Hapsari Andira plays Jinten during the premiere of 'J.J Sampah-Sampah Kota' by Teater Koma at Taman Ismail Marzuki in Central Jakarta on Thursday. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
40-Year-Old Play Restaged, Refreshed by Teater Koma
BY :YUDHA BASKORO
NOVEMBER 08, 2019
Indonesia's legendary theater troupe Teater Koma restaged a decades-old play that portrayed the life of poor families in an urban jungle on Thursday. The new-but-old play was directed by Rangga Riantiarno, who took his inspirations from the original script written by his father and the founder of the troupe, Nano Riantiarno.
Titled "J.J. Sampah-Sampah Kota" ("J.J. Refuse of the City"), the play was staged at Graha Bhakti Budaya, the old, slightly decrepit theater building in the Taman Ismail Marzuki art center in Central Jakarta that is currently undergoing a major renovation.
The play tells the story of families who live under a bridge in the city and have to obey the commands of a "Mandor Kepala" (foreman) and his three sidekicks. The heroes of the play are the garbage collector Jian and his pregnant wife Juhro.
One day, the foreman decides to subject the poor families living under the bridge to an "integrity test." His sidekicks drop a suitcase filled with money near the bridge that's later found by Jian. The garbageman soon finds himself in a big dilemma. He desperately needs the money for his wife who is about to give birth, but his conscience prevents him from just taking the money and run.
What Jian decides to do ultimately leads to dramatic scenes in the second half of the play.
Teater Koma's co-founder and director Nano Riantiarno wrote the original script while he spent time at the famous Iowa Writers' Workshop and staged it for for the first time 40 years ago.
His son Rangga lent a modern touch to the play in only his second show as Teater Koma director after "Antigoneo" in 2011.
His unique graphic design combined with carefully-choreographed lights and multimedia shows shot on a giant backdrop screen seemed to have amused many in the audience.
The new "J.J Sampah-Sampah Kota" featured senior actors such as Idries Pulungan, Budi Ros, Daisy Lantang, Ratna Ully, Ohan Adiputra, Tuti Hartati and Ade Firman Hakim.
This is the 159th production by Teater Koma and will run until Nov. 17.