Local theater groups unite the artists, rock the authorities.

February’s National Arts Month features a barrage of diverse upcoming attractions from theater groups, with aims of rocking local authorities while connecting young Filipino artists. These also stand as a testament to the artists’ collaborations in showcasing their talents and passions with an art that reflects the lives of ordinary Filipinos. But in the face of the upcoming elections, these plays tend to expose a New Age of social hypocrisy, ruled by old and new oppressive forces that will still rule it even after May 2016.

GAPOK by Tanghalang Mulong Sandoval is a melodramatic struggle against corporations and state officials using demolitions to get rid of the urban poor. With a strong set of actors, GAPOK reflects the reality of inhumane demolitions and evictions still in operation around the Metro. Meanwhile, Ateneo Entablado dazzles with an adaptation of ROMULUS D’ GRAYT whose titular selfish emperor in the face of his falling empire seems too familiar for a Filipino audience. From Ateneo to UP, and from state politics to the Church, The UP Repertory Company restages its controversial KARITAS AT DAMASO for Fringe Manila 2016. A musical farce brimming with irreverent dialogue and risqué high-NRG musical numbers, it’s enough to electrify any religious fanatic. In the same humorously sharp way, Yugto Theater Ensemble slaps the local elections with the game show comedy-musical OPEN THE DOOR. Lastly, two new theater groups combine the efforts of artists to create new material for Fringe Manila 2016 – Project Mayheim Productions’ WE CHOOSE TO GOT TO THE MOON is a collaboration artists from different groups, tackling issues of human behavior in the internet. Meanwhile EraGascon’s series of HAMPASAN Open Jams is an event for artists to showcase their works, allowing them to enjoy different art spaces in the Metro, while also standing as a fundraiser for their upcoming Fringe production.

Catch all these plays this February:

*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


*ROMULUS D’ GRAYT will be staged at the Rizal Mini Theater, Faber Hall, Ateneo de Manila University in the following dates:

  • February 3-5, 9-12 (7 PM)
  • February 6 & 13 (2 PM & 7 PM)


*KARITAS AT DAMASO will be staged at The Pineapple Lab in Makati City on the following dates:

  • February 14 & 21 (3PM & 7PM)
  • February 15 & 22 (7PM)
  • February 20 & 27 (3PM)


*OPEN THE DOOR will be staged in Luneta’s Mabuhay Restop on February 26-27 (3pm & 7pm)


*WE CHOOSE TO GO TO THE MOON will be staged at the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ Tanghalang Huseng Batute on February 21 & 28 (4pm & 8pm)


*The next HAMPASAN Open Jam will be on February 7, 9pm at the Black Kings Bar x Cafe (BKB, in West Ave)



KARITAS AT DAMASO: The UP Repertory Company’s scandalous musical #blastphemy

The UP Repertory Company (UP REP), UP Diliman’s official University Performing Group for Philippine Theatre, proudly brings back one of its most outrageous, most shocking and most controversial play for Fringe Manila Arts Festival: KARITAS AT DAMASO.

Written by UP Diliman’s U Z Eliserio and directed by UP REP alumnus, Dax Carnay, the production also features an all critical, all daring, all UP production cast and crew.

See UP Rep and UZ Eliserio’s take on religion in a wild EDM flavored musical farce opening this Valentine’s Day! In an old, cheap looking church, a young woman named Juana Donna visits to confess her sins before she gets married. She begs the priest, Damaso and the nuns Karitas and Salve Regina to cleanse her soul so she can regain her virginity back — the most special gift she could give to her groom. After having done all the rituals, she realizes that the rituals change nothing, and Damaso, Karitas and Salve Regina, together with their beliefs and religious ‘powers’ are incapable of helping her.

12646626_10154357465866111_2241623670429113370_oU Z Eliserio’s KARITAS AT DAMASO is a musical farce that seeks to question and reexamine the role of religion in our ideas and notions about sex, money, sin and love.  For an arts festival that showcases different and diverse material, UP Rep’s KARITAS AT DAMASO is sure not to disappoint.


UP Rep’s KARITAS AT DAMASO will open on February 14 (3PM & 7PM) and will continue on the following showdates: February 21 (3PM & 7PM), February 15 & 22 (7PM) and February 20 & 27 (3PM) at The Pineapple Lab, Makati City. For more details you can check out the KxD Event Page, or contact NICOLYN at 09066925606.

OPEN THE DOOR: Yugto Theater Ensemble takes on politicians in the election season


Pilipinas! Handa na ba kayo? Nandito na ang isang makabuluhan, nakakapagpabagabag, makatotohanan, makatwiran at nakakapagpa-‘todo bigay’ sayang talk variety game show ng bayan! It’s time to OPEN THE DOOR!

Witness how we unravel the stories and lives of the important figures of our society as we interview them and show their real colors in a dazzling talk show in a variety game show setting! Now this is justice with style!

Sino ang magiging masuwerteng nilalang na makakakuha ng pagkakataon na maiuwi ang mga naglalakihang papremyo at ang inaasam asam ng lahat, ang lubos na kalayaan mula sa mapanghusgang lipunan! Kaya tara! panuorin natin ang kagandahan ng hustisya! Let’s OPEN THE DOOR!

Tunghayan ang OPEN THE DOOR ng Yugto Theater Ensemble, idinirehe ni Marco Viana, sa February 26 at 27 (3pm at 7pm). Gaganapin ito sa Mabuhay Restop ng Luneta, malapit sa Museong Pambata at Quirino Grandstand.


Yugto Theater Ensemble (YTE) is a new independent theater performance company composed of young individuals who see theater as a tool to promote positive change in the society. These individuals came from Mapua Tekno Teatro, the official performing group of Mapua Institute of Technology, who wish to showcase their works outside the walls of the institute. The Ensemble aims to deliver self-reflecting experiences and invoke change to create a new chapter among young Filipinos. Expressing through contemporary theatre, the members shall devise relevant new works and perform significant Filipino literary pieces.


For more details on OPEN THE DOOR, visit its official event page or Yugto’s Official Facebook account.

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.