PETA reveals new slate of theater performances

The Philippine Educational Theater Association or PETA continues to push boundaries and explore new frontiers in socially relevant theater. PETA welcomes 2024 with a bold collection of new theater performances that puts the spotlight on the theme “Control + Shift: Changing Narratives, Reclaiming and Reshaping Stories of the Filipino People.”

PETA artists, together with creative partners and collaborators, have created fresh works that hope to provoke curiosity, spark conversations, challenge assumptions, interrogate and transform the toxic narratives and harmful depictions that hold society back.

The slate features eight new works, devised performances and the re-staging of Kumprontasyon at the PETA Theater Center from 12 to 14 and 19 to 21 January.

The line-up includes:

Zoe Damag, Julia Enriquez, Pia Viola and Gold Villar-Lim’s Momsilogues, directed by Gold Villar-Lim. Single mom foodie vloggers collaborate on an interactive vlog about tapsilog, uncovering a savory journey of career, love and motherhood.

Sabrina Basillo’s Ang Mga Halimaw sa Compound Z, directed by Norbs Portales. A journalist interviews two recovering “halimaw” about their reintegration into society and discovers a shocking revelation that could alter humanity’s destiny forever. This play explores the construction of monster myths and their impact on young Filipinos’ mental and social well-being.

Albularyo, with direction, concept and choreography by Carlon Matobato, and dramaturgy by Ian Segarra. A movement performance that journeys into the world of Filipino folk healing of the ills of our body and our nation.

Mixkaela Villalon’s Children of the Algo, directed by John Moran. Gen Z content creators hide their deeper realities while navigating the digital age with wit and vulnerability, challenging viewers to see beyond the algorithm.

Dominique La Victoria’s Kislap at Fuego, with direction by Maribel Legarda and J-mee Katanyag, and Filipino translation by Gentle Mapagu. An unexpected fairytale between a kapre and a country girl, set amidst the Philippine Revolution against Spain. This play explores how to reshape the way we talk about love, rebirth and revolution.

Liza Magtoto’s / (Slash), directed by Meann Espinosa. When an influencer’s best friend is “canceled,” her seemingly neutral stance is put to a test. As these two friends grapple with the idea of re-entering the industry, Xendy (the influencer) tries to balance loyalty, righteousness and branding.

Ang Parangal, with direction and concept by Eric dela Cruz, adaptated and co-conceptualized with Michelle Ngu-Nario. In this adaptation of Miloš Forman’s 1967 comedy film, The Fireman’s Ball, a group of barangay tanod organizes a community celebration in tribute for their retired barangay captain but crumbles in the face of their dire ineptitude. Spectacles and good intentions are not enough to make up for incompetence in governance.

Glecy Atienza’s Nakatala Sa Tubig (staged reading), in collaboration with Anthony Cruz and Bobet Mendoza. A performance discourse on water and the lives and roles of women in times of war.

Kyle Saldonido’s Pilipinas, Geym Ka Na Ba?, a devised performance by Umalohokan Inc., directed by Kovi Billones with directing guidance from Ian Segarra. The residents of Barangay Pinapili woke up in an obscure playground. To leave, they must beat a series of childhood games, each with a dark twist.

Melvin Lee’s Kumprontasyon. This production, which boasts three plays: Allan Palileo’s Lakambini, Guelan Luarca’s The Impossible Dream and Joshua Lim So’s A Color for Tomorrow, uses theater as a platform for difficult but necessary conversations on unresolved historical and political events.

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