Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A new Filipino priest-playwright

From Sun Star Cebu's article Sept. 23, 2012 article on The other side of Msgr. Ting Ancajas (via Katekista Ako blog):

One such talented  priest is Msgr. Agustin ”Ting” Ancajas. He entered the priesthood only after finishing  a degree in communication from the Ateneo de Manila University. 

Ordained a priest in 2000, he was first assigned to the Lonergan Communication Center at the Seminario Mayor. Then, until the retirement of Rufino (sic) J. Cardinal Vidal, he became the cardinal’s secretary. 


... playwriting is his passion. He started to write plays in 1998 under the pen name Angelo (his favorite name) Zige (the family name of his great, great grandfather who—shhh—was a Portuguese friar, whose picture is with one of Msgr. Ting’s aunts). So far he has written 15 one-act plays. He explains: “I grew up with radio shows. I just love to write plays because of that. Sometimes when I am inspired, I write non-stop from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. When I’m inspired to write, and I get the momentum to do so, it’s hard to stop.” 

His two latest plays are Laptop and Living Downstairs. He wrote Laptop in 2010 when he  was in London taking a six-month course, from September 2010 to March 2011, on  acting and directing at the Central School of Speech and Drama  at the University of London. Living Downstairs is about domestics living in London, for which he actually became a domestic for two weekends to get the feel of their life. 

Laptop is a contemporary play about two brothers and a sister in London. 

“It’s about  family relationships,” Msgr. Ting says. “The laptop is an important gadget to connect people, to break or mend relationships, especially for people who move around. It’s the laptop, especially through Skype, that connects them.” 

Msgr. Ting says his plays have been  shown in the seminary, as well as in other parishes when their priests ask to borrow the plays. He will show Laptop on Sept. 28 and 29 at the Marcelo Fernan Cebu Press Center. He originally wrote Laptop in Tagalog, a language he grew up with during his childhood days in Manila, but he has had to translate it in Cebuano for this presentation, which will see him as a better-prepared director honed in the “Method Acting” to “be natural, be realistic as much as possible.”

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