Lualhati Bautista's Novel-Turned-Play Returns to the Stage in 2020

The restaging of this Martial Law musical is more relevant than ever.

(SPOT.ph) We called it! In 2018, we included Dekada '70 in our yearly roundup of shows that deserve a standing ovation, and wished that it be "staged again and again, especially for those who may have forgotten about the Philippines' darkest period." And now, this musical by director-playwright Pat Valera is getting a rerun in March 2020.

PHOTO BY Vlad Gonzales 
Dekada '70 / Facebook
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Based on Lualhati Bautista's 1983 novel of the same name, Dekada '70 first ran at Ateneo de Manila University's Doreen Black Box Theater in September 2018, just in time for the 46th anniversary of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos' declaration of Martial Law. Through meaningful lyrics arranged in various musical genres (from rap to ballad and even electronic), it tells the story of how a middle-class family chose not to turn a blind eye to what was happening in the country during the Marcos regime.

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"I think the question right now is not why people should see Dekada '70 but rather why they WANT to see the play. When we released the announcement of our rerun for 2020, in a matter of hours, the post earned thousands of likes and shares—the most we’ve had in all of our productions," Valera tells SPOT.ph in an online exchange. He was also the creator of the much-applauded musical Mula sa Buwan, which is getting a movie adaptation with director Treb Monteras.

He continues: "Of course, millions have been moved and changed by Bautista’s Dekada ’70– both by the novel and film. Are they just simply curious to see the stage rendition? When you read the comments and shares, you feel that the desire to watch is fervent—urgent. And most of them come from the youth. When I asked a friend about it, he said, “Kasi marami sa kanila ang gising, nagigising, at gusto tayo gumising.” Maybe they want to see the play because they want a space where they can share to their friends, families, and even strangers the same awakening brought about by Bautista’s masterpiece. Maybe the youth have not forgotten after all. Maybe they rightfully do not want to forget."

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Here's what to expect from this powerful musical:

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Dekada '70 opens in March 2020. For updates, follow Dekada '70 on Facebook.

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