At the heart of New Manila sits one of the Philippines’ pioneer theater groups, the Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA). Known for its original Filipino productions and educational theater programs, PETA leaps into 2017 with arms wide open as they mark their 50th year anniversary. Packed with an exciting line up to celebrate their golden year, patrons are promised a glimpse of PETA’s remarkable journey.
50 Years in the Making
What started as a brilliant MA thesis envisioning a National Theater Movement for the country by Cecile Guidote-Alvarez in 1967 has now blossomed into a powerful presence in the theater industry. Over the course of 50 years, PETA has contributed to Philippine theater aesthetics, performance and pedagogy. The company has tapped into over a million audiences with the help of hundreds of partners from the local government, private sector, corporations, media and educational institutions.
In celebration of the company’s golden year, PETA prepares a line-up of productions and workshops that showcases the range of its cultural work and honors the men and women who have taken PETA to this momentous anniversary.
CAREDIVAS (February 3 to March 19: PETA TC)
PETA’s hit comedy musical on Philippine migration reruns opening the company’s 50th year celebration. The musical dominated the 2011 Philstage Gawad Buhay! Awards, bagging seven trophies including Outstanding Stage Direction, Outstanding Musical Direction, Outstanding Musical Production and Outstanding Ensemble Performance for a Musical.
Care Divas is a disarmingly funny and candid musical drama about 5 transgender Overseas Filipino Workers in Israel who work as care givers in the morning and transform into glamorous drag queen performers at night.
MANILA IMPROV FESTIVAL 2017 (March 22 to March 26: PETA TC)
The Silly People’s Improv Theater (SPIT) in collaboration with PETA rounds up the best local and international improvisational comedy groups in a 5-day festival. According SPIT’s founder Gabe Mercado, doing the festival at the PETA Theater Center is their way of coming home, as “PETA was the very first group that brought improv to the Philippines in the early 70s.”
BUNK PUPPETS’ STICKS, STONES, BROKEN BONES (May 3-7: PETA TC)
The PETA Theater Center has hosted numerous local and international productions. On PETA’s golden year, the Center hosts Sticks, Stones & Broken Bones, a breathtaking shadow puppetry production by acclaimed performer Jeff Achtem. The show is a theatrical extravaganza that makes use of mind-bending shadow puppetry techniques to create one big spectacle that will surely amaze children as well as adults.
RITES AT THE FORT and PETA IN CONCERT (April 7: Rajah S. & PETA TC)
The company kick starts the celebration of its foundation day with a morning ritual, and blessing of its original home, the Rajah Sulayman Theater. In the evening, the company hosts a special concert performed by renowned theater and music giants singing new renditions of PETA’s musical gems and original compositions through the decades. The gathering also serves as a heartfelt thanksgiving and a rightful send-off as PETA continues to grow beyond 50 years.
PETA WORKSHOP EXPRESS (April 27 to May 28: PETA TC)
PETA’s annual workshop for kids, teens, and adults go the extra mile as it travels to different regions across the country to conduct satellite classes in key cities.
TAGU-TAGUAN, MALIWANAG ANG BUWAN (Aug 24 to Sept 24: PETA TC)
Tagu-taguan, Maliwanag ang Buwan is PETA’s newest children’s production. It tells the story of a young boy who embarks on an adventure to find the imprisoned stories in a dark realm of fear and forgetfulness guarded by the evil monster Pawpaw Halimaw. As he goes deeper into his quest, he discovers the power of imagination and creativity and deepens his understanding of love, friendship and courage.
FESTIVAL OF WINDOWS (Oct 6 to 22: PETA TC)
PETA gathers its local and international partners to a festival of ideas and best practices in the field of Advocacy Theater, of which it is a pioneer.
ANG BUHAY NI GALILEO (Nov 9 to 26: PETA TC) (Nov 29 to Dec 1: Rajah S.)
PETA has been largely influenced by the theories and methods of Bertolt Brecht. On its 50th year, PETA restages one of its most powerful plays, Ang Buhay ni Galileo. Originally directed by German director Fritz Bennewitz, the play captures Bertolt Brecht’s power and depth, rich semantic overtones, and far-reaching implications. The play was critically acclaimed and was considered as one of PETA’s best translations and most exciting productions during this early ‘80s.
LIVING VOICES (Nov 29 to Dec 1, Rajah Sulayman)
A retrospect of the most significant plays originally mounted at the Rajah Sulayman Theater, with live testimonies shared by PETA legends.
A GAME OF TROLLS
Aside from this exciting line-up, PETA in partnership with the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP), presents A Game Of Trolls a timely and educational production about Martial Law meant for students and Millennials. The production will tour year-round to different cities all over the Philippines.
GRAND ALUMNI HOMECOMING (Dec 10)
The 50th year celebration will wrap up with a Grand Alumni Homecoming to celebrate those who dedicated their lives to one of the most original and exceptionally relevant cultural phenomena in Philippine cultural history: PETA.
“Truly PETA has been the collective endeavor and creative work of several generations of Filipino artists. Now is the time to gather together so the torch can be passed on to a new generation of young leaders, artists and cultural workers, who must use the power of theater to shine the light especially in these dark challenging times,” shares PETA President, Cecilia B. Garrucho.
For more information regarding PETA’s 50th Theater Season, contact (02) 725-6244, 0917-5765400, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their website www.petatheater.com or official Facebook page: www.facebook.com/PETATHEATER.