Here's How Marian Rivera Ended Up Acting for a Student Org's Play

"One hundred percent talaga silang magbigay."
by Mylene Mendoza   |  Feb 11, 2021
Image: (LEFT TO RIGHT) INSTAGRAM/MARIANRIVERA, COURTESY OF TANGHALANG ATENEO
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One of the local entertainment industry's teleserye staples is actress Marian Rivera. A loyal Kapuso star, Marian has headlined several iconic TV series like Marimar, Dyesebel, and Mars Ravelo's Darna. This year, though, the sought-after actress is venturing into new terrain. She's joining the cast of Password: 03d1pu5_R3x, a theater play produced by Tanghalang Ateneo (TA). TA is a school-based theater company and one of the five student organizations under Ateneo de Manila University's Performing Arts Cluster.

Marian was invited to play the role of Vice President Kreon by the play's director, Ron Capinding, who originally had her husband Dingdong Dantes in mind for the part. In the director's original vision, it was Dingdong who seemed most fit for the role, and it was also the actor Capinding first reached out to regarding the play.

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But as Capinding's vision for the play developed, he realized that Kreon would be more relevant to current times if the role was female. On why he thinks Marian is the best candidate for the revised Kreon character, Capinding tells Dingdong, "Your wife on the other hand naturally exudes that internal strength, that 'you can’t bring me down' stance, and that accessible-yet-respectable quality that will be so beneficial to the Kreon role in my adaptation, not to mention her clarity and her ability to convey emotions that I believe are among the best we have in the film industry."

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Joining Marian are theater veterans Yan Yuzon, Miren Alvarez-Fabregas, Katski FloresGabe Mercado, and Marlon Rivera. Of course, you can't have a student org's play without students in the cast. ADMU college students Dani Capinding, Nicole Chua, Miguel Datu, Trixie Dela Cruz, Kat Dizon, Shaun Ocrisma, and Lars Salamante are also set to show their acting chops in this completely digital performance.

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As someone who's worked with veteran actors in showbiz, it was Marian's first time to act alongside full-time college students. And even though they still don't have the years of experience like the Kapuso star does, Marian was not shy in giving her student castmates compliments.

Candy had the chance to talk to the 36-year-old actress about her role in the play during the virtual #SummitSandwichSessions. When asked if there was anything different about acting with the theater kids in college compared to acting with fellow big leagues in showbiz, Marian says, "Sa totoo lang, wala akong nakitang diperensiya. Kasi yung mga college students na nandoon sa play, nakita ko kung gaano nila... feeling ko nga rolling na 'yun e. Feeling nila nagro-roll na, pero rehearsal pa lang.

"One hundred percent talaga silang magbigay, as in todo talaga pala 'pag teatro kahit rehearsal. Kaya minsan nahihiya ako 'pag rehearsal tinotodo ko na rin para baka sabihin na, 'Ano ba 'to si Marian hindi umaarte.' So alam mo 'yon, may todohan talaga sa teatro."

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Difference of theater and TV acting

Aside from acting alongside students, Marian also talked about the main difference she noticed between theater acting and acting on TV. "Sa soap opera kasi, minsan nagto-throw lines ka lang, kung baga, no feelings muna. Wala munang emotions. 'Pag nag-roll yung camera, actor's cue, lalo na kapag may mga eksenang iiyak ka. So may mga actor's cue. Hindi katulad sa teatro, rehearsal pa lang, todo bigay talaga sila." 

Performance-wise, however, Marian says the passion for acting among theater performers and TV actors is equally just as overflowing. "Sa performance, and everything, palagay ko ay pantay sa telebisiyon at teatro. Kasi siguro nakikita ko kung gaano nila kamahal ang pag-arte. Ganun din sa pag-aartista. So para sa akin, parehas lang. Iba lang ang rehearsals nila. Yung isa, todo bigay, yung isa, hold muna the emotions."

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A post shared by Tanghalang Ateneo (@tanghalangateneo)

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Viewers can see just how much emotions each of the actors have conveyed in the trailer alone. If you're curious about Marian's first foray into theater, TA describes Password: 03d1pu5_R3x as, "a present-day adaptation of Sophocles' first play from the immortal Oedipus trilogy, which occurs in the current global situation of pandemic isolation and despair, thereby pushing the boundaries of theatrical performance while courageously commenting on the tragedies imminent with the rise of populism within the country and the rest of the world."

Password: 03d1pu5_R3x is showing on February 22, 25, and 27, 2021. Tickets are worth P150 for general viewing and P250 for general viewing coupled with a souvenir program, and can be purchased through Ticket2Me. You can watch the play on your chosen showing date and will be given 24 hours to do so.

Learn more about the play and Marian's participation through this video:

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Mylene Mendoza
Candy Staff Writer
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