Of Family Ties and Mental Illness

The Theater House of Black presents its maiden production, ‘14 Leandro Road’, a story of the Laperal family in Baguio City

THEATER REVIEW

BY GELYKA RUTH R. DUMARAOS
PHOTOS BY RAMIR G. CAMBIADO


What could be a happy reunion for good friends Edna Ramos and high school classmate Pilar Laperal ended up as a big reveal of the latter’s chilling family secret.

Theater actress Gold Villar plays as Edna, a real-estate agent
Theater actress Gold Villar plays as Edna, a real-estate agent

Real-estate agent Edna Ramos, a woman so sure and confident of her life—being a manager that she is, and with a love life she is proud of, visited Pilar in her old house located in the outskirts of Baguio City, after 20 years of not seeing each other.

Pilar, on the other hand, is a melancholic woman who loves to dance with jazz music, drink her favorite wine, and just revel on memories and madness within the walls of her family’s house.

Actress Mosang plays as Pilar
Actress Mosang plays as Pilar

Pilar is living with Anna, her innocent yet playful and carefree younger sister. Edna soon finds out that the young woman had been dealing with a mental illness that has not been addressed, despite the presence of her resident doctor Dr. Lita Dumas. She would go around the house, play, ask questions, respond to voices she can only hear, and whisper words into thin air.

While Pilar, also with an unknown mental illness, deals with the voices of her dead mother and grandmother—Anna’s innocence and curiosity has found comfort in the Edna’s charm.

Entering the chilly Laperal White House was something Edna regretted. What was supposed to be a one-night stay in the house ended up in days and weeks, until she no longer knew what date and time it was. She no longer has the ability to escape and go back to her normal, daily life.

Little did she know, Edna is being trapped with the creepy secrets of the family, and each day she wanted to escape, her thoughts pull her away from grabbing her bag or dialing that phone number of her partner she once memorized. She was trapped.

Pilar and Edna reminicse their childhood
Pilar and Edna reminicse their childhood

For the family, Anna’s condition is the curse of the old haunted house. But it’s not only Anna whose mind seemed to be lost by her unknown mental illness. Dr. Dumas, meanwhile, is a physician seemed to have also lost her sanity after years of spending time with the Laperals. The chilling vibe of the house is no match to the creepy stories within its walls—from murders to lust and betrayal, all these was witnessed by the doctor.

“14 Leandro Road” is a story as twisted as the characters’ imaginations are—full of grandiose, curiosity, and horrible secrets. But more than its creepiness, this adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Fall of the House of Usher” by Jay Crisostomo and CK Bautista highlights a more pressing concern of the society today—family ties and mental illness.

It opens our minds to understand, to know deeper, to not be afraid, and to know their story which they cannot tell in one sitting. No, they can’t give you everything. Perhaps they can only give you are whispers, laughter, or hugs, but the absences of words and the way they act makes you realized that there is more to them than what people stereotyped them to be. They have stories to tell and all they need are people who can listen.

Peewe O’Hara plays as Donya Victorina, their dead grandmother who has been haunting the White House
Peewe O’Hara plays as Donya Victorina, their dead grandmother who has been haunting the White House

The characters came to life with cast Harry David/Gold Villar (Ed/Edna), Migui Moreno/Mosang (Rudy/Pilar), Gry Gimena/Ahlex Leyva (Anton/Anna), Patricia Ismael and Marife Necesito (Dra. Lita Dumas), Peewee O’Hara (Donya Victorina), and May Bayot (Consuelo).

“14 Leandro Road” is brought on stage by the Theater House of Black.

November 2016 Health and Lifestyle

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