Here Are 5 Local Theater Companies You Should Know About
One of the things that Filipinos are often proud of is the amount of talent our countrymen have. Many of us are born performers. Hence, it is not surprising that the country has become a breeding ground for world-class talents.
While digital mass media is well-acknowledged by the Filipinos, live performances are still very much loved and embraced as well. Did you know that Manila is home to numerous theater companies that put up world-class productions? No need to set foot on foreign lands to witness a truly enthralling experience in theater. In Manila, you have your theater companies to give you a taste of true theatrical craftsmanship!
Tanghalang Pilipino is the resident theater company of the Cultural Center of the Philippines. It has been standing since 1987 developing actors, writers, and designers by staging original Filipino plays and adaptations of international plays. Behind the limelight, TP also holds workshops for those who want to hone their talent in the craft.
For Tanghalang Pilipino’s 30th season, they are set to put on 5 plays which include Mabining Mandirigma to run later this year and Pangarap sa Isang Gabi ng Gitnang Tag-Araw, a Filipino translation of William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream in celebration of his 400th death anniversary.
Truly Filipino and truly masterful, Tanghalang Pilipino is a solid example of what a classic thespian craftsmanship looks like.
PHILIPPINE EDUCATIONAL THEATER ASSOCIATION
Philippine Educational Theater Association, or PETA, has been around since the 1960s. This company has always thrived, fueled by the goal of utilizing the stage as a tool for social change and rendering social awareness to the Filipino community. Since their foundation, they have formed several departments that handle theater activities such as workshops and mobile theater performances, among many other socially relevant projects.
PETA is known to many by being the group that stages original plays that feature songs by various Filipino pop artists such as Sugarfree, and Francis Magalona. For its 49th theater season, PETA is going to stage for the 5th time the highly-acclaimed rock comedy Rak of Aegis featuring the songs of the Filipino rock group Aegis, no less.
Not only is PETA a group of incredibly talented (and often hilarious) individuals but these people are active tools for social change. And that is very honorable.
Repertory Philippines is probably one of the most popular and highly-acclaimed theater groups in the Philippines. It has been around since the 1960’s and has since been producing world-class talents. Did you know that Lea Salonga is a product of Repertory Philippines? Yup, that pretty much signifies the quality of training and production they do in this company.
They are known for producing modern and classic plays throughout the year. Included in their past productions are their own take on plays such as Les Miserables, The King and I and The Secret Garden. They also hold workshops for children and adults alike who are eventually given the stage to perform their own production.
Repertory Philippines is an institution that has become a foundation for Philippine theater.
GANTIMPALA THEATER FOUNDATION, INC.
Another institution in the Manila theater scene is the Gantimpala Theater Foundation. Annually, they stage plays based on Filipino classics that instill in its audience true Filipino roots and values. Included in its production are adaptations of Florante at Laura, Ibong Adarna and El Filibusterismo. Most of their productions are based on the writings of Filipino National Artists, fairytales and Filipino folklore.
It is with this kind of institution that our traditions live on. It is a social responsibility that is difficult to embody especially in changing times but with commitment, determination and talent such as what Gantimpala has, the true Filipino spirit in theater will surely survive.
9 WORKS THEATRICAL
9 Works Theatrical is a company that exhibits excellence in contemporary theater. They stage either their company’s originals or their own adaptation of musicals from The West End and Broadway. 9 Works Theatrical is the company that brought to life on stage crowd favorite musicals like Rent, The Wedding Singer and The Last 5 Years. Off stage, they also hold workshops to strengthen the potential of those who has the passion for performance.
It is with these productions that we see the future of theater in the country. With 9 Works producing world class productions, well, it seems that theater’s future in the country looks very bright.