So much for casting against type, I thought. Still, it is a lead role.
“The Ugly Duckling” was one of three one-act plays for our year-end production. We rehearsed all throughout Christmas break, and by the end of January we were almost ready for our opening night scheduled around the last week of February. But then Juan Ponce Enrile and Fidel V. Ramos withdrew their support for President Marcos and holed themselves up in Camp Aguinaldo. Thus began the People Power Revolution of 1986.
At the start, no one knew just how long the standoff between the Pro-Cory and Pro-Marcos forces would last. We couldn’t reschedule the dates because of the venue’s availability. We were in a quandary. Should we push through with the performances or not? Some members of the cast and crew preferred to drop the plays and instead join the gathering crowd in EDSA. Others felt that we should continue with the performances, lack of audience be damned. The compromise? We had one invitational performance for the families and friends of the cast and crew.
After that one and only performance, I went with the school contingent to EDSA and helped man our outpost near Greenhills. The rest is history.
Cut to 26 years later.
D was proudly telling me of the time when his class won over-all best production in their high school theater competition. Each class interpreted the same one-act piece; D directed, designed, and acted in their production.
He described his role and the play in general: a plain but witty princess, a plain but smart prince, and switched identities. Wait a minute. Could it be? Is it she? Sacrébleu!
“Hon, was your play entitled ‘The Ugly Duckling’?” I asked.
“Yeah! ‘The Ugly Duckling’ or ‘Princess’ or something like that,” he replied, excited. “You know that play?”
“Not only do I know the play,” I replied, “I also played the same role you played!”
D’s eyes widened. “OMG! You also played the prince?!” (“Hindi, yung prinsesa!” sana ang sinagot ko sa kanya.)
That night, D was so kilig.