The Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) partners with The Necessary Theater to bring to its stage the multi-awarded and highly acclaimed THE NORMAL HEART from June 3 to 5.
A largely autobiographical piece by playwright and activist Larry Kramer, THE NORMAL HEART follows the rise of HIV-AIDS in the 1980’s through the eyes of Ned Weeks, a passionate writer in New York. At a time when the disease was still unknown to many, the characters find themselves fighting for medical support against a sickness that was plaguing their community. The play premiered in the Philippines at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza last July 2015. When PETA officers saw the performance, they felt the need to bring the play to a larger audience. On top of its powerful acting and beautiful staging, the play tackles the relevant and timely issue of HIV and AIDS, a topic that is close to PETA’s heart. The company immediately contacted The Necessary Theatre to produce a re-staging of THE NORMAL HEART – this time, at the PETA Theater Center.
The partnership between the two theater companies opens a wider avenue for the play’s advocacy to be promoted. Director and lead actor, Bart Guingona, is also excited about the partnership. “PETA is known for doing essential Filipino work and this venture expands its purview to include universally resonant materials not necessarily written by, but mounted by, and relevant to all Filipinos. We hail this opportunity to partner with an institution as vital and important as PETA. Although set in early eighties New York, it talks about universal issues such as the political nature of health care and of activism as a necessary factor in effecting change. It is also an opportunity to sound the alarm bells for the growing HIV crisis among our own youth.”
This is especially appropriate for Quezon City where the highest number of HIV and AIDS cases in NCR has been recorded in 2014 and 2015. Both companies hope to ignite awareness among the audience on HIV, AIDS and its prevention through the staging of this socially significant play.
Love Yourself, a community of volunteers that strongly advocate testing and education on HIV, is also a partner in this project. They will provide a discussion after every show with the audience members to discuss and process their thoughts on the piece. In this way, the play’s advocacy not only sparks an emotion among those who have seen it but also translates into a call to action to fight the disease and the stigma around it.
This re-staging is also supported by private companies that believe and support the play’s advocacy, including DKT International, Bliss, Café Diem and Recipes Restaurants.
THE NORMAL HEART will run on June 3 (8pm), June 4 (3pm and 8pm) and June 5 (3pm and 8pm) at the PETA Theater Center located at No. 5 Eymard Drive, New Manila, Quezon City on. For tickets, please log on to www.ticketworld.com.ph or call the PETA Theater Center office at (0927) 391 7379 or 725 6244 loc. 23.