Indonesian theater troupe Teater Koma is scheduled to stage a science fiction play for the first time.
Titled Gemintang, Sebuah Kisah Cinta di Negeri Tanpa Cinta (Constellation, a Love Story in a Hheartless Country), it will be staged from June 29 to July 8 at Graha Bhakti Budaya in Taman Ismail Marzuki, Central Jakarta.
The troupe’s 143rd play, Gemintang follows the story of an astronomer, Arjuna Wibowo (Rangga Riantiarno), who falls in love with Sumbadra (Tuti Hartati). But Sumbadra, whose real name is Ssumphphwttsspahzaliapahssttphph, is actually an alien from Ssumvitphphpah, a planet located 12 billion light years from Earth.
Despite this, Arjuna still wants to introduce Sumbadra to his family.
Composer Fero Aldiansyah Stefanus (left), Billy Gamaliel from the Bakti Budaya Djarum Foundation (second left), director Nano Riantiarno (center), production head Ratna Riantiarno (second right) and art director Idries Pulungan answer questions during press conference for “Gemintang” at Galeri Indonesia Kaya, Central Jakarta, on Monday, June 25. (Bakti Budaya Djarum Foundation /File)
Meanwhile, Wibowo, Arjuna’s father, is known an important figure in his country. But beneath his mask, Wibowo is corrupt and afraid to be punished for his wrongdoings. How will Wibowo react when he meets Sumbadra for the first time? Will Arjuna and Sumbadra unite as a couple?
Speaking at a press conference on Monday to announce the play, director Nano Riantiarno said he spent a month writing the script.
“It’s actually just an ordinary script, but when it’s analyzed, it becomes something,” Nano said at Galeri Indonesia Kaya, Central Jakarta.
The play is a critique of Indonesia’s current condition, he added.
With a three-hour run time, Gemintang will be accompanied by a simpler music arrangement compared to the troupe’s usual plays.
“I try to set the music as simple as possible because the theme is unlimited imagination,” said composer Fero Aldiansyah Stefanus. “There will be many repetitions. The song and music won’t be too weird; I’ll just let the audiences use their own imagination.”
Gemintang will also tap into multimedia to depict two different universes and outer space.
“It’s a virtual set that combines set decoration and multimedia,” said Idries Pulungan, the play’s art director.
Meanwhile, Rangga and Tuti said all the cast members did their research before stepping on stage as their respective characters, including at the Planetarium in Central Jakarta.
“We at least tried to understand how small humans are compared to all the objects in the space. Our problems are not too important compared to the expanse of our universe,” Rangga said.
Director Nano Riantiarno (left) with Teater Koma’s production head Ratna Riantiarno. (Bakti Budaya Djarum Foundation /File)
Unlike Rangga, Tuti was slightly confused during her research as the existence of aliens is still debatable.
“I learned [about the idea of aliens] from articles, the internet and discussions with friends. It all comes back to our imagination. I also tried to discuss the subject with the director,” Tuti said.
To watch Gemintang, book your tickets online with prices starting from Rp 80,000 (US$5.6o).