The King of the Birds

Arts and Culture

Ateneo University

Ateneo de Manila University
Katipunan Ave., Loyola Heights, Quezon City
Metro Manila, Philippines

About the Event

The King of the Birds, a philosophical fable turned theater piece about humanity’s search for salvation and meaning, closes Tanghalang Ateneo’s 34th season with shows slated for three weekends in Janaury-February 2013.

Drawn from a Persian poem by Farid ud-Din Attar and a performance text by Jean Claude Carriere and Peter Brook, the play tells the story of a nation of birds embarking on a difficult journey to meet their one true King, only to discover an unexpected truth about themselves.

Ronan Capinding, Gawad?Buhay 2012’s Outstanding Original Script awardee (William, PETA), is dramaturge and director of this metaphysical piece. Gigi De Jonghe designs the set and lavish costumes, Jason Vitorillo executes choreography of bird-like movements, while Reamur David assembles meditative pieces for his Music Design. Domileo Espejo and Tarek El Tayech alternate as Hoopoe, the leader of the flock, and join Tanghalang Ateneo alumni and student actors in transforming this fable into a celebration of theater’s story-telling power.

The central insight of The King of the Birds stems from Sufism, a worldview that antedates Islamic teachings. This insight about a new kind of spirituality that binds all people remains relevant in contemporary times. The birds’ perilous journey becomes a metaphor for people’s quest for meaning and the discovery of a truth at the end of the play, a metaphysical answer to humanity’s redemption from ignorance, fear, and bitter conflict.

Venue: Rizal Mini Theater

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