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


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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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:


March 6, 2020 -7:30PM

March 7, 2020 – 3:30PM &  7:30PM

March 8,, 2020 – 3:30PM &  7:30PM

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




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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 

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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 for more information and promo. Connect with VLF by using hashtags: #virginlabfest #vlf16 #vlf2020 #vlfrurok #CCPVirginLabfest #untrieduntestedunstaged

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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 or call 8891 9999.

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News: Duncan Macmillan’s “Lungs” and “Every Brilliant Thing” Features in SANDBOX FEST 2020

SANDBOX FEST 2020 cover

The Sandbox Collective kicks off its sixth year and season with a festival featuring the works of the award-winning English playwright and director Duncan Macmillan. Hot on the heels of its fifth season, which showcased three major productions one after the other, more than enough to leave one breathless and gasping for air—the company takes on its most challenging endeavor to date. In yet another collaboration with its sister company 9 Works Theatrical, The Sandbox Collective is thrilled to bring back two of Duncan Macmillan’s masterpieces—Lungs and Every Brilliant Thing. SANDBOX FEST 2020 brings you two shows in one space, one festival, all poised to kick off one breathtakingly brilliant season.

Managing artistic director and co-executive producer Toff De Venecia shares, “After insistent public demand, we couldn’t not bring back Lungs and Every Brilliant Thing—two Duncan MacMillan masterpieces that really were some of the best and brightest moments of Sandbox’s six storied years in the industry.”

Although the man behind the two masterpieces hardly needs an introduction, it would be noteworthy to mention that Duncan Macmillan’s contemporary socio-political voice has had a great impact and influence on the company at large. Notable for other plays such as People, Places and Things, and the stage adaptation of George Orwell’s 1984, Macmillan has gained a solid reputation for bringing difficult, hard-to-digest issues to the forefront and up for discussion. Macmillan has said, time and again, that his motivation is to “say something that isn’t being said” and to engage his audiences in a timely and relevant conversation on pressing issues—addiction and recovery, depression and mental health and parenthood in a time of climate change and the impending death of the planet. Macmillan has also been quoted as saying, “I didn’t see anyone discussing suicidal depression in a useful or interesting or accurate way.” In the same vein, in writing Lungs, Macmillan felt that he “wasn’t seeing enough about what it’s like to be alive now“. Macmillan’s magic, so to speak, is his ability to weave contemporary socio-political issues into a powerful narrative quite seamlessly and to tell stories that truly speak to his audiences.

Andrei Nikolai Pamintuan. Photographed by Erickson dela Cruz

Following the critically acclaimed and sold-out runs in 2018 and 2019, Lungs and Every Brilliant Thing will return to the Philippines stage through a shared space and shared advocacy—that of expanding and normalizing the conversation on mental health and climate change. At the very heart of both shows lies the innate goodness of people and the human capacity to overcome both internal and external struggles. Through both productions, you see humanity in full view—the joy and pain, the loss and the gains, the bleak and the brilliant. Andrei Nikolai Pamintuan, who will be returning to direct Lungs, says, “I want audiences to take away how intense, complicated and beautiful relationships can be.” In revisiting these pieces, The Sandbox Collective hopes to expand the conversation and to extend the advocacy beyond the show. In working with institutional partners and nonprofit organizations once again, they hope to inspire action and to present audiences with avenues to help and contribute.

De Venecia adds, “With Every Brilliant Things, we were happy to have done our share in shedding light on the subject of mental health that continues to grip the country today. Now with natural disasters occurring left and right, and significant doubt materializing in the age of anxiety, perhaps Lungs has gained a horrific new timeliness as well.”

(From L-R) Jake Cuenca, Sab Jose, Teresa Herrera, Kakki Teodoro, Andrei Pamintuan and Caisa Borromeo. Photo by Erickson dela Cruz

Every Brilliant Thing will star model and TV host Teresa Herrera and theater actress Kakki Teodoro, who will alternate for the role. Every Brilliant Thing earned six citations in the recent Philstage Gawad Buhay midyear citations, including Outstanding Female Lead for both Herrera and Teodoro. Lungs will star film and TV actor Jake Cuenca and theater actress Sab Jose. Lungs earned multiple nods and garnered a total of seven nominations in the Philstage Gawad Buhay Awards, including Outstanding Male Lead for Cuenca and Outstanding Female Lead for Jose.

Every Brilliant Thing will be directed by Jenny Jamora who will be at the helm once again. Back in the director’s chair as well is Andrei Nikolai Pamintuan who will be directing Lungs a second time around alongside Caisa Borromeo as assistant director. Completing the artistic team are Jodinand Aguillon as production designer and Miguel Panganiban as lighting designer.



Less than two years after its Philippine Premiere, The Sandbox Collective brings Lungs back to the stage, and now more than ever does its message ring relevant.

With an intimate cast of two, Lungs approaches the audience, looks them straight in the eye, and faces that dilemma alongside them. Reprising their roles as M & W, respectively, are Jake Cuenca and Sab Jose, both of whom garnered nominations at the Philstage Gawad Buhay Awards and BroadwayWorld Philippines Awards for their roles in Lungs’ 2018 run. Jake has established himself as a rich and dynamic actor in Philippine film and television. He previously studied at the Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute in New York. Recent television and film credits include Los Bastardos, The Blood Sisters, Ikaw Lang Ang Ibigin, FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano, Ang Panday, Tuhog, In the Name of Love, among others. He made his long-awaited stage debut in The Sandbox Collective’s 2018 run of Lungs, for which he won Best Actor (Play) and Best Crossover Artist (Mainstream to Theater) at the 2018 BroadwayWorld Philippines Awards. His leading lady Sab Jose is an actress, teacher and Marketing Director. In Spring 2018, Sab graduated with honours from the Guildford School of Acting, London, U.K. with a Master of Arts Degree in Musical Theatre. She was most recently seen in The Sandbox Collective’s production of Lungs (which earned her a Philstage Gawad Buhay nomination for Outstanding Female Lead Actress in a Play), Globe Live and 9 Works Theatrical’s first and second run of Musikal nAPO!, Grease, Shrek, Peter Pan, RENT, and The Wedding Singer, among others. During her stint in London, she appeared in multiple musical productions such as Traces: A New Musical, Carrie the Musical, Oklahoma!, GSA Showcase (The Shaftesbury Theatre) and Spilt Milk (The Other Palace). She makes her theatrical comeback in the SANDBOX FEST 2020 after a yearlong sabbatical.

JAKE CUENCA in LUNGS. Photo by Erickson Dela CruzSab Jose in Lungs. Photo by Erickson Dela Cruz



When Every Brilliant Thing had its Philippine premiere last year, the hope was to start the conversation on a seemingly taboo issue that Filipinos have long experienced and conveyed in hushed tones. Mental illness had just started to seep into the daily consciousness of people as an urgent and legitimate disease that affects millions of people across the globe. In the same vein, the concept of mental health was just beginning to find its way front and center through the steady stream of advocates, spokespersons and organizations seeking to end the stigma and hoping to start a meaningful dialogue.

Teresa Herrera. Photographed by Erickson dela Cruz

Similarly, the man behind Every Brilliant Thing sought to say something that wasn’t being said, at least not in the best way possible. In the words of Duncan Macmillan, “With Every Brilliant Thing, I felt there should be a way to talk about depression and suicidal depression because it’s so common, but to talk about it in a way that is constructive and complex and nuanced and grown up and unflinching. But also accessible and funny.” In creating this masterpiece, Macmillan presented a way for difficult themes to find an appropriate narrative that audiences could finally embrace.

Every Brilliant Thing will star actress, model and TV host Teresa Herrera whose recent performance credits include Black Mask 2, Dogeaters and the Asian premiere of Love, Loss and What I Wore. She was also the host of Project Runway Philippines and the host & executive producer of Runway TV Asia. Teresa will be alternating with actress, multimedia host and entrepreneur Kakki Teodoro. Kakki received training at the National Institute for Dramatic Arts in Sydney, Australia. She was most recently seen in Himala: Isang Musikal, Aurelio Sedisyoso, Rak of Aegis, to name a few. Every Brilliant Thing earned six citations in the recent Philstage Gawad Buhay midyear citations, including Outstanding Female Lead for both Herrera and Teodoro.

Toff De Venecia and Kakki Teodoro. Photo by Gian Nicdao. (Provided by The Sandbox Collective)


Heading the production team are The Sandbox Collective’s managing artistic director Toff De Venecia, 9 Works Theatrical’s executive producer Santi Santamaria, Anna Santamaria as operations & finance director, Sab Jose as marketing & PR director, Maine Manalansan as design director, Jonjon Martin as PR & publicity manager, Salve Villarosa as marketing & PR associate, Vicky Herrera as media & PR associate, Kitkat Lastimosa as design & social media associate, Marcel David as production manager (SANDBOX FEST 2020) and stage manager (Every Brilliant Thing), Pachot Festejo as stage manager (Lungs).

SANDBOX FEST 2020 will run at the Zobel de Ayala Recital Hall, 2/F Maybank Performing Arts Theater, 9th Avenue cor. 26th Street, BGC, Taguig City from March 6 until 29, 2020.
Tickets are now available through Ticketworld online or 891.9999 and The Sandbox Collective at 0956 200 4909 / 0917 554 5560 / 586 7105. Festival passes are now available through The Sandbox Collective.

9 Works Theatrical and The Sandbox Collective PRESSCON (Photo by Erickson Dela Cruz) (1)
9 Works Theatrical and The Sandbox Collective PRESSCON (Photo by Erickson Dela Cruz) (9)


Duncan Macmillan’s Lungs and Every Brilliant Thing are co-presented by sister
companies The Sandbox Collective and 9 Works Theatrical.

Facebook : The Sandbox Collective / 9 Works Theatrical
Twitter and Instagram : @thesandboxco / @9wtonline
Hashtags: #SandboxFest2020 #EveryBrilliant2020 #Lungs2020
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Performance Photos: PETA’s UNDER MY SKIN

Under My Skin _banner [3]

The Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) draws its 52nd Theater Season to a close by responding to an issue that has long been met with silence: the HIV epidemic in the Philippines.

Together with esteemed HIV advocacy organizations The Red Whistle and LoveYourself, PETA launches the Acting on HIV campaign with Rody Vera’s anthology drama ‘Under my Skin‘, directed by Melvin Lee, as the frontliner.

Inspired by real people and events, “Under My Skin” accurately depicts the realities, triumphs, and struggles of people living with HIV, while navigating an important conversation about acceptance and tolerance.

Under My Skin introduces us to a number of characters: Dino, an HIV-positive teen whose status is discovered through a contraction of tuberculosis; Mary Rose, a mother who unknowingly passed down the virus to her son after contracting if from her husband; a gay beauty parlor employee experiencing work-related discrimination, and more. Their stories of love, pain and acceptance are revealed through Dr. Almonte, who is studying the spread of the devastating virus.

Under My Skin” features stellar theater actresses Ms. Cherry Pie Picache and Ms. Roselyn Perez alternating as the lead character Dr. Gemma Almonte. They are joined by Anthony Falcon, Mike Liwag, Gio Gahol, Migs Almendras, Eko Baquial, Gold Villar-Lim, She Maala, Mico Esquivel, Bene Manaois, Lotlot Bustamante, Kitsi Pagaspas, Dylan Ray Talon, Ekis Gimenez, Dudz Teraña, Jarred Jaicten, Erold Enriquez, Jason Barcial, Joseph Madriaga, Rach Gimpes, Reggie Ondevilla, Roy Dahildahil, and Csai Habla.

Here are some captivating scenes from the play, captured by photographer Erickson dela Cruz:



The cast and artistic team of PETA’s Under My Skin. Photographs by Erickson dela Cruz.

Under My Skin is showing at the PETA Theater Center, #5 Eymard Drive, Brgy. Kristong Hari, New Manila, Quezon City started last February 7 and will run until March 22, 2020 (Fridays at 8:00pm, Saturdays/Sundays at 3:00pm and 8:00pm).  For tickets and showbuying inquiries, please contact PETA at / 725-6244, or TicketWorld at / 891-9999.

For more info, Visit PETA’s Official Website:


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News: International Tour of MATILDA THE MUSICAL adds One More Week!


Producers of Matilda usher in the new year with exciting news! GWB Entertainment along with GMG Productions & Virtus Live have just announced that they have added one more week to the Manila season of the international tour of MATILDA THE MUSICAL. The multi award-winning show, which is making its way to Manila for the very first time, opens at The Theatre at Solaire on March 5, 2020 and will now be running until March 22, 2020.

The stage adaptation of the much loved Roald Dahl classic was originally produced for the stage by the Royal Shakespeare Company.

For the shows that are in the final week, the producers have created the Two-Price Special for Tuesday, and Sunday Evening: One price across all orchestra seats, and one price across all balcony seats.

MATILDA THE MUSICAL is the multi-award winning musical from the Royal Shakespeare Company, inspired by the beloved book by the incomparable Roald Dahl (who also wrote Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Fantastic Mr. Fox and many others…) Written by Dennis Kelly with Original songs by Tim Minchin, Matilda The Musical is the story of an extraordinary little girl who, armed with a vivid imagination and a sharp mind, dares to take a stand and change her own destiny. Winner of over 85 international awards, including 16 for Best Musical, Matilda The Musical is now in its seventh year in London where it continues to delight audiences of all ages.

MATILDA THE MUSICAL was commissioned by the RSC in 2010, and is the recipient of a record-breaking seven 2012 Olivier Awards including Best Musical and a joint Best Actress Award for the four girls who shared the title role.  MATILDA THE MUSICAL is directed by Tony Award® winner Matthew Warchus, who helms this exhilarating and ingenious production with book by playwright Dennis Kelly and music and lyrics by Australian comedian, musician and composer Tim Minchin.

MATILDA THE MUSICAL premiered at the RSC’s home in Stratford-upon-Avon, playing to sold-out audiences from November 2010 to January 2011.  Capturing the imagination of young and old alike, the RSC transferred the production to London’s West End in October 2011 where the show continues to play to sold-out houses at the Cambridge Theatre.  Roald Dahl’s magical story about a girl with extraordinary powers has been a favourite novel of millions of people across the world since it was published in 1988.

The Producers are also happy to announce the principle cast for the Manila season:

Hayden Tee as Miss Trunchbull,

Haley Flaherty as Miss Honey,

Nompumelelo Mayiyane as Mrs. Phelps,

Claire Taylor as Mrs. Wormwood, and

Stephen Jubber as Mr. Wormwood

The production has sets and costumes by Tony Award® winner Rob Howell, with choreography by Peter Darling, orchestrations, additional music and musical supervision by Christopher Nightingale, lighting by Tony Award® winner Hugh Vanstone, and sound by Simon Baker.

For detailed background information on the show and the characters please visit:

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On Your Feet _Atlantis Teaser
Atlantis Theatrical Entertainment Group’s upcoming production of the Broadway and West End hit musical ON YOUR FEET! has found its lead star who will play the iconic and multi-awarded singer Gloria Estefan.

After a long search, Gab Pangilinan, who has starred in musicals such as BEAUTIFUL, ANG HULING EL BIMBO, SIDE SHOW, MULA SA BUWAN and RAK OF AEGIS, will take on the coveted lead role of Gloria, one of the most celebrated and successful singers of all time. Gloria Estefan, who has won 7 Grammy Awards, herself approved the casting of Gab after viewing her audition videos which were sent to her by Bobby Garcia, director of the production.

Gab says of her casting, “Being cast as the one and only Gloria Estefan is beyond anything I’ve ever imagined. She has made impossible things possible in her life worth many lifetimes and her incredible life story has touched the lives of so many young dreamers, including mine. What a huge blessing it is to be given the opportunity to portray Gloria, a truly iconic woman of hope and strength. It will be a challenge but one that I welcome with open arms. I am so grateful. I can’t wait to start working on this. And also, I can’t wait to put my dancing shoes on!

GAB PANGILINAN. Photo by Paw Castillo. (provided by ATEG)

Bobby Garcia, who will soon be directing the international premiere of the Tony and Grammy Award-winning musical THE BAND’S VISIT, says, “From the moment she stepped in to audition, it was clear that Gab was the front runner for Gloria.  Her preparation, focus, grasp of the material and of Gloria and the Miami Sound Machine’s music and style were evident throughout the audition process.  Gloria viewed the audition videos and immediately loved Gab.  We are thrilled that one of Philippine musical theatre’s brightest young stars will be taking on the role of this remarkable and inspiring woman who has rocked the music industry for four decades. If there is anyone who can get a Manila audience to Conga other than Gloria herself, it’s Gab.”

ON YOUR FEET! is the story of Emilio and Gloria Estefan, two people who believed in their talent, their music and each other, and became an international sensation. Universally crowd-pleasing and uplifting, ON YOUR FEET! is a celebration of greatest hits that will have audiences dancing in the aisles. Featuring “Rhythm Is Gonna Get You,” “1-2-3,” “Live For Loving You,” “Conga,” and many more, ON YOUR FEET! is a portrait of a legendary artist that reveals fierce determination and visionary creativity matched with the exhilarating energy of the Miami Sound Machine. ON YOUR FEET! features music and lyrics by Emilio and Gloria Estefan and a book by Alexander Dinelaris. ON YOUR FEET! is presented through a special licensing agreement with Theatrical Rights Worldwide and Emilio and Gloria Estefan. ON YOUR FEET! is part of Atlantis Twenty Twenty, a season of musicals that includes the international premiere of THE BAND’S VISIT, which opens on March 13 at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza, Makati, and the classic musical OLIVER!

ON YOUR FEET! will run at the Circuit Performing Arts Theater, Makati from November 13 to December 6.  For show buying and group packages, contact Atlantis Theatrical at

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News: Daloy Dance Co. will perform a 3-hour interactive dance called Transcendance on Valentines Day

TranscenDance cover
Choreographer, contemporary performer, movement facilitator, Ea Torrado will offer a 3-hour interactive performance called Transcendance – A Daloy Movement on February 14 at Kondwi in Makati, as part of the 2020 Fringe Manila Art Festival, with live music by DJ Ed Croix. The performance will include an opening performance by K.Go, a Brooklyn-based artist, called “Hungry Ground”.

Originally trained in Ballet, Ea started Daloy Movement in 2014 as an embodied research on dance as a healing practice. She arrived at a place of fulfilment after many years as a company dancer first with Ballet Manila then Ballet Philippines and wanted to break free and shift her footing to a new flavour of expression. Coming from the highly technical, precise, and formalized movement world of Ballet, her exploration and exposure to Physical Theatre, Yoga, somatic practices, and community work, introduced Ea to a language of dance that is both rawfully beautiful and inclusive.

In a Daloy Movement Jam, all bodies and all backgrounds are welcome. The participants move to bracing music as Ea guides through winged verbalization of anatomical cues and imagery prompts that birth the space for each body to flow through the state of order, swell exponentially into chaos, and be trance-ported back into order again.
Titled, “Transcendance”, the movement jam aims to destroy and transcend the popular notion of love as clinginess and death without the other.

Daloy Movement also espouses the principle of a fluid payment scheme where the participants pay based on their economic capacity and their perceived value of the experience. This serves as a reflection of the body’s accessible and encompassing availability to be free. Expect to be enthralled by a live show of mind-body dance and cathartic release that our ancient ancestors knew very well.

Transcendance” is co-presented by Daloy Dance Company, Kondwi, and 10 Days of Art for Art Fair PH.

When asked, why is the title Transcendance? Ea asnwers, “Hmmm perhaps to Transcend through dancing And to transcend the common misused meaning of love in pop songs that is associated with clinginess or dying without the other etc.”

Ea Torrado

Cited as one of the most exciting and sought-after contemporary dancer-choreographers in the Philippines today, Ea creates visceral and evocative works that have been presented in numerous sites and stages in Manila and abroad. Rigorously trained in classical ballet from a young age, Ea has essayed principal and soloist roles in traditional and contemporary full-length dances, and toured extensively in the Philippines and abroad. She is the founder and artistic director of Manila-based dance theatre group, Daloy Dance Company. Her creations manifest in site-specific work, film, installation, improvisational performance and dance theatre pieces. She was awarded the prestigious Alvin Erasga Tolentino Koreograpiya Award (2014), Remedios De Oteyza Award for Choreography (2016) and Asian Cultural Council Grant (2017). She is also a member of World Dance Alliance- Philippines and (ICONS) International Consortium for Advancement in Choreography.

Daloy Dance Company

Daloy DC is committed to the appreciation and critical understanding of dance by realizing the creation of new choreographies and workshops by Ea Torrado and her guest artists.

Since 2014, Daloy Dance Company has made waves in the Manila art scene by fulfilling its founder and artistic director, Ea Torrado’s vision of generating daring and evocative dance theatre pieces with an ever-evolving group of dancers, thespians and artists from diverse backgrounds. Nominated by Aliw Awards as Best Dance Company of 2017 and Best Classical Dance Company of 2017, and Outstanding Contemporary Dance Group by The Philippine Leaf Awards 2019, the company has performed in a range of dance and art festivals in the Philippines and abroad, Japan, Korea, Thailand and USA, among others. They have also worked with guest teachers from Sweden, Singapore, USA, Australia and Canada. Capturing the energy and philosophy of Ea Torrado’s exploration of the human body as an instrument to provoke reflection and dialogue, Daloy has co-produced Walang Hiya Festival, Sayaw Galaw, Ugnayan Community Program, Tanghal at Talakay, and Daloy Movement— dance workshops that utilise dance as a tool for personal development, empowerment and change.

Daloy Dance Co. Photographs by Erickson Dela Cruz:
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DancingUnashamed_DaloyDance_Sze_WalangHiya (Photo by Erickson dela Cruz)
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KGo With Opening Performance titled ‘Hungry Ground’

K.Go is a Manila born experimental movement artist & biomythographer from Connecticut currently based in New York. She is inspired by questions around migrations, time travel or timelessness, shape shifting or shaping, queering and queer futurity. She has shared her work at Movement Research at Judson Memorial Church, Dancers Unlimited, Miguel Gutierrez’s Landing 3.0 at the Gibney Dance Center and is currently working with artist Lu Yim, at the Center for Performance Research. She is continuously grateful to have opportunities to share and move with others.

Follow FRINGE Manila Fanpage for more info.


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News: “Joseph The Dreamer”, An inspired re-imagination fit for the times

Joseph the Dreamer cover

Gathering some of the most promising and most formidable names in the local theatre industry, Trumpets’ presents a reimagined production of its hit musical, “Joseph the Dreamer.”

Joseph the Dreamer” goes onstage February 21 to March 7 at the Globe Auditorium, Maybank Performing Arts Theater and promises to recreate moments of sheer nostalgia for people who have experienced the magic of previous stagings. The updated material is aimed at reaching a newer, younger audience and has been given new twists and takes that make it more vibrant and playful yet somehow more profound.

Trumpets President Butch Jimenez says, “The time is ripe for younger generations to experience this incredible musical and the best way to reach them is to have millennials at the helm of this new production. We did not have to look far to assemble the best artistic team. “

Renowned concert director and stage actor Paolo Valenciano, who grew up witnessing the magic of “Joseph the Dreamer,” makes his theater debut as Director. He has assembled only the finest young artists to form his team. Nelsito Gomez, accomplished theater actor and rising new director, sits at his right hand as Associate Director. Myke Salomon, acclaimed Musical Director of “Rak of Aegis” and “Ang Huling El Bimbo,” puts on that hat once again for “Joseph.”

Hip-hop group A-Team’s choreographer Mike Arda also lends his talent for the musical. The dance numbers for this his first theater adventure will be as energetic and powerful as those his award-winning crew is known for.

Trumpets veteran and skilled scenographer Mio Infante, Sound Engineer Rards Corpus, and Lighting Director Dong Calingacion, who are all known for their brilliant work in their respective fields of expertise, round-off the artistic team.

Born and bred for theater Sam Concepcion (“The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe,” “High School Musical,” “Peter Pan”) returns to Trumpets and his first love playing the title role of Joseph after time away from theater making a name for himself in mainstream entertainment. Playing his love interest, Asenath, is Kayla Rivera, who headlined a string of hit musicals including ATEG’s “Beautiful.

The King of Philippine Musical Theater Audie Gemora, who played Joseph in earlier runs, returns as Joseph’s father, Jacob.

Also returning is the original Benjamin, Carlo Orosa, who now plays multiple key characters that show off his flair for comedy including the role of Egypt’s Pharaoh.

A former member of the JTD ensemble and one of many Mrs. Potiphars, powerhouse performer Bituin Escalante is now Rachel, Jacob’s wife and Joseph’s mother.

It is so good to have Sam, a mainstay of Trumpets, and Kayla, a Trumpets first-timer, in one production. Sparks really fly between them,” shares Audie. “And it is also nice to share the stage with returning cast members Carlo and Bituin.”

Completing the cast are Mitzi Lao, RJ Dela Fuente, Carlos Canlas, Paul Anthony Valdez, Neo Rivera, Jim Ferrer, Renz Bernardo, Edrei Tan, Matthew Barbers, John Paul Fausto, Joshua Ade Valenzola, Guido Gatmaytan, Aldo Vencilao, Alys Serdenia, Jo Mari Logdat, Coleen Paz, Samantha Libao, Kathleen Francisco with two child wonders Elai Estrella and Eli Luis.

The Cast _Joseph The Dreamer PressCon (Photo by Erickson dela Cruz)
The cast of 2020 Trumpets’ Joseph the Dreamer. Photographed by Erickson dela Cruz.

Joseph The Dreamer” is based on the anointed life of Joseph and his journey towards becoming one of the most beloved characters in the Holy Bible.

Written by Freddie Santos based on the cantata by Cam Floria’s “Joseph, Whatever Happened to the Dreamer?”, the musical, rechristened “Joseph the Dreamer,” was first staged at the St. Teresa’s Auditorium Cebu in 1989. The modest staging was such a hit that the show quickly snowballed and had numerous runs shuttling back and forth between Manila and the provinces. It has played at the Meralco Theater, Cebu Plaza Ballroom, Waterfront Ballroom, 8000 seater Cebu Coliseum, the Ultra, San Agustin Gym in Iloilo, Bacolod Convention Center, Davao Convention Center, Dagupan Coliseum, Cuneta Astrodome and was even aired on television.

Joseph The Dreamer Presscon (Photo by Erickson dela Cruz)
2020 TRUMPETS’ Joseph The Dreamer Cast. Photo by Erickson dela Cruz.

Its record-breaking ten-year-run was brought to a new high when pop superstar Gary Valenciano played Joseph in the 1999 staging. These were followed by school runs in the early 2000’s and full runs at the SM Megamall theaters.

Because of the increasing clamor for its return, Trumpets has long dreamt of bringing back “Joseph the Dreamer” and on February 21, that dream finally comes true.

Be part of the dream! Catch Trumpets’ “Joseph the Dreamer,” one of the most awaited stage productions of 2020.

For tickets, please visit or Trumpets, Inc.’s official Fan Page.


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News: Tanghalang Pilipino goes Experimental with Peace Play “Batang Mujahideen”

Tanghalang Pilipino’s BATANG MUJAHIDEEN cover

Heralded for well-acted, finely-produced classical plays, Tanghalang Pilipino goes experimental in their upcoming production of Malou Jacob‘s “Batang Mujahideen,” tells the promising tale of children soldiers in Mindanao, who are caught in between the conflict of Muslims and Christians. “Batang Mujahideen” goes onstage at the Tanghalang Batute of the Cultural Center of the Philippines from February 21 until March 8. 2020.

Playwright Ms. Malou Jacob. Photo by Erickson dela Cruz

According to Jacob, a respected writer and playwright, “Batang Mujahideen” reflects the chaos of the 21st century.

Batang Mujahideen” taps artist, playwright and Tanghalang Ateneo’s Artistic Director Guelan Luarca to helm this play.

This play hopes to be catalyst of empathy and social action,” says Guelan, who shares staging credits with the members of the Tanghalang Pilipino Actors Company (AC). “This production also features AC, not only as actors and artists, but as ethical, engaged researchers and citizens.” Through “Batang Mujahideen,” Guelan hopes to highlight the inevitable connection between Art and Politics.

Batang Mujahideen’s Director, Mr. Guelan Varela-Luarca. Photo by Erickson dela Cruz

Sharing his vision about the play, Guelan shares, “Batang Mujahideen will use experimental, non-traditional modes of theater production: Documentary theater, devised theater, multimedia; movement and dance, traditional, experimental, and postmodern forms, research performance, metatheater, among others.”

He emphasizes that the point is to always, constantly obviate that this is a mediated narrative, filtered through the sense-impressions of Manila-based artists, and by way of the imagination of Malou.

With the guidance of a dramaturg and consultants from Mindanao, we offer this play as a mere representation of a reality in Mindanao which is far richer, far more human, far more complex than we can yearn to portray,” clarifies Guelan. “The audience will always be uncomfortably aware that this is a play, a performance, an interpretation of a reality we are honored to portray,”

Guelan promises to exhaust the entire production’s training as artists and performance makers to tell Malou’s important historical fiction about a part of our nation which we, in the capital, all to often ignore.

“Batang Mujahideen” features the multi-awarded members of the Tanghalang Pilipino Actors Company (AC), who reaped awards for critically-acclaimed productions of “Der Kaufmann (Merchant of Venice),” “Ang Pag-uusig (The Crucible),” and recently headlined the hit show “Katsuri (Of Mice and Men).

Members of the Tanghalang Pilipino Actors Company are Jonathan Tadioan, Marco Viaña, Doray Dayao, JV Ibesate, Lhorvie Nuevo, Antonette Go, Ybes Bagadiong, Manok Nellas, and Eunice Pacia. (Photos by Erickson dela Cruz © 2020)

Tickets can be purchased at Ticketworld, CCP Box Office, KTX (Kapamilya Tickets) and Ticket2Me, or you may contact Tanghalang Pilipino at (02) 832-1125, local 1621, 0915 6072275 or 0999 8843821. You may also visit Tanghalang Pilipino Facebook page for more details.

is The resident theater company of the

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Under My Skin _cover

The Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) closes its 52nd Theater Season and welcomes the first quarter of 2020 with Rody Vera’s Under My Skin, a provocative, relevant, and heart-wrenching drama anthology top-billed by multi-awarded actress Cherry Pie Picache.

Inspired by real people and events, the play accurately depicts the realities, triumphs, and struggles of people living with HIV, while navigating an important conversation about acceptance and tolerance. The play, which is part of PETA’s creative campaign “Acting on HIV“, aims to re-examine the issue of HIV and AIDS, as the numbers of recorded cases rapidly increase every day.

I’ve always wanted to do a play with PETA, so I am very excited to be finally doing it now,” Cherry Pie shares. “Most of what I’ve been doing lately is getting involved with different advocacies. So when our director and my good friend Melvin Lee told me that Under My Skin is going to be an advocacy play on HIV, I was enthusiastic to join even if I was worried in the beginning.”

I suppose and I hope that I’ve proven and established myself as an actress. I believe na tapos na ‘yung time ko na pang-sarili,” she expresses, regarding involving herself in advocacy theater. “I want to use my position, wherever I am now, to influence and advocate for certain issues. I am learning a lot and I really like the learning process. I was also interested kung nasaan na ba ang Pilipinas sa usaping HIV. It’s very timely because we should all give a part of ourselves to make people aware.”

Ms. Cherry Pie in PETA’s Under My Skin

Cherry Pie has been in the performing arts since she was young. At 9 years old, she was already working with Orlando Nadres, a writer-director for stage, TV, and film in the 1970’s. Cherry Pie’s most recent theater production was Buwan at Baril sa E? Major, written by Chris Millado, in 2017. The production was first staged by PETA in 1985, tackling different lives bound by repression under the regime of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

The commitment that Cherry Pie has for her craft is something she has in common with her role in Under My Skin. “Dr. Gemma Almonte is very dedicated,” she describes her character, whom she shares with veteran theater actress Roselyn Perez. “She is very objective like most doctors are. But inside, she’s very involved. Andoon ‘yung empathy niya.”

Cherry Pie is hopeful that Under My Skin will not only be a learning experience for audiences, but will also contribute positive change and action to combat the HIV and AIDS crisis in the country. More importantly, she sees the play as a beacon of hope. “I hope that the play will encourage and inspire people that HIV is nothing to be ashamed of,” she says.

There should no longer be a stigma. HIV is not and should not be a death sentence anymore. We, as a community, as a society, have the responsibility to get involved,” she adds.

Under My Skin provides a holistic learning experience. Apart from the play, audience members can stay for a talkback and debriefing with HIV experts and avail of free HIV screenings. The Under My Skin photo exhibit by The Red Whistle, which features 100 portraits of people from the theater industry who are HIV and AIDS advocates, is also available for audiences to experience.

Under My Skin is directed by Gawad Buhay! Awards nominee Melvin Lee. He is joined by his artistic team: Eric Dela Cruz (dramaturg), Migs Cortes (music/sound designer and arranger), Benjamin Padero and Carlo Tabije (production designers), Ian Torqueza (lights designer), Steven Tansiongco (video designer), and Nicole Primero and Bubbles Deriada (choreographers) from Airdance.

The Cast and Artistic Team of PETA’s Under My Skin

The cast also features TV, film, and theater artists Miguel Almendras, Mike Liwag, Anthony Falcon, and Dylan Talon, together with a roster of PETA artists: Eko Baquial, Gio Gahol, Lotlot Bustamante, Kitsi Pagaspas, Ekis Gimenez, Dudz Teraña, Jarred Jaicten, She Maala, Gold Villar-Lim, Bene Manaois, Mico Esquivel, Erold Enriquez, Jason Barcial, Joseph Madriaga, Rach Gimpes, Reggie Ondevilla, Roy Dahildahil, and Csai Habla.

Under My Skin is presented by PETA, The Red Whistle, and LoveYourself PH, in partnership with UNAIDS and Unilab. The play runs from February 7 to March 22, 2020 at the PETA Theater Center, No. 5 Eymard Drive, Brgy. Kristong Hari, New Manila, Quezon City. For tickets go to, 891-9999,

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Atlantis Theatrical’s THE BAND’S VISIT poster

Atlantis Theatrical Entertainment Group is thrilled to announce that musical theatre performers Jep Go, Dean Rosen, Steven Conde, Rhenwyn Gabalonzo and Leanne Mamonong complete the cast of the Tony and Grammy Award-winning musical THE BAND’S VISIT, which opens in March at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza, Makati.

Jep Go, a finalist of Team Lea on The Voice,  has appeared in musicals such as SWEENEY TODD, BEAUTIFUL, ETO NA! MUSIKAL NAPO, and MADAGASCAR. He will be playing the Telephone Guy, the hopeless romantic patiently waiting for his girlfriend to call him at the town’s only payphone.  Dean Rosen, who has appeared in SWEENEY TODD, BEAUTIFUL, WAITRESS, and SPAMALOT, plays Zelger, the cheeky and self-asserting friend of Papi’s who sets Papi up with Julia.  Steven Conde, who has appeared in SWEENEY TODD, WAITRESS,  and KINKY BOOTS, plays Simon, the second in command of the Egyptian Police Band, eager to try his hand at conducting.  Rhenwyn Gabalonzo, whose credits include BEAUTIFUL, MATILDA, KINKY BOOTS, and JERSEY BOYS, will play Camal, a musician trying to contact the Egyptian embassy and competes with the Telephone Guy for the use of the town’s singular payphone.  Leanne Mamonong is a recording artist who has also taken to the stage with Metta Assumption Theatre under the tutelage of Ana Valdes-Lim. They join previously announced cast members Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo (Dina), Rody Vera (Tewfiq), Mark Bautista (Haled), Nino Alejandro (Avrum), Reb Atadero (Papi), Bibo Reyes (Itzik), Jill Peña (Iris), Maronne Cruz (Julia), and Floyd Tena (Sammy).

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 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.

Bobby Garcia, who will be directing the musical, says, “I couldn’t ask for a better cast than this to bring to life these rich, complex, and  human characters. THE BAND’S VISIT has become a modern musical classic, in my eyes, and I think it will be treasured for generations to come. I am extremely proud that we get to tell this story in Manila and bring to life this gorgeous musical with a cast unlike any other.”

THE BAND’S VISIT will have set design by Faust Peneyra, musical direction by Farley Asuncion, musical staging by Cecile Martinez, lighting design by Adam Honoré, costume design by Odelon Simpao, vocal direction by Manman Angsico, projection design by GA Fallarme, hair and make up design by Jaydee Jasa, and sound design by Justin Stasiw.

THE BAND’S VISIT will launch Atlantis’ 2020 season, dubbed as ATLANTIS TWENTY TWENTY. The season will also feature an all-new revival of the award-winning family musical OLIVER!, presented through a special licensing agreement with Cameron Mackintosh Ltd. and Music Theatre International, and ON YOUR FEET!, presented through a special licensing agreement 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.
Show buying and fundraising opportunities are available now. Email for inquiries. Tickets are now available at

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