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NEWS: The Virgin LabFest 2020 KAPIT is EXTENDED this July

VLF2020 KAPIT logo

DUE to insistent public demand, the Virgin Labfest 2020: Kapit will have its extended run on Vimeo, starting July 2 to 15, 2020.

For two more weeks, theater fans will have a chance to watch and experience the theater festival of untried, untested and unstaged plays on the virtual stage.

Fifteen main features, staged readings and revisited plays will have their extended run, namely Nicko de Guzman’s Bagahe, Tyrone Casumpang’s BlackPink, Jay Crisostomo’s Dapithapon, Dingdong Novenario’s Dominador Gonzales – National Artist, Herlyn Alegre’s Fangirls, Luisito Nario’s Gin Bilog, Buch Dacanay’s Jenny Li, Bernice Dacara’s Matira Matibay, Norman Boquiren’s Mayang Bubot sa Tag-araw, Claro De Los Reyes’ Mongoloida’s Casa De Pun, Juliene Mendoza’s Multiverse, Daryl Pasion’s Papaano Turuan Ang Babae Humawak ng Baril, Floyd Scott Tiogangco’s Pilot Episode, Kim Vergara’s The Boyboy and Friends Channel, and Jobert Gray’s Titser Kit.

Sign up with Vimeo to subscribe.  Avail the Regular Package (Php100) to access all the extended plays.  Or opt for the Premium Package (Php100) to access the plays with special features. Log on to https://vimeo.com/ondemand/vlf2020kapit.

With the assistance from Japan Foundation, all plays will have English subtitles.

Read the VLF 2020: Kapit Souvenir Program: https://bit.ly/3cQi894

Engage with the VLF community.  Join the VLF online hangout place! https://bit.ly/36QdOp0

Share your VLF experience using the hashtags #VLF2020 #VLFKapit #CCPOnline #CCP50

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News: PETA ONLINE PERFORMANCES ON NATIONALISM AND HEROISM THIS JUNE

PETA Online (banner) june2020

The Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) launched its family-themed Storytelling Sundays series last month, featuring a mix of music, shadow puppetry, animation and performances by various storytellers. This June, PETA’s Storytelling Sundays focuses on the themes of nationalism and heroism, as Filipinos celebrate Independence Day to honor past and modern-day heroes.

As the country begins to face the new normal and other challenges brought by the General Community Quarantine and the COVID-19 pandemic, PETA’s Storytelling Sundays aim to fit its featured stories to teach lessons on current social issues to audiences. “For three Sundays of June, we’re devoting to stories that center on heroism – what makes a hero out of even ordinary Filipinos,” says Storytelling Sundays writer Felinda Bagas. “No matter who we are, what our situations are, we can all be heroes for our country.”



The first of the June series opens June 7, with two stories: Marvino’s League of Superheroes by Rae Rival-Cosico, performed back to back with song-turned-story Ako’y Isang Mabuting Pilipino by singer-song writer Noel Cabangon.

In time for Independence Day, on the second week of June, PETA will feature stories about Andres Bonifacio and Gregoria De Jesus, Ngumiti si Andoy by Xi Zuq and Ang Lakambini at Ako by Becky Bravo, on June 14.

For June’s finale episode, Storytelling Sundays revisits and reinvents of one of PETA’s beloved plays, Christine Bellen’s Batang Rizal on June 28, a condensed adaptation for the digital platform with new animation. This line-up of stories aims to inspire a love for country and people across all ages, during a time when we need it most.

Aside from the theme of nationalism, Storytelling Sundays gives a treat for Father’s Day on June 21 with Russell Molina’s Tuwing Sabado and Ano’ng Gupit Natin Ngayon?, two stories about fatherhood that tell how, in so many ways, our fathers and father-figures influence who we are, how we think, and what kind of persons we could be.

Storytelling Sundays this June is presented by an exciting roster of storytellers: Rak of Aegis’ well-loved ‘Tolits’ Jerald Napoles and Pepe Herrera, renowned folk singer Noel Cabangon, Noel Comia, Jr. and Bourne Livelo from Tagu-taguan Nasaan Ang Buwan?, PETA’s own Gold Villar-Lim, and master storyteller Bodjie Pascua who will be making a comeback in one of the episodes.

PETA’s Shé Maala continues to host Storytelling Sundays, “Shé narrates about the world of storytelling, its importance, and even talks about what elements make a good story,” says Felinda Bagas. “Through our host, our viewers have the chance to better understand the value of the stories, and maybe also learn to become great storytellers and artists themselves.”

As June’s episodes deal with heroes, fathers, and Filipinos, PETA hopes to show viewers how the characters of the stories help us recognize who we are, understand what we feel, and understand other people and their actions and motivations. “I think this is particularly important when we talk about heroes or historical events,” says Felinda Bagas. “These children’s stories bring heroes closer and more relatable to listeners. Our heroes were just like us, and now we get to understand what made them extraordinary. We get to relate to the situations that gave them strength and courage to fight for a whole nation’s freedom.”

“We have a really full program,” shares PETA Artistic Director Maribel Legarda. “It’s very exciting and we’re excited to perform it for audiences.” With the upcoming line-up for Storytelling Sundays, presented by notable artists both in theater and on screen, PETA hopes that all viewers will enjoy and hopefully learn from them – maybe even find something in the stories to hold on to, to help us cope with everything happening in our country and all over the world right now.

Storytelling Sundays streams through PETA’s Facebook Page www.facebook.com/petatheater.

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News: PETA STREAMS STORYTELLING PERFORMANCES

PETA Online (banner)

The Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) continues to create art and reach audiences through the digital space this quarantine. This time, PETA is bringing the spotlight to one of our oldest, but often overlooked, traditions in the Philippines: storytelling.

PETA began to produce online content during quarantine in mid-March, beginning with its online workshop series, Let’s Get Creative, before branching out to other activities like live music jams, live streams, webinars, and a more immersive online workshop for kids called Let’s Get Creative PLUS.

This time, PETA launches another initiative called Storytelling Sundays, which offers free performances for families during quarantine. These performances will be streaming live from PETA’s official Facebook Page and YouTube Channel, encouraging audiences to have a communal experience of watching a show together, while teaching children Filipino values through literature.

Storytelling Sundays was launched last May 17 as a tribute to Rene Villanueva, who was a notable writer not only for theater but also for children’s books. “He was one of the key writers for Batibot, our version of Sesame Street,” says PETA Artistic Director Maribel Legarda who remembers Rene so fondly. “He was very involved with PETA and I think this would be a wonderful platform to be able to give tribute to this man who passed away too soon.”

The first episode of Storytelling Sundays features two performances of Rene’s stories directed by Legarda. Hosted by She Maala. First is a Palanca award-winning short story for children Nemo, Ang Batang Papel narrated by Ian Segarra with shadow play animations by John Moran, and Ang Mga Zimbragatzee ng Planetang Zing narrated by Norbs Portales with live creative sound by Ada Tayao, illustrations by Mikou David.

Watch here: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1419335944920725 

Click here to Watch Nemo, Ang Batang Papel.

 

Click here to Watch “Ang Mga Zimbragatzee ng Planetang Zing”

 

The second episode of Storytelling Sundays will stream on May 24, features Bodjie Pascua, who many of us grew up knowing as “Kuya Bodjie” from the television series Batibot. He will be reading a very relevant story by Jeanette Patindol called Tight Times about families having less food to eat, fewer things to use, and fewer places to go. He is joined by a young storyteller, 10-year-old Frances Villadarez, winner of the 2019 Lampara Storytelling Competition who will be reading Segundo Matias Jr.’s Sikat ang Mommy Ko!.

While Storytelling Sundays appeal to children and the youth, older audiences who grew up with the well-loved classics Batibot, Hiraya Manawari, and more, will also enjoy PETA’s online series as a light-hearted but nostalgic piece that celebrates our own culture and heritage of storytelling.

“Even adults, kids at heart, are more than welcome to come and listen,” says Legarda, noting that up and coming artists can learn the basics of performing through Storytelling Sundays. “It’s also for them to understand what storytelling is, how important it is, and what the elements are in making a story.”

The last episode for streaming for the month of May features Felinda Bagas’ Girl in a Box directed and performed by Ian Segarra on May 31.

As we go through the third month of quarantine this COVID-19 pandemic, PETA finishes up the month of May by bringing Storytelling Sundays as one of our sources of comfort and learning.

Through this series, PETA hopes to honor all sorts of storytellers through various art forms. In the same manner that quarantine has given us the space and time for reflection, PETA revisits the origins of our artistry as Filipinos, where storytelling is essence and key to the works of theater that we know and love today.

The Sunday Storytelling series will be streaming live every Sunday of May,  7:00pm via PETA’s Facebook Fan Page www.facebook.com/petatheater and YouTube Channel: www.youtube.com/petatheateronline.

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News: Zsazsa Zaturnnah Ze Muzikal, Tanghalang Pilipino’s Walang Sugat, Michael Cinco x Ballet Philippines Autumn-Fall 2020 are among the CCP shows in line up to be stream online this May

CCP shows (online streaming) May 2020

Miss going to the Cultural Center of the Philippines and watch its world-class shows? The CCP Online premieres archival recordings and shows in HD that celebrate Filipino artistry and talents.

This May 19, CCP puts the spotlight on the Visayan culture and traditions in “Perlas ng Silangan” (Pearl of the Orient Sun). Made possible through its Cultural Exchange Department, the collaborative dance drama featuring four leading regional performing groups, namely the Sinukwan Kapampangan Performing Arts of Angeles City, Pampanga; Maskara Theater Ensemble of the University of St. La Salle Bacolod City; the Philippine Baranggay Folk Dance Troupe Rondalla from NCR; and the Integrated Performing Arts Guild (IPAG) of MSU-IIT Iligan City. The show was presented on October 10 at the CCP Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino.

Ballet Philippines’ Romeo and Juliet takes audiences on an emotional rollercoaster on May 21. With music by Sergei Prokofiev and choreography by National Artist for Dance Alice Reyes, the Shakespeare’s classic romance tale of star-crossed lovers offer audiences a captivating feast for the senses.

It’s a sarsuwela night on May 23 with Tanghalang Pilipino’s Walang Sugat. Written by Severino Reyes who is regarded as the father of the Tagalog sarsuwela, it follows the story of Tenyong who outwits the people trying to separate him from his love interest Julia. The literary masterpiece speaks against imperialism, revealing scenes that depicted the cruelty of the Spanish friars and how patriotic Filipinos died in their hands.

Tanghalang Pilipino’s Walang Sugat. Photographs by Erickson Dela Cruz © 2012

 

Fashion and ballet come together on May 26 with the Michael Cinco x Ballet Philippines Autumn-Fall 2020. Produced to celebrate the golden anniversary of BP, the one-night gala features Swan Lake-inspired dance choreography by Alden Lugnasin and the couture fashion collection by designer Michael Cinco.

 

Agnes Locsin’s neo-ethnic masterpiece, Ballet Philippines’ Encantada, premieres on the virtual stage on May 28. Presented as the opening salvo for BP’s 42nd dance season, it centers around the sovereign spirit of the mountain. The show featured guest artist Georgette Sanchez and BP principal dancer Candice Adea as the Encantada, Jean Marc Cordero as Estranjero and Katherine Trofeo and Carissa Adea as the Babaylan.

 

The hit superhero musical, Zsazsa Zaturnnah Ze Muzikal, saves the day on May 30. Based on graphic novel of the same title by Carlo Vergara and performed by Tanghalang Pilipino actors, it follows the adventure of a gay beauty salon owner who transforms into a voluptuous superhero who saves her town from marauding zombies, power-tripping fashion forward aliens and a giant dancing frog.

Catch these shows at CCP YouTube channels. Watch as much as you can for free. The shows are live for a week. Subscribe to their YouTube channel at bit.ly/CCPOnlineYT!

#CCPOnline
#50CCP

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News: Philippines’ Superstar Ms. Nora Aunor to portray Lola Doc in Tanghalang Pilipino’s PansamanTanghalan

Lola Doc Poster Wide

Featuring the country’s one and only superstar Nora Aunor, “Lola Doc,” a monovlog by Layeta Bucoy scheduled to premiere on Tanghalang Pilipino (TP)’s online project “PansamanTanghalan” in celebration of the multi-awarded actress’ birthday this May 21, talks about the pains of losing one’s husband in the middle of a pandemic, remaining strong for your family, and courageously facing the risk of being stricken by this deadly virus to attend to the sick.

This is the first time that the “Superstar” will do a monovlog, to be presented by Tanghalang Pilipino. “Isang napakagandang akda tungkol sa ating mga bagong bayani, ang mga doctors, at ang kanilang mga sakripisyo. Naka-ilang beses rin akong take sa monovlog bago maging satisfied sa aking nagawa.” says Nora.

Nora admits that it is not easy making a scene by herself, but this challenge is really one of the most painful points of the material – the agony of facing the pandemic alone.

The superstar expresses gratitude to TP Artistic Director Nanding Josef, who performed the well-received “Lolo Doc” monovlog, for inviting her to be “Lola Doc.” Aunor adds that this participation is her contribution to the local arts scene, which was affected severely by the pandemic.



Layeta Bucoy initially explored the monovlog form with Uleb Nieto and Bicol-based theater group Sining Banwa led by Sari Saysay. “Lola Doc” will premiere at the official Youtube channel of Tanghalang Pilipino this May 21, 2020, 6:00PM.

“PansamanTANGHALAN” is supported by the Cultural Center of the Philippines, OKADA, Asian Institute for Distance Education and ABS-CBN’s ticketing platform KTX, Island Rose, Cocolife, AIDE, and OKADA. #PangsamanTanghalan is now streaming! You can subscribe to our official YouTube channel here: http://youtube.com/tanghalangpilipino

For sponsorships and collaborations, you can email us at tanghalangpilipinomarketing@gmail.com or
contact 0999-8843821.

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News: Virgin LabFest 2020 goes on Virtual Stage in time of COVID

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THE Virgin Labfest braves a new front and adjusts to new realities as the playwrights, directors and actors take a further leap of faith to bring the annual festival of untried, untested and unstaged works on a virtual stage. In response to the COVID 19 crisis, the theater festival will have its lockdown edition, slated on June 10 to 28, 2020.

Dubbed “VLF 2020 KAPIT: Lab in the Time of Covid (A Virtual Labfest Lockdown Edition),” the 16th edition will feature nine new works, three revisited works, and six staged readings.

The nine main performances are: “Doggy” by Dustin Celestino, directed by Roobak Valle; “Pilot Episode” by Floyd Scott Tiogangco, directed by Giancarlo Abrahan; “Dapithapon” by Jay Crisostomo IV, directed by Sigmund Roy Pecho; “Papaano Turuan ang Babae Humawak ng Baril” by Daryl Pasion, directed by Erika Estacio; “BlackPink” by Tyron Casumpang, directed by Jethro Tenorio; “Multiverse” by Juliene Mendoza, directed by Fitz Edward Bitana; “Titser Kit” by Jobert Grey Landeza, directed by Adrienne Vergara; “Mayang Bubot sa Tag-araw” by Mark Norma Boquiren, directed by Mark Mirando; and, “Gin Bilog” by Luisito Nario, directed by James Harvey Estrada.

In “Doggy,” a man’s fiancee’s sexual peculiarity becomes his source of repressed anger. Frustrations surface after a game of “Never Ever Have I Ever,” when he learns that his fiancee was more sexually adventurous with her previous lovers.

Pilot Episode” shows a young gay man who just quit his job through a text message, and how his parents attempt to de-escalate his extreme manic-depressive episode.

Dapithapon” follows the story of three boys in their senior high school years who have to confront their greatest fears in a single day: flunking out of school, impossible parental expectations, and an unhealthy infatuation with a teacher. They fervently cling to one another and try fruitlessly to preserve their friendship before they are forever parted by circumstance.

Returning home from an encounter against the NPA, a man reunites with his pregnant wife in “Papaano Turuan ang Babae Humawak ng Baril.” The sweet homecoming turns out to be the complete opposite when the wife is confronted with her husband’s impossible request.

An online rehearsal by the cast of Papaano Turuan ang Babae Humawak ng Baril for the Virgin Labfest 2020 lockdown edition.

In “BlackPink,” a father discovers that his youngest son who is a staunch fan of Blackpink was prohibited by his school principal to dance “Kill This Love” in their Family Day talent contest, and the only way for him to join the competition is if he finds other male students to dance with him. Will he be able to join the Family Day? and dance the BlackPInk hit song?

The cast of BlackPink, one of the participating plays in the Virgin Labfest 2020 lockdown edition during online rehearsals.

Multiverse” reunites two estranged brothers – a writer and a recovering alcoholic. The two reconnect through their mutual love of comic books. As they discuss the concept of alternate realities and dimensions prevalent in most comic book stories, they imagine how much better their relationship would have been in another reality. What if a different reality slowly reveals itself to the two estranged siblings?

When a young student gets into trouble in his new school and becomes what punishment the Principal might sanction him with, he hides inside a dilapidated storage room. He feels safe until “Titser Kit” finds him there.

First reading done online by the cast of Titser Kit, one of the participating plays in the Virgin Labfest 2020 lockdown edition.

Mayang Bubot sa Tag-araw” is a painful tale of two Ayta children whose friendship is tested as they choose different paths. One follows her mother as she seeks the American dream, never thinking of who is hurt along the way. The other remains with their people, working always against oppression.

In “Gin Bilog,” old issues are rehashed in a drinking session of family and friends.

The cast of Gin Bilog, one of the featured plays in the Virgin Labfest 2020 lockdown edition during an online rehearsal.

The Revisited Plays include: “Fangirl” by Herlyn Alegre, directed by Charles Yee; “Anak Ka Ng” by U Z Eliserio, directed by Maynard Manansala; and “Wanted: Male Boarders” by Rick Patriarca, directed by George De Jesus III.

Also catch the Staged Readings: “Jenny Li” by Buch Dacanay, directed by Nour Hooshmand; “Dominador Gonzales – National Artist” by Dingdong Novenario, directed by Joel Bunny Cadag; “LadyMasters” by Rouchelle Dinglasan, directed by Joy Cerro; “Matira ang Matibay” by Bernice Dacara, directed by Alon Segara; “Bagahe” by Nicko de Guzman, directed by Joel Saracho; “Mongoloida’s Casa de Pun” by Claro delos Reyes, directed by Guelan Luarca.

Online rehearsal by the cast of Dominador Gonzales: National Artist, one of the featured staged readings in the Virgin Labfest 2020 lockdown edition.

There will be a VLF Playwright’s Fair, one of the components of the theater festival. A collaboration of the CCP Intertextual Division, the VLF Team and The Writers’ Bloc’s Rody Vera, the fair features Filipino writers. There will be online discussion and digital marketing platform for the expertise, services, publications and other products of writers of theatrical productions.

The VLF Playwrights Fair is free and open to public. It will be held online every 7:00 p.m. during the VLF 2020. Check the FB page of VLF 2020 for the complete line up of speakers and activities.

“The Virgin Labfest is here, and it remains strong and able to adjust to new realities. The festival has a firm fan base which has filled the CCP theaters year in and year out. Let’s continue to tell our stories on the virtual stage,” said festival director JK Anicoche.

Established in 2005, the Virgin Labfest is co-presented by the Cultural Center of the Philippines, its resident theater company Tanghalang Pilipino and the playwrights’ group Writer’s Bloc Inc.

For more details, visit the CCP website and official social media accounts, and the VLF Facebook account.

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NEWS: ANG HULING EL BIMBO streams via YouTube from May 8 to May 9

elbimbo-banner

Fullhouse Theater Company’s ANG HULING EL BIMBO (The Musical), will be available for streaming starting 12:01 AM, May 8 until 11:59 PM, May 9 only!

Brought to you by Resorts World Manila, Full House Theater Company, and ABS-CBN! Isang nakakaindak, nakakaaliw, nakakatindig balahibong palabas gamit ang musika nina Marcus, Raymund, Buddy at Ely.

This initiative by Full House Theater Company is in partnership with ABS-CBN Foundation’s Pantawid ng Pag-ibig. Online donations collected through the show will be given to families that have been most affected by the quarantine.

You can view show from May 8 to May 9, 2020 in the following Social Media sites:

FACEBOOK: ABS-CBN
YOUTUBE: ABSCBNOnline

Ang Huling El Bimbo is a story of friendship told through the songs of the most iconic Pinoy rock band from the 90’s. It is an original story that resonates with people who understand how the powerful bond between friends shapes our lives. It will also be a nostalgic journey, driven by songs that have become part of the collective Pinoy psyche.

Stay safe, dear Jellicle Readers!

DSWD Authority/Solicitation Permit No. DSWD-SB-SP-00010-2020, Nationwide.

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News: Tanghalang Pilipino goes online with PansamanTanghalan, Bridging the Gap between Onstage and Online.

Tanghalang Pilipino, PansamanTanghalan

The NCOV-19 pandemic may have caused stage productions to prematurely close, but Tanghalang Pilipino (TP), the resident theater company of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), has prepared a slew of programs on its temporary home – the digital platform.

Aptly-billed “PansamanTANGHALAN,” this program aims to defy the limitations brought about by this crisis and with the use of the online platform, to continuously educate and awaken the cultural consciousness of Filipinos, not just in the country, but all over the world.

“To say that this is a trying time for the industry would be an understatement. A lot of us are anxious on how this pandemic would usher in a new norm, but as artists, we have to soldier on and find ways to effectively reach our audience in dire need of inspiration,” says TP Artistic Director Nanding Josef. “So, I hope everyone will join us in our temporary home, our ‘PansamanTANGHALAN,’ the digital world.”

In partnership with the Cultural Center of the Philippines, “PansamanTANGHALAN” released Virgin Labfest (VLF) 14’s “Mga Eksena sa Buhay ng Kontrabida” last April 22, on Wednesday, at exactly 3 p.m. The play stars TP Actors Company Senior Member JV Ibesate with Jay Gonzaga, Earl Figuracion, Richard Manabat and Lian Silverio. This particular play, written by Dustin Celestino and directed by Roobak Valle, was revisited for the 15th season of the VLF. Also another VLF entry was released last April 28, “Hintayan ng Langit” written by Juan Miguel Severo which stars real-life couple Nonoy Froilan and Edna Vida Froilan. It is Directed by Sir Raffy Tejada. Hintayan ng Langit was also adapted into a film in 2018, starring Gina Pareño and Eddie Garcia, and directed by Dan Villegas.

Last April 24, TP’s latest production “Batang Mujahideen,” written by Malou Jacob and directed by Guelan Luarca- Varela, have premiered online via the CCP Youtube channel. This critically-acclaimed staging features the members of the TP Actors Company with guest artist Iman Ampatuan.

Batang Mujahideen Presscon Photos by Erickson dela Cruz:

This May, a timely reading of a new monologue by revered playwright Layeta Bucoy entitled “Doc Lolo” will be performed by no less than TP Artistic Director Nanding Josef will signal the launch of TP’s reinvigorated Facebook page. “Lolo Doc” tackles the timely plight of our elderly frontliners during this pandemic.

Engagement projects will also be launched on TP’s other social media accounts – Twitter and Instagram.
TP is also launching its own Youtube channel carrying exclusive, fresh content, especially curated for the digital market and fans of TP and Philippine theater. It presents highlights and musical numbers from past productions “Balag At Angud,” “Nang Dalawin Ng Pag-ibig Si Juan Tamad,” among others.

This Youtube channel will also be the launching ground for future projects as online presentations. It will also feature a fresher version of TP classics and hits. Guests artists will take part in this endeavor.

In celebration of Apolinario Mabini’s death anniversary this May 13, TP will partner with an industry giant to premiere the latest staging of “Mabining Mandirigma.” Topbilled by international theater star Monique Wilson with David Ezra and Arman Ferrer, this staging is the most successful of the four runs of the musical, directed by Chris Millado.

Also in the works are exclusive online workshops to be given by TP friends, alumni, and current members of the Actors Company.

TP is also a part of “Open House,” an ongoing online fundraising project for the benefit of the Performing Arts community, which has been greatly hit by the current enhance community quarantine.

“PansamanTANGHALAN” is supported by the Cultural Center of the Philippines, OKADA, Asian Institute for Distance Education and ABS-CBN’s ticketing platform KTX, Island Rose, Cocolife, AIDE, and OKADA.

#PangsamanTanghalan is now streaming! You can subscribe to our official YouTube channel here: http://youtube.com/tanghalangpilipino

For sponsorships and collaborations, you can email us at tanghalangpilipinomarketing@gmail.com or contact 0999-8843821.

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NEWS: PETA LAUNCHES YOUTUBE CHANNEL WITH SHAKESPEARE RAP MUSICAL “WILLIAM”

PETA _William 01

The Philippine Educational Theater Association’s (PETA) rap musical William, described by BBC News as “a modern twist on Shakespeare,” has managed to capture the interest of students and local theatergoers since it was first staged at the PETA Theater Center in 2011. Now, after a decade, William returns to us – this time, accessible on our screens with one click of a finger!

In commemoration of William Shakespeare’s 404th death anniversary last April 23, PETA launched its Shakespeare in the Time of COVID, an online series celebrating the works of the renowned poet and playwright. Beginning with Sonnets & Songs, a reading of Shakespeare’s sonnets and a reimagining into Filipino songs by various composers and singer artists like Michael Williams, Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo, Noel Cabangon, Myke Salomon and Bituin
Escalante to mention a few, the series will be culminated with the streaming of Ron Capinding’s William directed by Maribel Legarda.

William won Outstanding Play, Outstanding Ensemble Performance in a Play, Outstanding Original Script, Outstanding Male Lead Performance in a Play (Ian Segarra), Outstanding Female Featured Performance in a Play (Meann Espinosa), and Outstanding Male Featured Performance in a Play (Jojo Atienza) in the 2011 Philstage Gawad Buhay Awards.

The play is set in a high school in Metro Manila, where five young students are forced to study Shakespeare by their terror class adviser, Ms. Lutgarda Martinez. In the process of studying, these students realize the beauty of Shakespeare’s works and also re-discover themselves through the Bard’s characters. Touching on themes of adolescence, parents’ unconditional love and friendship, William promotes respect for one another, and advocates love for reading and appreciating literature.

The show features ten original rap songs composed by Jeff Hernandez. Songs such as “Pucha Bro”, “Nosebleed”, “O Shakespeare”, “What’s In A Name” are fusions of various music genres, like rock, soul, funk, RnB and hip-hop. William also utilizes FlipTop, a popular form of rapping among today’s Filipino youth. These rap numbers, choreographed by John Tan from Urban Dance Crew, are performed with various hip-hop genres like crumping and breakdance, as well as ballroom and jazz.

Viewers can access the free 72-hour livestream of William via PETA’s YouTube Channel (www.youtube.com/petatheateronline) starting April 26 (which also happens to be Shakespeare’s birthday!) at 7:00 PM. Afterwards, viewers can look forward to watching more of PETA’s plays on the channel which already contains videos of Sonnets & Songs, condensed sessions of PETA’s Let Get Creative! online workshops (live every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday on PETA’s Facebook page), highlights and recaps of #TalkTuesdays (live every Tuesday on PETA’s Facebook page) which currently features PETA Lingap Sining’s mental health and wellness webinars called Lusog Isip Talks, and more.

During this time of crisis, PETA hopes to bring the theater experience to their audience’s homes until the curtains rise again.

For more performances, workshops, and webinars, subscribe to PETA’s YouTube channel www.youtube.com/petatheateronline and turn on the option for notifications. Follow PETA on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at @petatheater for more updates and announcements.

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REVIEW: PETA’s UNDER MY SKIN has stories that need to be told

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Diseases are caused by persevering bacteria and unflagging viruses, but epidemics are brought about by the consequences of human choices – be it deliberate or not. And what happens in an epidemic is what PETA’s UNDER MY SKIN thrives to share. In it are varying stories of characters living amidst widespread stigma and systematic discrimination.

Jonathan is diagnosed with HIV, and with an emotionally absent partner in Greg, he reaches out to Syd, his former lover, and his friend. It is now up to Syd how he’ll manage to juggle his love and for Jonathan, for Mario – his current boyfriend, and for himself.

Another case is that of young Dino, a non-stop DOTA player who generally depended on the kindness of gay men in his community to finance his gaming addiction, however at the expense of his body. Upon receiving his confirmation after an HIV test, Dino and his mother will journey together to recall the past, and to face a new life ahead.

Mary Rose, a mother of three, just found out that she has HIV and had transmitted the virus to her children. She learned that she acquired it from her husband who has been injecting drugs and has been engaging in risky behaviors.

And then we have a comedy-bar comedienne, a gay hairdresser, a bunch of (arguably) discreet gay men, who – in snippets – tell us their individual struggles as they wander through society’s fossilizing stigmas and discrimination.

Rody Vera’s material weaves all these intersecting tales while having Dr. Gemma Almonte at its center. Dr. Almonte is an infectious disease specialist and an advocate, and she guides us through Vera’s multi-charactered plot, narrating each journey  – both tragic and redeeming.

And Vera’s text can be very unapologetic. Here, Vera thrives so wonderfully through its frankness. His discourse is straightforward, unambiguous and responsible. He sprinkles a few expletives here and there, but only when necessary, and only if it establishes character and society.

But what’s most striking is how Vera interconnects these stories the way wildfire epidemics marginalize communities and, ultimately, societies. UNDER MY SKIN creates this feeling of undeniable interconnectedness and fond interdependence. As to how diseases spread and how pandemics rise, Vera exhibits how cure and compassion can also make use of such source lines.

Benjamin Padero and Carlo Tabije’s design for the stage visualizes the seemingly invisible, yet ever-present. In its center is a dynamic symbol of what could be an infinite virus that kills, or that glory hole we strive for, or that moment of wishful ecstasy through gratified penetration. In its foreground are the flowing plasma of bodily fluids – delicious, delicate, dangerous. Gorgeously matched by Steven Tansiongco’s video projections, this production’s vision to teach and reach explodes so incredibly.

Rody Vera’s UNDER MY SKIN. Photo by Erickson dela Cruz

Yet how to sustain interest is Director Melvin Lee‘s arduous task. Here, Lee efficiently juggles the varying discourses on epidemics: the tales and the myths, the tragedies and redemptions, without underselling important facts and figures. What’s most interesting is how Lee carefully choreographs the usual sexual innuendos through physical agility – dismissing the unnecessary, blistering run-of-the-mill soft pornography, so common in materials such as these.

And it is through this agility does Lee depict those underlying dangers of unsafe and risky behaviors. Through arial silk, we see the symbolic shaky balance between love and betrayal, truth and lies and ultimately life and death. That, dear Jellicle Readers, is an example of theatrical triumph.

Roselyn Perez is a familiar face on stage, more so, that she portrayed Dr. Emma Brookner in The Necessary Theater’s production of A NORMAL HEART to great acclaim. But her Filipina Dr, Almonte is closer to home, and her nuances are quite familiar. She’s the matriarch of the characters around her, a loving mother and a formidable woman in the center of a plague.

Dudz Teraña breaks the solitude as the comedy bar comedienne. Here, Teraña exceeds presence and exhibits great control as he tells the story of his character, to much of the audience’s delight.

Eko Baquial balances heartbreak and compassion with utter fondness and endearment as Syd. Gio Gahol as the character Greg can be both adoring and repelling, while Mike Liwag’s Jonathan personifies the disease and the fear, as well as the self-pity it seeds into the human mind. And Gold Villar as Mary Rose projects the initial uncertainty of mother and her family’s future, now that a lifelong syndrome has struck her family and her home.

While UNDER MY SKIN is still, arguably, a political material, it still presents a critical issue that we need to hear and discuss. Vera’s material interestingly digs further in while examining the Filipino psyche during a plague. The material is very keen on enumerating actual symptoms and its effects, not just in the body, but also in the mind. It probes the temporary threats of the medicines, yet it highlights its promise for a better life. In it are more exact details on the journey of people living with HIV, as well as the people around them.

What this production clearly shows is how far we’ve come in terms of fighting HIV and AIDS, and what a beautiful story it is. However, our culture and preconceived judgments alter a promising denouement. Science has started a winning fight against the virus, but it can only do so much. Our Hearts, with its acceptance, compassion, and empathy, can lovingly go a very long way, most especially in places where Science cannot.

 

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artspoetryTheatre

News: UP Dulaang Laboratoryo present Nick Joaquin’s The Summer Solstice (FREE ADMISSION)

UP DULAANG LABORATORYO – The Summer Solstice Poster

UP Dulaang Laboratoryo’s adaptation of The Summer Solstice is a Chamber Theatre Performance that carries a vision to bring once again National Artist Nick Joaquin’s classic tale on stage, this time as an oral interpretation.

The story features controversial themes about the three-day Tadtarin ritual where women celebrate their femininity and fertility. It is set on the feast day of Saint John in the 1850s. Beginning in the possession of Amada, Entoy’s wife, by the Tadtarin spirit, Doña Lupeng is stirred into skepticism and awe about the age-old ritual in their town. She mocks men in the procession, and she listens to Guido, her husband’s cousin, telling her about the supremacy of women. Don Paeng, her husband, claims that women should need love and respect, not adoration. The drama continues to Doña Lupeng’s decision to join the ritual, giving her momentary power, and Don Paeng submitting to her presence.

The adaptation of The Summer Solstice into a Chamber Theater Performance is a new meaning-making feat about this timeless classic that taps issues on gender, power, and structure—making it one of the most important literary works in history that is Nick Joaquin’s legacy.

For inquiries, please contact:
MIKE ANTHONY MARASIGAN
PRODUCTION MANAGER
DulaangLabSummerSolstice@gmail.com

 

PERFORMANCE DATES:
Friday
March 6, 2020 -7:30PM

Saturday
March 7, 2020 – 3:30PM &  7:30PM

Sunday
March 8,, 2020 – 3:30PM &  7:30PM

VENUE:
Teatro Hermogenes Ylagan, Pavilion 3, Palma Hall, UP
Diliman, Quezon City

FREE ADMISSION!

 

 

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artsDanceEventsMusicTheatre

News: Ballet Manila to end 24th season with a triple treat double bill

BALLET MANILA Carmina Burana and La Traviata cover

A double-bill grand finale that also brings a triple treat of classical elements. This is how Ballet Manila intends to conclude its most unforgettable 24th performance season.

Following Sleeping Beauty which was filled with enchantment and romance, Ballet Manila will go on a different route as it takes on a production about tragedy, death, and other inexorable fates of mankind with its latest production – Carmina Burana and La Traviata. This rare and powerful performance will combine classical ballet and music, and opera for a one-of-a-kind spectacular production scheduled on March 7, 2020, 6:00 p.m. and on March 8, 2020, 3:00 p.m. at the Samsung Hall, SM Aura Premier, Taguig.

Rudy de Dios. Photograhed by Erickson Dela Cruz.

Carmina Burana is a scenic cantata based on a series of 13th-century songs, while La Traviata is an Italian opera that tells the ill-fated story of a beautiful young courtesan wasting away from tuberculosis and her relationship with a young bourgeois from a provincial family. These timeless works of art will be seen in new light with Ballet Manila’s sophisticated dancing and creativity.

Rudy de Dios, a former principal dancer of Ballet Manila, created a choreography based on the music of Carmina Burana, including the famed “O Fortuna.” On the other hand, Ballet Manila CEO and artistic director Lisa Macuja Elizalde brought the story of Violetta and Alfredo to life once again by choreographing La Traviata.

Leading the ensemble of Carmina Burana are Romeo Peralta as Solom, Gerardo Francisco as Spreo, Joan Sia as Agape, and John Ralp Balagot as Atheos. While, La Traviata will come to life with Nicole Barroso as Violetta, Mark Sumaylo as Alfredo, John Ralp Balagot as Giorgio Germont, and Joshua Enciso as Baron.

Ballet Manila’s Carmina Burana and La Traviata is truly something to look forward to because, aside from great display of artistry, this spectacle will mark the end of a challenging yet fulfilling season filled with a lot of ups and downs for Ballet Manila.

Ballet Manila’s Trivia on Carmina Burana.
Excerpts from Carmina Burana and La Traviata were presented during the presscon, and here are some stills captured by Photographer Erickson dela Cruz:

Ballet Manila's Carmina Burana and La Traviata (5)
Ballet Manila's Carmina Burana and La Traviata (4)
Ballet Manila's Carmina Burana and La Traviata (7)
Ballet Manila's Carmina Burana and La Traviata (8)
Ballet Manila's Carmina Burana and La Traviata (10)
Ballet Manila's Carmina Burana and La Traviata (3)
Ballet Manila's Carmina Burana and La Traviata (6)
Ballet Manila's Carmina Burana and La Traviata (9)
Ballet Manila's Carmina Burana and La Traviata (11)
Ballet Manila's Carmina Burana and La Traviata (12)
Ballet Manila's Carmina Burana and La Traviata (13)

Ballet Manila's Carmina Burana and La Traviata (14)
Mam Lisa Macuja Elizalde with the Ballet Manila dancers preparing to answer some questions from the Press.

 

Ballet Manila's Carmina Burana and La Traviata (15)
The cast and artistic team of Ballet Manila’s Carmina Burana and La Traviata.

 

For tickets to Ballet Manila’s Carmina Burana and La Traviata, call SM Tickets at (02) 8470 2222 or log on to www.smtickets.com 

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artsEventsFestivitiesrandomTheatre

News: SIX ‘VIRGINS’ TO LIFT CURTAINS AT VLF 16

Virgin Labfest logo 2

SIX ‘Virgins’ playwrights made it to the 16th edition of the Virgin Labfest, the annual festival of untried, untested, unstaged and unpublished theater works, happening on June 10 to 28, 2020, at the Cultural Center of the Philippines.

The VLF virgins who will make their debut in the upcoming theater festival include: Sorsogon-based writer Jobert Landeza who penned “Titser Kit”; Mark Norman Boquiren, with his “Mayang Bubot sa Tag-araw”; Floyd Tiogangco, with “Pilot Episode”; Daryl Pasion, with “Papaano Turuan Ang Babae Humawak ng Baril”; Luis Nario, with “Gin Bilog”; and film director Bibeth Orteza who is the only woman playwright, with “Bituing Marikit.”

Completing the final list are: Tyron Casumpang, with “Black Pink”; Anthony Kim Vergara, with “The Boy Boy and Friends Channel”; Juliene Mendoza, with “Multiverse”; Jay Crisostomo, with “Dapithapon”; Juan Ekis, with “‘Nay May Dala akong Pansit”; and Dustin Celestino, “Doggy.” These six playwrights have participated in the previous editions of the festival.

For the Stage Readings, six works have been selected; three of which are written by “virgin” playwrights, namely “Jenny Li” by Buch Dacanay, “Matira ang Matibay” by Bernice Dacara, and “Mongoloida’s Casa de Pun” by Claro delos Reyes. Other featured stage reading works are: “LadyMasters” by Rouchelle Dinglasan, “Bagahe” by Nicko de Guzman, and “Dominador Gonzales — National Artist” by Dingdong Novernario.

VLF festival director JK Aninoche expressed his gratitude to all the writers who “have shared their visions and voices to us.” The 12 finalists chosen for full-staging were selected from the 290 submitted entries.

VLF founder and former festival director Rody Vera and dramaturg Ina Azarcon Bolivar helped in selecting this year’s unique set of plays.

“I’m very excited on the richness of thought-making and breadth and depth of representation of human condition and contemporary life in this year’s edition of the VLF. Masayang may mga kasana sa pagsulong at paglikha. I’m looking forward to the VLF as a collaborative development platform for untried, untested and unstaged plays,” shared Aninoche.


Co-presented by the Cultural Center of the Philippines, acclaimed theater company Tanghalang Pilipino and Manila-based playwrights’ group Writer’s Bloc Inc., this year’s VLF follows the theme “Rurok.” Established in 2005, the VLF aims to provide Filipino playwrights a venue to present their unpublished, untried, untested and unstaged works to the theater-going public.

Follow VLF on Social Media, or visit www.culturalcenter.gov.ph for more information and promo. Connect with VLF by using hashtags: #virginlabfest #vlf16 #vlf2020 #vlfrurok #CCPVirginLabfest #untrieduntestedunstaged

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artsMusicTheatre

News: BOBBY GARCIA DIRECTS THE BAND’S VISIT

Atlantis Theatrical’s THE BAND’S VISIT poster

Atlantis Theatrical Entertainment Group’s Artistic Director, Bobby Garcia, is set to take on the international premiere of THE BAND’S VISIT, the Tony and Grammy Award-winning Broadway musical that has become one of the most awarded musicals in theatre history.

BOBBY GARCIA. (Photo provided by ATEG.)

After taking on three radically different productions last year, Tony Kushner’s epic opus ANGELS IN AMERICA: MILLENNIUM APPROACHES, BEAUTIFUL: THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL and a revival of SWEENEY TODD, Bobby Garcia will soon direct the heartfelt, critically acclaimed musical of how sometimes the smallest of moments can have the largest impact on our lives.

Garcia says, “There is a wonderful combination of melancholy and euphoria that weaves its way through THE BAND’S VISIT. I struggle to find the exact single word to describe the feeling. Perhaps it is called bliss. Or maybe it is called humanity. Whatever it is, THE BAND’S VISIT is one of the most unique musicals I have ever directed.  It is made up of small, seemingly uneventful  moments. Uneventful, perhaps in the theatrical sense. But, in those small moments we discover what it really means to come together as a community and how we discover what our universal language as people of different cultures. I am absolutely thrilled to have the opportunity to tell this story for an audience in Manila.”

THE BAND’S VISIT opened on Broadway in 2018 and went on to win 10 Tony Awards including Best Musical. Based on the acclaimed film, THE BAND’S VISIT tells the story of an Egyptian police band that arrives in Israel to play a concert. After a mix-up at the border, they are sent to a remote village in the middle of the desert. With no bus until morning and no hotel in sight, these unlikely travellers are taken in by the locals. Under the spell of the desert sky, their lives become intertwined in the most unexpected ways.  It features music and lyrics by David Yazbek and a book by Itamar Moses and will mark its international premiere in Manila.

THE BAND’S VISIT has a stellar cast led by Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo, Rody Vera, and Mark Bautista. It will mark Menchu’s return to the Atlantis stage after seven years, having performed critically acclaimed roles in Atlantis’ NEXT TO NORMAL and CARRIE, amongst many others.

Garcia says of his cast, “I am thrilled to be working with Menchu again and to have her back on the Atlantis stage. We have become very good friends and have often talked about what our next show would be together. I think Menchu will bring a unique spin on Dina, the beautiful, charismatic, and mysterious owner of the cafe, who welcomes the straying band members to their small town. It will be another unforgettable turn from one of the country’s finest musical theatre leading ladies. I am also extremely excited to be working with the incredibly talented Rody Vera for the very first time and to have Mark Bautista, whose talent I truly believe in, join us once again. They join a fantastic cast who I think will all breathe intoxicating life into this beautiful story of how the love for music can bring about genuine human connection.”

Nino Alejandro, Bibo Reyes, Reb Atadero, Jill Peña, Maronne Cruz, Jep Go, Floyd Tena, Dean Rosen, Steven Conde, Rhenwyn Galbalonzo, and Leanne Mamonong complete the cast of THE BAND’S VISIT.

THE BAND’S VISIT will have set design by Faust Peneyra, lighting design by Adam Honoré, musical direction by Farley Asuncion, musical staging by Cecile Martinez, costume design by Odelon Simpao, vocal direction by ManMan Angsico, projection design by GA Fallarme, hair and makeup design by Jaydee Jasa and sound design by Justin Stasiw. It is presented through a special licensing arrangement with Music Theatre International.

THE BAND’S VISIT launches Atlantis Twenty Twenty, a season of three musicals that will also feature an all new revival of the award-winning family musical OLIVER!, presented through a special licensing arrangement with Cameron Mackintosh Ltd. and Music Theatre International, and the hot Broadway and West End musical ON YOUR FEET!, presented through a special licensing arrangement with Theatrical Rights Worldwide and Gloria and Emilio Estefan.

THE BAND’S VISIT runs from March 13 to 29, 2020 at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza, Makati City. For tickets, visit www.ticketworld.com.ph or call 8891 9999.

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