PETA launches Storytelling Sundays as the latest addition to its online portfolio.
The company started to produce online content during quarantine in mid-March, beginning with its online workshop series, Let’s Get Creative, before branching out to other activities like live music jams, live streams, webinars, and a more immersive online workshop for kids called Let’s Get Creative PLUS.
This time, Storytelling Sundays, PETA’s newest initiative, will be streaming live from PETA’s official Facebook Page and YouTube Channel starting at 7pm tonight as a tribute to Rene Villanueva, a notable writer not only for theater but also for children’s books.
“He was one of the key writers for Batibot, our version of Sesame Street,” says PETA Artistic Director Maribel Legarda who remembers Rene so fondly. “He was very involved with PETA and I think this would be a wonderful platform to be able to give tribute to this man who passed away too soon.”
The first episode of Storytelling Sundays will feature two performances of Rene’s stories directed by Legarda. First is a Palanca award-winning short story for children Nemo, Ang Batang Papel narrated by Ian Segarra with shadow play animations by John Moran, and Ang Mga Zimbragatzee ng Planetang Zing narrated by Norbs Portales with live creative sound by Ada Tayao, illustrations by Mikou David.
The second episode of Storytelling Sundays, streaming May 24, features Bodjie Pascua, who many of us grew up knowing as “Kuya Bodjie” from the television series Batibot. He will be reading a very relevant story by Jeanette Patindol called Tight Times about families having less food to eat, fewer things to use, and fewer places to go. He is joined by a young storyteller, 10-year-old Frances Villadarez, winner of the 2019 Lampara Storytelling Competition, who will be reading Segundo Matias Jr.’s Sikat ang Mommy Ko!.
While Storytelling Sundays appeal to children and the youth, older audiences who grew up with the well-loved classics Batibot, Hiraya Manawari, and more, will also enjoy PETA’s online series as a light-hearted but nostalgic piece that celebrates our own culture and heritage of storytelling.
“Even adults, kids at heart, are more than welcome to come and listen,” says Legarda, noting that up and coming artists can learn the basics of performing through Storytelling Sundays. “It’s also for them to understand what storytelling is, how important it is, and what the elements are in making a story.”
The last episode for streaming for the month of May features Felinda Bagas’ Girl in a Box directed and performed by Ian Segarra on May 31.