WE CHOOSE TO GO TO THE MOON: Project Mayheim Productions blends theatre and the internet


Project Mayheim Productions is a theatre production company composed of young thespians. Aiming to produce shows that would showcase new playwrights and give an avenue for budding and veteran stage performers to share their talents, Project Mayheim will be staging a devised play inspired by the words of John F. Kennedy, WE CHOOSE TO GO TO THE MOON. WE CHOOSE TO GO TO THE MOON is directed by Fitz Edward Bitaña, an aspiring director from the University of the Philippines and the current Artistic Director of Project Mayheim Productions. It will be a part of Fringe MNL this year.


WE CHOOSE TO GO TO THE MOON is a play about those who do not know how to dream, who are lost and those who turn into lunatics within the world of the internet. Using the art of theatre and multimedia mapping, the play’s goal is to showcase different types of formula to reach the height of nirvana and show how they can slowly destroy one’s heart, body, mind and being. The play/material is a compilation of stories of love, sex, relationships, drugs, and many more, centered solely on the inter-net. The story plays around the unlimited parameters of online chatting, pornography, social media and more through the eyes of a variety of mixed personalities and persona.

This will be a collaborative work among the actors and our playwright, Sir Vladimeir Gonzales.

  • Showdates: February 21, 4pm and 8pm February 28, 4pm and 8pm
  • Venue: Cultural Center of the Philippines Tanghalang Huseng Batute


For more details, visit the Project Mayheim Productions FB Page.


HAMPASAN: EraGascon’s Advocacy for the Local Arts Scene


12485808_1707380279484827_1143825251772601732_oEGMM in cooperation with SELDA-DOS present:

‪#‎HAMPASAN‬ (An Open Art Jam!)

JANUARY 31, 2016 9PM at SELDA-DOS (Visayas Avenue, Tandang Sora, QC)


To register, send us a message here on Facebook or contact EGMM thru Pat Gascon- 0915 912 9919 and/or Joshua Chan- 0917 677 5141

BE PART OF THE #HAMPASAN Community!!! See you all on the 31st and let’s all end January together with one love, one passion, one advocacy, one community, #HAMPASAN!!!


What is #HAMPASAN?

HAMPASAN is the brain-child of two women who were inspired to use the artistry evident in people, as their way of promoting the beauty and diversity present today in the Philippines. Hampasan is not just a talent show and to prove it, the title was not chosen because it sounded cool, it actually means more than it has to offer;

Hampasan is a Filipino term for ‘hit’. Being common knowledge, to hit/get hit, emits/provokes a feeling. The show is centred in on this. Willing artists are given an open platform to express their selves through any type of medium. The concept behind “Hampasan” is that we would like to showcase a kaleidoscope of people who are present right now, those we come across and see every day and to realize that we actually don’t. This show’s goal is to have a two-way conversation between the artist and the audience; for the artists to hit the audience emotionally by letting them feel what they feel, by relaying their story and of course to express their selves. In turn, the audience would hit back to their performers with their presence during their acts of art.

It’s not a stagnant type of event. It (HAMPASAN) can be found anywhere. It can be done anywhere and it could be done in any way. No two shows are the same, just like no feeling is the same. KAYA TARA NA!! MAG-HAMPASAN NA!!


Images from HAMPASAN’s FB Page


Introducing GAPOK: Tanghalang Mulong Sandoval’s new short play on urban poverty

Written by Terence Krishna Lopez for Sining Kadamay’s theatre arm Tanghalang Mulong Sandoval, Gapok is a short play about an urban poor family confronting their conflicts one morning as the community is facing demilition from state forces and a private corporation.


Photos from GAPOK’s Official Facebook Page

“Gapok” which can mean brittle, fragile or weak is used as metaphor to describe how the lives of the urban poor are treated by the government and its private partners. Often, for the state and these private corporations, the urban poor are eye sores that must be swept away from the margins where they live to relocation sites that are far away from their sources of livelihood and basic social services. On the other hand, their shanties become the literal translation of the word “Gapok.”

The play is conceptualized as an on-site performance. The site of the performances being the literal urban poor communities in Quezon City, Caloocan City and Rodriguez, Rizal.

Against the backdrop of the government’s inhumanity and the continuing forced eviction and violent demolition of urban poor communities, “Gapok” happens one morning. Lourdes and her two sons Joseph and Jessie are in a heated argument about a decision that may change their lives in the community. And as their confrontation inside their shanty escalates – the state forces and demolition teams arrive, the community prepares to set up a barricade. In an instant, the family has to face the result of the ongoing eviction. As state forces start to shoot, and as the people stand their ground and chaos ensues outside, the situation inside the shanty gets more tensed and a bomb is about to explode. A tragedy is about to arrive. Jessie, Joseph and Lourdes decide.

The play touches different issues that the urban poor families deal with everyday, through the conversations inside the family’s shanty such as lack of livelihood opportunities, inaccessibility of basic social services, etc.


Objectives of the play

The play aims to:

  • Strengthen advocacy of urban poor issues amid glaring physical and economic violence perpetuated by the government and its private partners through inhuman labor practices, low wages and continuing evictions
  • Help educate and raise awareness among the urban poor, students and professionals on the conditions and struggles of the urban poor sector in order to foster solidarity.
  • Utilize theatre as a means of organizing and mobilizing urban poor communities
  • Generate funds for the continuing community-based cultural work of Sikad and its performance arm Tanghalang Mulong Sandoval



The Creative team

Playwright and co-director Terence Krishna Valdez Lopez studied BA Development Studies in the University of the Philippines. He is a cultural worker, writer, and the head of the Cultural Development program of Urban Poor Resource Center of the Philippines. He is also the coordinator of Sining Kadamay/SIKAD. He is a founding member of Art Action Network, a network of independent theatre practitioners aiming at devoting skills and time for marginalized sectors’ advocacies. He is also one of the movers of “Cinema is Incomplete”, a free film screening and conversations program that has screened over a hundred films including the works of Lav Diaz and Mes de Guzman among others. He is also currently in pre-production on his two other plays that tackle urban poor issues and struggles- “Bago Matapos ang Gabi,” (Before the Night Ends) and Ningas.

Co-director Edwin Quinsayas is a theatre actor, director and contemporary dance artist. He is a founding member of Art Action Network and a member of Sikad. Among Quinsayas’ directorial works are the two productions of Nanay Mameng, isang dula; Pitong Sundang a dance theater staged in the University of the Philippines, Polytechnic University of the Philippines and Ateneo De Manila University and Leksyon sa Eleksyon which was with Miriam College’s Institutional Network for Social Action (INSA). He is currently the board secretary and company member of Chameleon Dance Theatre.

The show’s lights designer is Kristine Razo Malagueño who has illuminated shows of Tanghalang Pilipino, Ballet Philippines, Sinagbayan and Art Action Network among others, as an apprentice of renowned theater veteran Katsch Catoy Jr. Among her works with Catoy were the celebrated La Revolucion Filipina, Mabining Mandirigma, Pahimakas sa Isang Ahente (Death of a Salesman), August: Osage County and Nanay Mameng, isang dula.

The production designer is Rowena Bayon, a Fine Arts alumna of the University of the Philippines-Diliman and also a PHSA graduate. She designed the two productions of “Nanay Mameng, isang dula,” “Pitong Sundang” and the 2013 Virgin Labfest entry “Pamamanhikan,” among others. She is a founding member of Art Action Network.

All-around musician and world-music band Talahib’s percussionist Domeng Molina is the show’s sound and music designer. He has worked as an actor and musician for progressive groups Musicians for Peace and Sining Bugkos. His most recent work in theatre was “KM @ 50” staged early this year at the UP Theater.

The play’s Production Manager is Jaime Hernandez. Jaime is an artist and is the current manager of Talahib People’s Music. He also manages the advocacy restaurant Coconut House.


The Organizers

Tanghalang Mulong Sandoval is the performing arm of Sikad or Sining Kadamay, a cultural organization advocating for urban poor rights through the arts. It is based in urban poor communities. Sining Kadamay has four collectives: Music Collective, Rap Collective, Creative Writing Collective and Dance Theatre Collective

Art Action Network is a network of artists who are working with grassroots organizations for their advocacies through art productions. Among its advocacies are the promotion of rights of LGBTs, urban poor and peasant sectors. Art Action Network is the team behind the successful play “Nanay Mameng, isang dula” staged in the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (2014) and in Miriam College (2015).


Tanghalang Mulong Sandoval’s GAPOK will be staged on February in the following areas:

*February 12-13 at Sitio San Roque, Agham Road, QC
*February 19-20 at Camarin, North Caloocan City
*February 26 at Payatas, QC
*February 27 at Kasiyahan Street, Barangay Holy Spirit, QC

For more details, visit the official Facebook page of Gapok.


Ateneo ENTABLADO adapts Friedrich Dürrenmatt’s ROMULUS D’ GRAYT

Now on its 33rd season titled “Makita Kang Sakdal Laya”, Ateneo ENTABLADO continues its season advocacy of good governance and engaged citizenship with its adaptation of a Western play. Originally written by Swiss playwright Friedrich Dürrenmatt and translated to Filipino by Dr. Jerry Respeto, Romulus D’ Grayt becomes a comedic re-telling of Dürrenmatt’s unhistorical historical play.

Directed by Jethro Tenorio, Romulus D’ Grayt portrays the Roman Empire falling to its demise because of the leadership of an emperor who focuses on nothing else but his beloved chickens. Continuously questioning acts of heroism and one’s sense of nationalism, the character of Emperor Romulus offers to the audience an unusual kind of leader who, despite appearing irrational to his constituents, still carries the courage and conviction to deliver what is truly needed by society.


Not long before the infamous Ides of March, the subjects of the Emperor Romulus, in urgent succession, warn their sovereign of the threat that is the Teutons encroaching upon Rome. To the shock of the Romans, Romulus does not seem the least bit worried about this danger. He deliberately leaves his empire in the hands of fate and busies himself with the welfare of his chicken farm. On the eve of the occupation, the subjects plot to assassinate the emperor, but Romulus soon discovers the conspiracy and thwarts this plan. Abandoned by his subjects, Romulus is left alone to face Odoakro, the leader of the Teutons, in order to relinquish his empire. In their meeting, the two leaders soon discover that their goals are aligned – to give up the nests of violence and greed that are their nations.

The show runs on the following dates: February 3-5, 9-12 at 7 PM, and February 6 and 13 at 2 PM and 7 PM, at the Rizal Mini Theater, Faber Hall, Ateneo de Manila University.

For tickets and inquiries, please see the Ateneo ENTABLADO Facebook page or contact Riczel Venegas at 0915 573 3175.

TAMALI: Mapua Tekno Teatro’s latest play explores Filipino morality

Publicity materials for TAMALI, from Mapua Tekno Teatro’s Facebook page

Written by Jessica Namujhe and directed by Antonio Luis Mercado, TAMALI is about a person who wasn’t given the chance to be heard, considered as world’s enemy no.1 and was always looked down by other people faces a challenge in his life. He finds his self trying to help a person to commit a suicide attempt. Before he even knew it, he was caught in the middle of an argument where they weigh which is wrong and which is right. Who will emerge as the victor of this argument? Will his side finally be heard?

Mapúa Tekno Teatro, the official theatre group of Mapúa Institute of Technology, will be celebrating the 91st Foundation Week of Mapúa Institute of Technology, and will offer a stage play that won Best Play for Dramafest 8, entitled Tamali, written by Jessica Namujhe and directed by Antonio Luis Mercado.



The production will be on January 29 & 30, 2016 at Mapúa Intramuros Seminar Room. There will be three shows per day (10:30 am -12:00 nn, 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm & 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm). The shows are open for all including “non-Mapúan audience”. Shows are on a pay-what-you-can basis which means we will not be selling entrance passes every show. Instead, we will just be accepting voluntary donations from the audience after each show.


A Reblog: Every Actor Should be Involved Backstage At Least Once

Erik Bailey (January 13, 2016, posted on www.onstageblog.com)

Link to original article: http://www.onstageblog.com/columns/2016/1/13/every-actor-should-be-involved-backstage-at-least-once

Photos courtesy of The UP Repertory Company

It is often said that “actors without stagehands are naked people standing in the dark trying to emote and stagehands without actors are at the bar.” This couldn’t be a truer statement. But yet, many actors are unappreciative of what the people backstage do. I believe this has nothing to do with the actor’s ego. Many (not all) actors are so focused on what they need to be doing that they tend to forget about the people who work hard to make the show possible.  Because of this, I believe that every actor should work backstage at least once.

When an actor works backstage they get to see the other side of things. They get to see the rest of the hard work that goes into a show. They get to experience the actors that get in the way of the stagehands that are just trying to do their job. It helps build an appreciation of what goes on behind the scenes.

Not only does working backstage help you build an appreciation, but it can help with getting hired. One of my professors kept emphasizing how it important it is that we as actors get backstage experience. Many summer stock companies or small theatres will hire actors with backstage experience and technical skills than those that don’t because they are more useful.

I am an actor before anything else, but I love when I get the chance to work backstage for a show. I love being a part of the process and seeing everything that goes into it. I feel that it has helped build my love for theatre and has made me more versatile of a person.

I can think of many pros as to why actors should get backstage experience but there seem to be no cons. Who knows, maybe stagehands should get some onstage experience too.

Nightmares of Eviction in Tanghalang Mulong Sandoval’s GAPOK


Eviction and demolitions in urban poor areas are not very hot topics in television nor in social media. What most netizens pay attention to in this scenario is the warring sides of police and informal settlers throwing rocks and bottles of urine while fires of arson blaze at the communities and both smoke and debris blur the cameras to conceal the bloody aftermath. Rarely do we hear stories of what really is destroyed in demolitions, of what is really lost in the process of achieving “development”.

Perhaps it is only timely that a theatre group can finally reflect the not-often told narratives of families affected by eviction and demolition. The recent chaotic events in Agham Road QC inspired Sining Kadamay’s Tanghalang Mulong Sandoval in staging GAPOK.

A short, on-site one-act play, GAPOK is about an urban poor family and their community facing eviction. The play had a second preview last January 8 in the Back To The 90s Bar at Tomas Morato.


A 15-minute presentation gave a huge scoop on things to come. A mother and her two sons are arguing whether they must join the barricade or enlist themselves in the ongoing relocation. It heats up as the two brothers go at each other’s neck for their failures and doomed aspirations. And in the middle of this fight and the brewing chaos outside, they must choose: should the family fight back, or must they compromise with the forces pushing through with this eviction?

The preview itself is full of heavy drama, and the performances (while still flawed in some aspects) are mostly powerful, with pathos that evokes several tragic heroes from Shakespeare. The dialogue echoes Sining Kadamay’s previous play NANAY MAMENG, and actual quotes from victims of demolitions in Malabon and Agham. Even the onsite approach provided an ironic stance on the dilemma of three members of a family torn apart by the situation.


While timely and relevant, Sining Kadamay, Tanghalang Mulong Sandoval and Art Action Network also took a bold and empowering move to stage it for the actual people experiencing the conflict. GAPOK will be staged on February in the following areas:

*February 12-13 at Sitio San Roque, Agham Road, QC
*February 19-20 at Camarin, North Caloocan City
*February 26 at Payatas, QC
*February 27 at Kasiyahan Street, Barangay Holy Spirit, QC

For more details, visit the official Facebook page of Gapok.

ALT+ART: The Art of Alternative Theatre

For many, the theater arts scene in the Philippines has recently been an elitist’s haven. What is left with the common working class man, with the high prices of tickets, a lack of courses or programs teaching theatre, and most especially the height of television, cinema and social media as forms of entertainment?

These bastards are illegitimate children of performance, of the stage, of the glimmering lights of the “pinilakang tabing”. Let’s go back to where the stage is biggest – the streets, the communities, the masses.

ALT+ART promotes not the “best” in the most elitist competitive sense that fuels the general scheme of local mainstream theatre, but all the alternative, collegiate, community and lesser-known groups who pound their way without enough manpower or money to create a lasting product that is part of a long tradition of performance.

ALT+ART is here to promote the works of artists who strive for their art  delivering messages only seldom heard to the majority of masses not only for them to be able to witness stories of the marginalized but also to inspire them to collaborate and make art together as a community.

ALT+ART serves the artists that serve the community. And thus, we begin this endless journey.


  • ART+ALT is Gio Potes, an artist and critic borne out of the gay and ferocious UP Repertory Company of UP Diliman.