On a time where apathy for social issues and injustices is being apparent, the restaging of Lean is very timely. Lean was first staged in 1997 in commemoration of Lean Alejandro’s assassination. Lean Alejandro is a young activist who served as the University of the Philippines student council chairman as the height of martial law during the Marcos dictatorship. He led several struggles for freedom and helped form multi-sectoral organizations against the dictatorship. He is also known as a great speaker that he captivated a number of people to join his cause and fight for freedom – “The struggle for freedom is the next big thing to actually being free.” This is a famous quotation from Lean. Unfortunately, his struggles ended early as he was assassinated on September 19, 1987 at age 27. Up to now, no one has been caught for his assassination.
People who have know Lean say that his actions probably defined the epitome of student activism. They say that even if Lean was their leader, he would stay at the front lines and is willing to take the first bullet from the authorities.
The restaging of Lean came timely because of the recent pork barrel scam that involves a lot of our politicians. The people’s sentiments and anger for this issue can be felt through the play. In addition, the play tells its audience to keep vigilant and to act against corruption and abuse. During Lean’s time, he was the one who directed the people’s anger against the dictatorship to the right path. And now, the restaging of Lean by the U.P Repertory is doing this role. It is great that despite the looming apathy among the youth today, the UP Repertory would stage a play like this.
– Espino, Jose Mari