Last December 12, PETA gave the media a preview of what people can expect from its upcoming 50th season.
President CB Garrucho: Tonight, we not only want to show you what we have in store for 2017, but beyond that, as we go through each of the offerings, we will take you on a journey of looking back at what PETA has done, but hopefully also a peak into what more PETA can do beyond 50. PETA’s 50th year is definitely worth celebrating but it is only the beginning of the next 50 years of PETA continuing its work in theater and education towards transforming the lives of Filipinos.
Garrucho: Truly PETA has seen through these last 50 years the collective endeavor and the creative work of several generations of Filipino artists. The 50th year 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 dark, challenging times. So together, all of us, partners, showbuyers, our friends and partners in media, and all our artists and staff, altogether let us join forces to take PETA beyond 50 to the next 50 years.
(READ: PETA Reveals 50th Year Line-up)
Director Maribel Legarda says, that their 50th season has a little of everything– from their big successes such as Care Divas, to highly relevant productions that they previously staged in Fort Santiago (the company’s home prior to their migration to the PETA Theater Center in 2005), to a new children’s theater production that brings back characters from their past children’s plays.
The company is adamant in continuing its mission of educating the youth and opening up conversations.
Garrucho: How do we grab the hearts of the young people? It’s the younger artists who can create new ways of expressing perhaps old themes– caring for the country, going out of our own concerns, grounding our artwork in realities that are happening. But what is the new form of expressing that? That will have to change. But for the next 50 years, we have to keep our ears to the ground. What’s happening, what will the people need to hear. What is it that will do good for our fellow Filipinos. Baka hindi magpapalit. But ways of expressing, young blood has to come in to help us formulate the new expressions.
Legarda: It’s a conversation. And I think that’s what our plays are trying to do. I think when we curate a season we program hindi namin iniisip iyung play na isa lang. Tinitingnan namin siya in a bigger context.
Legarda: We’re trying to be able to present different forms of discussions through the arts, through performance, through a lot of music, through a lot of laughter… We can also try to open a window where sana they will be open to having that discourse and open to listening to other ideas. At saka hindi iyung emotional mudslinging ideas pero talagang grounded in history, in truth.
The company also produced a commemorative 50th year album that features some of their most memorable original music sung by The PETA Choir, comprising of Yeyin dela Cruz, She Maala, Ada Tayao, Marie Gold Villar, Gail Billones, Zoelle Damag, Upeng Galang-Fernandez, Noemi Tabanao-Gonzales, Icee Po, Roman Cruz, Gio Gahol, John Moran, Bodjie Pascua, Norbs Portales, Ian Segarra, Paeng Sudayan, Rody Vera, Raul Alfonso, Ron Alfonso, Jojo Atienza, Melvin Lee, Carlon Matobato, and choral master Jeff Hernandez. The company has decided to bring the music out of their library and present them with new arrangements for the youth to enjoy.
Photo Coverage: Jolo Alamar