TEATRO EUROPA IN BAGUIO. Spanish playwright Lope De Vega’s ‘Fuente Ovejuna’ being shown in a theater play at St. Louis University in Baguio City on Saturday (Aug. 28, 2022). Among those in the audience were EU Delegation First Secretary Frederic Grillet and Spanish Charge d’ Affaires Carmela Barcia, who praised the play's 'universal' plot that still applies to this day. (PNA photo by Liza T. Agoot)

BAGUIO CITY – Spanish Charge d’ Affaires Carmela Barcia said Felix Lope de Vega Carpio’s play “Fuente Ovejuna” which was staged at Saint Louis University here on Saturday has a plot that applies to the present day.

The play is part of the Teatro Europa, the annual theater festival organized by the EU Delegation to the Philippines

“The world is so big and so global but the idea of human rights, honor, solidarity and also of fighting against tyrants is universal, it is present, it is past, it is here and it is all overk the world,” Barcia said in an interview on the sidelines of the theater production.

She said the story was written during the golden age of Spanish literature based on a real story and was first screened in 1619.

“It’s a story of how a town rebelled against the tyrant who was abusing, not respecting the laws, and making laws of his own. It’s a story about honor because it’s the honor of every person in the town that they have to defend. It’s a question of solidarity because each person in the town has to defend the honor of their neighbors and the honor of the town, they come together to fight against the tyrant,” Barcia said.

Further, she said “the whole town stood together and they would say Fuente Ovejuna did it. It is not one character but the whole community that becomes the protagonist in the story.”

First Secretary Frederic Grillet of the European Union Delegation to the Philippines, said the third edition of the theater festival is different from the first two which were all shown virtually. “We are very happy that this time we can do it in person and hybrid version,” he said.

The official said amid the challenges of putting together a play considering Covid-19, the earthquake and the typhoon that made it difficult to prepare, the presentation was impressive.

“It is not an easy play to do as you’ve seen in the performance. It requires a lot of people, a lot of talent, it was brought very well and I enjoyed it very much,” Grillet said.

He noted that it is Saint Louis University’s second year of partnership with the EU for the Teatro Europa.

“Last year, we had 16 and this year we have 18 universities. On our end, we are not planning to stop it. Next year is going to be a new edition and this will be a regular thing,” Grillet said.

He said they are open to partnerships with new schools and universities who are interested in participating in the program.

Meanwhile, in a recorded message before the start of the play, European Union Ambassador Luc Veron said, “theater is a fundamental part of Europe’s culture and heritage, it is also an effective platform to express our identities as European and Filipino.”

He added that the theater plays included in the third edition of the “Teatro Europa” involve 18 universities in the country showing different plays from different countries in Europe.

The ambassador also asked viewers to enjoy the different theater plays but in the process, not to forget Ukraine’s sufferings and the consequences of the cruel war that must stop. (PNA)