Look back on your childhood with Ikarus Theater Collaborative’s ‘Ang Manikang Kuneho’

Children’s stories are usually as gut-wrenching for adults as they are for kids. With our added layer of perspective and lessened optimism we once had as children, we tend to reflect on symbolisms more deeply, or sit on throwaway dialogues for longer. Ang Manikang Kuneho, a Filipino musical adaptation based on Margaret Williams’ The Velveteen Rabbit has the same effect — the playful nature of the story and its emotional undertones leaves plenty of room for self-reflection.

 

“There’s a power in children’s stories — they speak to you as adults, they speak to you as children.”

 

Ang Manikang Kuneho serves as Ikarus Theater Collaborative’s first production of the year for its sixth season. The musical is written and directed by award-winning playwright Jay Crisostomo IV, and is centered on a stuffed rabbit, who finds a new home with a young boy and yearns for his love in order to be “real.” Although intended for children, the musical will touch the hearts of adults too. “There’s a power in children’s stories — they speak to you as adults, they speak to you as children. This story, in particular, touched me as a playwright and as a director,” says Jay. “As an adult, I guess we have to choose to become real as well. I think that’s a powerful message both for adults and children.”

The Ikarus Theater Collaborative has been producing children’s play like Ang Prinsipito and Marikit Na, but with the local theater scene diversifying, they aim to bring lesser-known stories to the stage. Although The Velveteen Rabbit may not be familiar to all, its story is both compelling and emotionally driven. We delve into the stuffed rabbit’s world and its quest to belong and become real — themes that all of us are familiar with.

As a high school teacher himself, Jay also hopes that kids take home elements of empowerment from this story. He adds, “I want them to like themselves. I want them to own up to themselves rather than fulfill a stereotype.”

The musical will run at DITO: Bahay ng Sining in Marikina, .a theater-slash-cafe that gives life to written stories and serves as a space for creatives to make art — a home for them to be real, a lot like the stuffed rabbit’s wish.

 

Ang Manikang Kuneho opened on Jan. 25 and will run until Feb. 16. For more information and updates about Ang Manikang Kuneho, visit Ikarus Theater Collaborative’s Facebook.

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#art #FYI #self #theater

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