REPERTORY Philippines' (REP) formally opened its 73rd season with Peter Quilter's romantic comedy “Duets.”
“Duets,” set in four different vignettes with four sets of character, is a play that explores the funny nuisances of love in seemingly impossible, but funny situation.
Taking the stage are REP's very own Joy Virata and Miguel Faustmann and it will be directed by Ana Abad Santos.
Faustmann and Virata will first breathe life to the character of Jon and Wendy, respectively, two different people who agreed to meet on a blind date.
It will then be followed by the unconventional friendship and love of Barrie Medina, a gay man and his secretary Janet.
On the third set, Faustmann and Virata will play the couple Bobby and Shelly, who are in the verge of their divorce and is trying to end the relationship smoothly.
And finally on its fourth Duets, Virata will play the role of Angela, Toby's (Faustmann) sister who is about to take her third march down the aisle and is having trouble doing so.
During the press preview of Duets, Sun.Star was able to interview both actors.
When asked on the most difficult part of portraying four different roles consecutively, Faustmann said that memorizing the lines is the hardest part in doing the play.
“Getting the lines as perfect as possible, that's the most difficult part especially when it's not the language you are used to speaking. Sometimes I get tongue twisted, you know they want to say this word but the author's choice was different,” he said.
Faustmann added: “The play is very British in writing and in phrasing. But we are used to the American way where we can just adlib or paraphrase it. In British you can't because you might not get the whole point of the story.
According to Virata, the script was send to them two years ago and decided to use it as REP's 2010 season-opener.
Faustmann said they really work on following the script as strictly as possible because any changes made would not make the play sounds good.
Virata also shared that during their rehearsal they sometimes mixed up the names and tend to forget the next line that should be said.
“In the beginning there are a few instances when he will repeat words from the play. The funny thing is during the rehearsals we get the names mixed up, but it can be confusing at first,” she said.
She added that working with Faustmann for several years already gave them the opportunity to blend in the stage well and to pick-up when someone left off.
“Usually we can save each other, but the thing is when you are working for so long it’s a matter of trust, but we try to help each other out when something happens,” Virata said. “Miguel is a great actor and a very generous one to his audience and partner.”
The two were already partnered in “Two Keys,” “Evita,” “It Had To Be You,” “Les Miserables,” “Moon Over Buffalo,” “Cactus Flower,” “The Boy Friend," “Deathtrap” and more.
Faustmann, who join REP during its 10th season, said its every actors dream to play his part in Duets.
“It is lovely for an actor to be included in this production. It's really an actor’s dream to play as many roles as he can and hopefully with different people,” he said.
Vitara, who is currently the Associate Artistic Director and joined Rep during its 13th season, said that though it’s a tough act, it’s a fulfilling role as an actress.
“It is all done with hard work and it’s a challenge for me. As an actress it's also fulfilling to do four different characters all at the same time,” she said.
Vitara to date had already done about 200 plays and musical and is set to direct "Romeo and Bernadette" this coming February.
“Duets will be shown all Friday, Saturday and Sundays of January at Onstage, Greenbelt 1. (Glaiza Jarloc/Sunnex)