Filipinos may have seen and enjoyed the 2016 American 3D computer-animated musical fantasy comedy adventure film titled ‘Moana’ which was produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures; but on March 14-15, 1PM and 7PM at the DL Umali Auditorium, University of the Philippines-Los Baños—a new musical will come to life—‘Agra’.
Like the lead character ‘Moana’, the strong-willed daughter of the chief of a Polynesian tribe, who is chosen by the ocean itself to reunite a mystical relic with a goddess; the Jessa Jael Arana and Gracetine Magpantay-penned musical puts ‘Agra’, a princess of Farmaya, is torn between her strong-willed radical sister Sonia and her dominating conservative father Ekono. To create a compromise, she invents Siporia, an enhanced rice species, in the hopes of restoring her family and her kingdom’s old greatness. All the while the land of Lakapati braces itself for the coming onslaught of a deadly pest.
‘Agra’ takes inspiration from the stories and issues surrounding Philippine agriculture, and retells it in the agrarian fantasy world of the kingdoms forming the land of Lakapati. It presents the pressing issue on the continuing, dwindling of farmer population as technology savvy youth are lured to office jobs in the city.
The production hopes to change such looming scenario and encourage more young people to see and be a part of the greater role of agriculture as advocated by the Young Professionals for Agricultural Development (YPARD), UP Broadway Company (UPBC) and in cooperation with the UPLB Office for Initiatives in Culture and the Arts (OICA).
The play is directed by CAS Department of Humanities professor, Aileen Dela Cruz. It also features performances of the two alternating Agras—Maxine Ramos and Jayne Caranto, AJ Marquez and Giselle Barrientos as Sonia, Third Alub and Jules Rivera as Yiro, Salvador Lleno Jr. and Gab Carreon as Hener, and Raffi Canilas as Ekono.
Admission for ‘Agra: A New Musical’ is free. For inquiries and sponsorship you may contact Almeera at +63977 819 7647. To learn more about Agra, like Agra’s facebook page.
Tags: 'Agra: A New Musical', University of the Philippines-Los Baños, UP Broadway Company (UPBC), UPLB Office for Initiatives in Culture and the Arts (OICA), Young Professionals for Agricultural Development (YPARD)