larawan ng Pilipino Bilang Artist(a)has made Sherry a comedic actress. She says, “Every rehearsal is a learning experience. There are many things that you discover every day.”
Other cast members include Stella Cañete-Mendoza, Jaime Yambao, and Mosang.
For tickets, contact Ticket World at (02) 891 9999.