Cover and Excerpt from Harder, Faster, Wetter and the Tarot Project

What do you think of the cover:

Title Page

It's my thesis cover!

(Photo taken during the 2012 run of Magkano, as part of MWAH: Malay~Walay~Halay. Direction by Fitz Bitana, starring Kemuel Ubaldo and Dean San Diego. Photo taken by Melai Saunders.)

If you want to read excerpts from the plays in my thesis, just visit the previous blog post 🙂

Let me excerpt from my introduction:

“Although art is not a science, all artists, whether performance or literary, take inspiration and training from the world they move in. This collection from a budding young playwright is not the product of writing from within the vacuum of the self. Neither is it the outcome of aimless writing from within the confines of a room, the writer striking away at the keys of a laptop until he happens to hit on something meaningful.

This collection is an offering towards the tradition of dramatic writing, a history so powerful that it sets forth a problem against budding young writers. Familiarity with both the history and canon of drama and faced with the humbling idea of the ghosts of Sophocles, Shakespeare, Ibsen, Chekhov, Beckett, Brecht, Albee, O’Neill, Miller, Moliere, dela Barca, Congreve, Williams, Strindberg, Plautus, Aeschylus, Aristophanes, Wilde, Wycherley, Anouilh, Ionesco and all the great dead playwrights looking upon your work would render any contemporary writer baffled. All that can be done is to hold our heads up high, raise our manuscripts in front of their statues and be proud to be part of that great tradition, even how small or insignificant ours texts appear to be.

The works in this collection are primarily defined by factors that surround me as a playwright. On one hand, all the theories and guidelines in writing a text, all the way from Aristotle down to modern critics like Lajos Egri, have contributed toward the actual crafting of my written output.

Then there is the practical exposure and training, both theatrical and literary, I have imbibed during my five-year stay at the University of the Philippines — from DUP, from laboratory productions within and outside the campus, from staged readings of my works, from acting and directing, from poetry and prose, from workshops, from audience feedbacks, from all the acclaim and criticism given or levied toward me and from all the training received from both theater and the writing worlds — all synthesizing into the specialized skill of playwriting.

Lastly, knowledge, either theoretical or practical, can only be tempered with a personal view on society and history and how these works function as a playwright born more than two thousand years since the creation of drama in Ancient Greece, as a playwright exposed to the gravitas of dramatic canon, as a playwright in a world of countless writers and artists, where text breathes through the bodies of actors, as a playwright in a country riddled with war and suffering and poverty and oppression, as a playwright — a student playwright — bombarded by countless conflicting ideologies and theories and questions of craft, as a playwright being pulled by the literary world where the personal is explicit and the dramatic world where the social is exposed, as a playwright, fresh but belated, with a new aria to sing about all the things all the playwrights here and there, now and then, have spoken about throughout the years and will continue to talk about in the years to come.

I am Riley Palanca. I am a writer. I am a theatre artist. But most of all, I am a playwright.”

Unnamed Tarot Project

Another project I’m really excited about aside from my thesis is the compiled and revised tarot challenge. Tell me what you think of it 🙂

Mind of Medea (Eight of Swords)

Honest Fighting Drive (Knight of Wands)

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