An exciting lineup of comebacks and new projects are to be expected as the Philippine Educational Theater (PETA) gears towards its golden year! A year shy from turning 50, PETA launches its fundraising campaign with one of its biggest hits “Rak of Aegis”.
“PETA is not only looking back by celebrating the milestones and achievements of the company. The 50th year will be dedicated to expanding and deepening the cultural mission of PETA. It is also meant to ensure the sustainability of the company which will enable us to continue our work, fund future generations of artists and cultural workers and allow those who do not have financial resources to gain access to our programs,” shares PETA President, Cecilia Garrucho.
PETA’s original Filipino musical “Rak of Aegis” which features songs from the iconic band Aegis, such as “Luha” “Halik” and “Basang-basa sa Ulan” is set to run from June 17 to August 28 with a whopping 82 shows.
This season, the talented Rak ensemble reprise their roles as the colorful Villa Venizians with two wickedly talented new Aileens in The Voice runner up Alisah Bonaobra, and actress Tanya Manalang.
Theater newbie Alisah shares she has a lot more in common with Aileen apart from a powerful singing voice. “Yung gusto kong sumikat at madiscover sa Youtube, yun talaga yung tumatak sakin!” she admits, laughing.
Prior to becoming the runner up on The Voice Philippine’s second season, clips of Alisah singing ‘Let It Go’ on a karaoke machine in a well-known mall went viral on Youtube. Lately, she enjoys a stint in Eat Bulaga’s Just Duet segment with Rak co-star Aicelle Santos.
Albeit daunted and nervous, Alisah is grateful for the opportunity to debut into theater with such an established production. As a gifted performer, she now braves new heights with the hopes of developing her acting skills. “Gusto ko kasi talaga matuto… sana mahasa yung acting skills ko at pagkanta kasi iba ‘pag theater, iba rin naman ‘pag live.”
Meanwhile Tanya Manalang, also taking on the role of Aileen, is no stranger to theater. Most recently, she was on the London stage playing Kim in the musical Miss Saigon. This is her first Filipino musical, and her first production with PETA.
“I’ve been hearing great things about [Rak of Aegis], birit musical to e; that in itself, challenge na yun.” she shares. “But I’m just gonna keep training in my spare time, to use the right technique; ‘di naman ako talaga biritera, but I have to finish the show without injuring my voice.”
Tanya began her formal training in theater at age six and was recently trained in musical theater at the Arts Educational School in London. Despite the rigorous discipline and focus theater demands, Tanya relates most to her character’s cheerfulness. “[Aileen] is bubbly, she’s generally a very cheerful person and I see that in myself. Kalog kasi talaga ako!”
Also new to the Rak stage are powerhouse veterans up-and-coming theatre actors Vince Lim (as Kenny), Carla Laforteza (as Mary Jane), Tricia Jimenez and Joann Co (alternating as Mercy), and Jon Santos (as Fernan).
Reprising the role of “Aileen” is Kapuso breakout star Aicelle Santos and TV/theater actress Kim Molina. Several talented Venizia veterans are back as well, including Benj Manalo, Jerald Napoles, Pepe Herrera, Myke Salomon, Poppert Bernadas, OJ Mariano, Renz Verano, Loy Martinez, Shiela Valderrama-Martinez, Sweet Plantado, Kakai Bautista, Neomi Gonzales, Juliene Mendoza, Gilbert Onida, Jimi Marquez, Phi Palmos, Ron Alfonso, Carlon Matobato, Gio Gahol, John Moran, Paeng Sudayan, Roi Calilong, Gimbey Dela Cruz, Abi Sulit, Via Antonio, Gold Villar, Teetin Villanueva, Raflesia Bravo, Jet Barrun, and Gab Pangilinan.
Since its opening in 2014, Rak has continued to wow audiences and critics, with well over 200 shows, and more than 20 citations for performance and technical categories including Outstanding Original Musical, Outstanding Ensemble performance for a Musical, Stage Direction for a Musical (Maribel Legarda), Musical Direction (Myke Salomon), Choreography (Gio Gahol), Costume Design (Carlo Pagunaling), Set Design (Mio Infante), Male and Female Featured Performances (Kalila Aguilos, Sweet Plantado-Tiongson, Shiela Valderrama-Martinez, Myke Salomon, Renz Verano, Lorenz Martinez, Pepe Herrera, Jerald Napoles, and Juliene Mendoza).
Constant throughout the years are the ensembles’ vocal prowess, and the production’s timeless message about Filipino resilience; yet expect new faces in the colorful town of Villa Venizia as theater veterans and well-loved TV actors are added into the fold.
Rak’s last three weekends are dedicated to raise funds for PETA’s 50th year celebration.
President Cecilia Garrucho affirms that PETA’s commitment to its vision remains steadfast and invites the public to “join in celebrating what the company has done in the last 50 years and take PETA beyond 50”.
Rak of Aegis tickets are available via www.ticketworld.com.ph. For more information, contact PETA at 725-6244, 0917-5391112 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
SOURCE: Philippine Educational Theater Association