Rep’s Quest for the Adarna gives new life to Ibong Adarna tale

By Ibarra C. Mateo

Repertory Philippines’ Creative Director Joy Virata compared the theater company’s children’s musical productions to a “gym for empathy.”

Quoting American playwright Lauren Gunderson, Virata said, in a Rep Facebook page post, that “theater is a space where we can build up the muscles of compassion, to practice listening, understanding, and engaging with people who also practice caring.”

In staging The Quest for the Adarna: An original children’s musical, Rep is providing kids “the gift of experiencing the wonders of theater.”

The new production “teaches kids unforgettable lessons about family, courage, forgiveness, and love, all wrapped in an entertaining stage production,” the Repertory said.

The Quest for the Adarna runs from Sept. 14, 2019 to Jan. 26, 2020 at Onstage Theater Greenbelt 1 in Makati.

With new twists, adventures, and songs, The Quest for the Adarna is breathing fresh energy and vibrant life to the old tale of Ibong Adarna, which has captivated generation upon generation of Filipino children.

The Repertory Philippines’ Adarna is in English language but promises to be a colorful tale. It is produced through the Repertory Theater for Young Audiences (RTYA).

“The play takes place in the peaceable and prosperous kingdom of Berbania, which is ruled by the beloved King Fernando and his equally loved wife, Queen Valeriana, the Repertory said in an announcement.

“They are blessed with three sons – all mighty warriors. The eldest and heir to the throne is the pompous Prince Pedro; the second son is the dashing Prince Diego; and, the youngest, the kind-hearted Prince Juan,” the statement said.

However, their idyllic life is shattered when King Fernando is struck by a mysterious sickness and can only be healed by the song of the mythical bird, Adarna.

Anyone wanting to capture the bird must travel to its home on Mount Tabor, a journey that is difficult and fraught with danger. After his first two brothers failed on their quest, Prince Juan bravely takes on the task to save his father.

“An enduring epic that remains one of our great cultural treasures, the Ibong Adarna story is reborn as an entertaining play with original music,” the announcement said.

Suitable for children of all ages, The Quest for the Adarna is an original RTYA production under Virata, who is assisted by co-directors Jamie Esteva Wilson and Naths Everett, with music by Rony Fortich and book and lyrics by Luna Griño-Inocian.

Cast members are Carla Guevara-Laforteza, Andrea Monique Alvarado, and Cara Barredo playing the role of the titular Adarna.

Joining them are Arion Sanchez, Jim Andrew Ferrer, Ade Valenzona as Prince Pedro; Vinni Todd, Luis Marcelo, Andres Borromeo, and Sean Nolasco as Prince Diego; and Leo John Guinid, Diego Aranda, and Neo Rivera as Prince Juan.

The Quest for the Adarna will showcase bright, colorful costumes, fun, child-friendly music, and not to mention its new English translation of a Filipino classic.

The Quest for the Adarna closes the Repertory season 2019.

For inquiries, please contact Repertory at 451-1474 or 0966-905-4013. Tickets maybe purchased tickets by calling Ticketworld at 891 9999, or through

For updates and show schedules, log on to, or like and follow repertoryphilippines on Facebook and Instagram.


Upstart Productions stages Sondheim’s Company

By Ibarra C. Mateo

Joel Trinidad’s Upstart Productions’ staging of Stephen Sondheim’s Company opens on Sept. 13, 2019 at the the Globe Auditorium, Maybank Performing Arts Theater, BGC Arts Center in Taguig.

Directed by Topper Fabregas, the Upstart version of Company features OJ Mariano as Bobby, Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo (Joanne), Michael Williams (Larry), Ariel Reonal (Peter), Nicky Triviño (Susan), Trinidad (Harry), Sweet Plantado (Sarah), Chino Veguillas (David), Jenny Bianca Lopez (Jenny), James Uy (Paul), and Cathy Azanza-Dy (Amy).

Using vignettes as a narrative technique, the stories of Bobby and his friends unfold into a dark romantic-comedy.

With music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by George Furth, the audience is transported on the eve of Bobby’s 35th birthday in 1970s New York.

One description of the award-winning musical said: “On the night of his 35th birthday, Robert struggles to think of a wish to make as he blows out his birthday candles. The lone bachelor, surrounded by ‘those good and crazy people’ — his married friends — Bobby is uncertain whether he should simply be happy with his lot or whether he should wish for his own romantic partner. Over a series of dinner parties, first dates, and thoughtful conversations, Bobby attempts to understand the pros and cons of marriage from his diverse and frequently hilarious friends, and begins to make sense of his own persistent bachelorhood.”

It also said: “Company, Stephen Sondheim’s groundbreaking modern musical, is a mature, intelligent, and wildly funny look at relationships, vulnerability, and being alive.”

The Upstart production of Company comes after the group’s mounting of Monty Python’s Spamalot, which was well-received by the theater audience.

Company is running presently at London’s West End. It among Sondheim’s popular works such as Into the Woods, West Side Story, A Little Night Music, and Passion.

Since the show’s debut in 1970, the Company’s productions in Broadway and the West End have garnered praises and awards, including multiple Tony and Olivier Awards.

“Fabregas was very particular about finding new, unexplored performers, and held open auditions for all the parts,” a Company announcement said.

Trinidad was surprised by the number of those who auditioned, the announcement said.

Fabregas is joined by Rony Fortich, who is the former Hong Kong Disneyland musical director, and New York-based and Fordham University Theater Program Faculty Joey Mendoza handles the production design.

Following is what the artistic and cast members have to say about the Company:

Cathy Azanza-Dy: “No one captures the scars, the ache, and the beauty of friendship and love quite like Stephen Sondheim.”

Caisa Borromeo: “It’s timeless and relatable to anyone who has loved, has wanted love, or has been afraid of wanting love. It’s a big fat hug that will make you appreciate the people in your life more.”

Maronne Cruz: “The different characters and relationship dynamics in Company are helping me process my feelings about friendship, love, commitment, and marriage.”

Fabregas: “Company was the first show I ever saw on Broadway. There’s nothing like it.”

Fortich: “Company has, I think, some of the most beautiful lyrics from musical theater.”

Lauchengco-Yulo: “I don’t think you can say you have been challenged musically until you’ve tackled Sondheim.”

Lopez: “Company digs deep on love, friendship, and marriage. I just love how real it is. One of the best musicals by Sondheim.”

Mariano: “If Bobby is your spirit animal, Company is your therapy.”

Peña: “Company is timeless. It’s one of those pieces that every generation — of any age — needs to see.”

Plantado-Tiongson: “Company … real people … real emotions … A beautiful marriage of music and words.”

Reonal: “Company validates my belief in the age-old saying that ‘no man is an island’. Single or not, admit it: We all need company.”

Trinidad: “Company speaks to me like no other musical before or since. It’s funny, poignant, and unflinchingly honest.”

Triviño: “I love Company, It’s simple and deep.”

Uy: “First time I watched Company, I thought they were telling my story. Saw it a second time and I’m convinced they were.”

Veguillas: “Sondheim’s gift for expressing such complex feelings so simply has always amazed me. ‘Being Alive’ is one of my favorite songs from any musical.”

Williams: “Everyone is on a journey towards love and companionship. Company tells the story of that journey.”

The Company runs on all Fridays at 9 pm; Saturdays at 3 pm and 8 pm; and Sundays 3 pm and 8 pm, from Sept. 13 to 22, at the Globe Auditorium, Maybank Performing Arts Theater, BGC Arts Center.

PH Opera Company marks 20th season via Sondheim’s Passion

By Ibarra C. Mateo

Sheila Valderrama-Martinez as Fosca

Vien King as Giorgio Bachetti

Jasmine Fitzgerald as Clara
Jos Jalbuena as Ludovic / Giorgio Understudy

Karla Gutierrez, artistic director of the Philippine Opera Company (POC), announced in a media conference that Passion, with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by James Lapine, marks the 20th season of POC.

Described as “a romantic journey into and through the many shades and mysteries of love,” Gutierrez said Passion, the 1994 Tony Award winner for best musical, runs from Sept. 14 to 29, at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza, in Makati.

Robbie Guevara is the director while Daniel Bartolome is the musical director and conductor of a 15-member orchestra.

In the same media conference, Guevara said Passion is an operetta, which will run for 110 minutes, without intermission “so as not to interrupt the build-up of emotions” from the audience.

Guevara said his version of Passion will be “Netflix-type, with fast-paced story-telling, with the chorus doing the transitioning.”

“We will humanize the soldiers, with less marching. They like to gossip. There are funny parts,” Guevara said.

Guevara was exuberant in saying that the POC Passion will have a 15-member orchestra, not commonly done in Passion productions, even abroad, “because some tend to cut some instruments out.”

Passion is Bartolome’s first foray in a Sondheim production and musical theater. The sweeping romantic score of Passion had been described by Sondheim as “one long rhapsody.”

Based on the 1981 film Passione d’Amore and after the novel Fosca by I.U. Tarchetti, Passion has been described also as “a haunting, intensely emotional one-act chamber opera that many consider to be Sondheim’s deepest and most powerful evening of musical theatre.”

Others have called it as a story of “terrifying relentlessness that can be found in people who have not learned how to love.”

The lead cast members of Passion are: Shiela Valderrama-Martinez (as Fosca), Vien King (Giorgio), and Jasmine Fitzgerald (Clara).

Valderrama-Martinez told the media conference that she had always wanted to play Fosca and that it is “one of her dream roles.”

“In my 25 years in performing, I’ve always been easily typecast as the ingénue or the princess,” she said.

Going against expectations that she would do the role of Clara, Valderrama-Martinez expressed her gratitude that she is being given the chance to play Fosca, a role which she described as veering away from those she had been associated with.

“There’s always gonna be an ugly side of a person and a beautiful side of a person and it’s up to the actor to show that. I hope I will show that. And besides, it’s not about the look. It’s about her story,” she said.

Gutierrez shared that Valderrama-Martinez is studying voice lessons under Tenor Arthur Espiritu in preparation for this role.

In the same interview, King said that he feels the pressure in playing Giorgio, his first major lead role. He, however, said that it is “a great opportunity” to be in the production.

King said the role of Giorgio will give him an avenue to work harder than before and to the best of his abilities. He said he wants to have his own version of Sondheim’s Giorgio.

The supporting cast members include: Lorenz Martinez (Doctor Tambourri), Raul Montesa (Colonel Ricci), and Noel Rayos (Lt. Torasso).

Composing the ensemble are: Jonel Mojica (Major Rizzolli), Lorenzo Mendoza (Pvt. Augenti), Jos Jalbuena (Ludovic), Timothy Racho (Sgt. Lombardi), Joshua Cheng (Lt. Barri), Vyen Villanueva (Fosca’s father) Lorraine Lisen (mistress), and Jasmin Salvo (Fosca’s mother).

Aside from Gutierrez, Guevara, and Bartolome, the other members of the artistic team are Jason and Jo Tecson (set designers), Shakira Villa Sykes (lighting director), Zenaida Gutierrez (costume designer), Myrene Santos (hair and make-up designer), Venger Marquez (vocal coach); Sunshine Domine (production manager).

Venger said Sondheim’s melodies are great. “But if you are a music major, you will see that his scores are faulty. That is the genius and secret of Sondheim,” he said.

Passion opened on Broadway in 1994 and won four Tony Awards: Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, Best Original Score, and Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical.

Major productions: London (1996), Germany (2011), Sweden (2016); Off-Broadway revival (2013), and London revival (2010).

Other productions include: St. Louis (1996), Sondheim Celebrity (2002), Minnesota Opera (2004), Netherlands (2004), Lincoln Center, New York (2005), Chicago (2007), Melbourne (2014), Paris (2016), Virginia (2018), and Italy (2019).

Passion runs as follows: Sept. 14, 20, 21, 27, and 28 at 8 pm and on Sept. 15, 21, 22, 28 and 29 at 3 pm. Venue is the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza.

For inquiries, call TicketWorld at 8919999 or Philippine Opera Company at 0917-6452946 for showbuying, sponsorship. and fundraising opportunities.

Follow Philippine Opera Company on Facebook and Instagram.

Lorca’s The House of Bernarda Alba, DUP’s 44th season opener, premieres on Sept. 6

Ibarra C. Mateo

A socio-political play written by Federico Garcia Lorca, two months before he was murdered in June 1936 during the Spanish Civil War, tackling tyranny and oppression in a household, opens tonight the 44th season of Dulaang UP.

Directed by by Alexander Cortez, Lorca’s La Casa de Bernarda Alba was translated from the original Spanish into English by Daisy Lopez (The House of Bernarda Alba). The same play was translated into Filipino by Cortez as Ang Tahanan ni Bernarda Alba.

With themes that may resonate with many Filipinos today, Lorca’s play is peppered with socio-political commentaries on the lives of rural women in an Andalusian village, notably oppressive rules and constricting impositions.

The House of Bernarda Alba / Ang Tahanan ni Bernarda Alba centers on a family of three generations with Bernarda Alba as the head of the household.

As the drama unfolds, the audience will observe how Bernarda treats her mother, daughters, and servants as “mere puppets under her command.” Bernarda’s disposition emphasizes the larger themes of tyranny and oppression found throughout the play.

Also, Bernarda’s dealings with all the people in her household show the intricate relationship between the abused and the abuser.

The play centers on events inside the house of Bernarda Alba, a domineering matriarch who imposes an eight-year mourning period on her household after her second husband’s death. The long mourning period is dictated by her family’s religious traditions.

Bernarda has five daughters in their twenties and thirties, whom she asserts almost total control, forbidding them from entering any romantic relationship over the course of mourning.

This mourning period isolates the family and builds tension within the household as the daughters fight against each other on matter such as marriage, inheritance, and command, reflecting religious hypocrisy and all its trappings.

Veteran actors Frances Makil-Ignacio and Gigi Escalante alternate as Bernarda Alba. Other members of the cast are Stella Cañete Mendoza and Sheryl Ceasico (as Poncia), Rica Nepomuceno and Ronnie Martinez (as Maria Josefa), Liway Gabo and Opaline Santos (as Angustias), Iris Montesclaros and Gel Basa (as Magdelena), Camille Abaya and Mikaela Coruña (as Amelia), Sarina Sasaki (as Martirio), Pauline Maxine Ignacio and Mariella Laurel (as Adela), Jacqui Amper and Lei Ann Quinquilleria (as Servant), and Bea Racoma (as Prudencia).

Joining Cortez in the artistic team are Judy Ick (Dramaturgy), Gino Gonzales (Production Design), Meliton Roxas Jr. (Lights Designer), Jethro Joaquin (Sound), Katz Trangco (Music), JM Cabling (Movement), Jojit Lorenzo (Photography), and Steven Tansiongco (Graphics Designer).

The House of Bernarda Alba / Tahanan ni Bernarda Alba opens Dulaang UP’s 44th Theater Season dubbed as “Daluhong”. It runs from Sept. 6 to 29, 2019 at the Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero Theater, 2F Palma Hall, UP Diliman, Quezon City.

For inquiries, contact Nico Varona (0917 519 8879), send an email at, call the Dulaang UP Office (Tel.: 926- 1349 / 981-
8500 local 24-49).

DUP Images

Playwright Bonifacio Ilagan 2019 UP Gawad Plaridel awardee

By Ibarra C. Mateo

Playwright, scriptwriter, martial law activist, and human rights advocate Bonifacio P. Ilagan is the 2019 UP Gawad Plaridel awardee for transmedia category, the UP-College of Mass Communication (UP-CMC) announced on Sept. 4, 2019.

The UP-CMC, said in a statement, that Ilagan “has excelled and provided distinctive contributions in various media platforms, including film, television, theatre, among others.”

“For his 43 years of steadfast and outstanding recognitions, Ilagan has practiced critical, socially responsible, and morally upright service,” the statement said.

While among his more prominent works is Pagsambang Bayan, Ilagan had written for films and television.

His film credits include Migrante (2012), Sigwa (2010), Dukot (2009), and The Flor Contemplacion Story (1995).

His works for television include That’s My Job (a 2008 television series) and episodes of Maalaala Mo Kaya.

Box-office shattering actor Alden Richards had portrayed the role of Ilagan, together with Rocco Nacino, who acted as Jose Lacaba, also a Gawad Plaridel awardee, in a GMA Network special in September 2017 to commemorate the dark days of martial rule imposed in September 1972.

Ilagan, then a student activist, was arrested in 1974, tortured, and eventually released in 1976, only to find out that his sister Rizalina had disappeared and believed to have been abducted by the military.

Gawad Plaridel recipients are given a trophy, designed by National Artist Napoleon Abueva.

UP President Danilo Concepcion and UP Diliman Chancellor Michael Tan are to present Ilagan his Abueva trophy in a ceremony on Nov. 13, 2019, 2 pm, at the UP Film Center.

Ilagan is to deliver a lecture during the ceremony.

Established by the UP-CMC, the annual UP Gawad Plaridel recognizes Filipino media practitioners who have excelled in any of the media (print, radio, film, television, and transmedia) and “who have performed with the highest level of professional integrity in the interest of public service,” the statement said.

Past awardees are: Eugenia Duran-Apostol (2004, print), Vilma Santos (2005, film), Fidela “Tiya Dely” Magpayo (2006, radio), Cecilia “Cheche” L. Lazaro (2007, television), Pachico Seares (2008, community print), Kidlat Tahimik (2009, independent film), Eloisa “Lola Sela” Canlas (2011, radio), Florence “Rosa Rosal” Danon-Gayda (2012, television), Jose “Pete” Lacaba (2013, print), Nora “Nora Aunor” Villamayor (2014, transmedia), Ricardo “Ricky” Lee (2015, film), Francisca “Babes” Custodio (2016, radio), Tina Monzon-Palma (2017, television), and Jessica Soho (2018, journalism).

The award is named after Marcelo H. del Pilar (nom de plume, Plaridel), a mover of the Propaganda Movement and “whose stewardship of the reformist newspaper La Solidaridad gave voice to nationalist sentiments and libertarian ideas in the 1890s.”

“Like Plaridel, the recipient of the award must believe in a vision of a Philippine society that is egalitarian, participative, and progressive, and in media that is socially responsible, critical and vigilant, liberative, and transformative, and free and independent, UP-CMC said.

UP-CMC Image

Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra opens its 37th season on Sept. 13 at CCP

Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra

Conductor Gerard Salonga

Soprano Andion Fernandez

The Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra (PPO), the national orchestra and a resident company of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), unveiled its 37th season program and list of soloists and guest conductors for the 2019-2020 concert series.

PPO Music Director Yoshikazu Fukumura takes the helm in five concerts of the season while three will be led by guest conductors Michael Cousteau, Herminigildo Ranera, and Gerard Salonga.

The 37th PPO concert season is billed as “Gold Classical Music Treasures” and will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the CCP.

It will run from September 2019 to April 2020 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo (Main Theater).

The season opens on Sept. 13 with pianist Noriko Ogawa as soloist and Maestro Fukumura at the podium. Ogawa achieved renown when she earned success at the Leeds International Piano Competition.

According to the Telegraph, her “ravishingly poetic playing” (Telegraph) sets her apart from her contemporaries. She is known as a fine Debussy specialist and a professor at Guildhall School of Music and Drama. On the concert program are Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Don Giovanni Overture, Sergei Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto no.3 op.26 in C Major, and Antonin Dvorak’s Symphony no.7 op.70 in D minor.

On Oct. 25, French conductor Michael Cousteau takes over the baton to conduct a program offering Richard Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde: Prelude and Liebestod, Hector Berlioz’s Harold in Italy op.16, and Romeo and Juliet: Love Scene, and Franz Liszt’s Les Preludes. Cousteau is “an established international musician of unusual versatility, conducting operatic and symphonic repertoire ranging from the Baroque period to contemporary works.” Featured soloist for the evening is Rey Casey Concepcion on the viola.

On Nov. 15, Maestro Fukumura returns to the podium with the Sora Ensemble of Japan as the featured soloists of the evening. The group was formed by Hiromasa Iwasaki, the principal oboist of the Sapporo Symphony Orchestra in 2008. Along with the motto “Music at Anytime, Anywhere,” they have performed more than 100 concerts annually while travelling to different cities, towns and villages in Hokkaido and other parts of Japan, to bring the energetic live performances of chamber music, symphony, and other ensemble music to the people.

The concert repertoire consists of Dmitri Shostakovich’s Symphony no.9 op.70, Franz Joseph Haydn’s Sinfonia Concertante op. 84 in B-flat Major, and two works by Arturo Marquez, Danzon no.7 and Danzon no.8.

For its Christmas offering, the PPO performs on Dec. 20 with conductor Herminigildo Ranera. The PPO performs two works by Samuel Barber’s, Adagio for Strings and Die Natali op.36, Darius Milhaud’s Concerto for Percussion and Small Orchestra, and Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky’s Capriccio Italien op.45. Percussionist Aimee De la Cruz and soprano Alexa Kaufman are the soloists for the evening.

The bassoon heralds the New Year when Adolfo Mendoza is featured soloist in the fifth concert of the PPO season on Jan. 24, 2020. Maestro Fukumura conducts a program of Antonin Dvorak’s Serenade for String Orchestra op.22 in E Major, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Bassoon Concerto in B-flat Major, and Cesar Franck’s Symphony in D minor.

Gerard Salonga is the guest conductor for the PPO’s sixth season concert with soprano Andion Fernandez performing as soloist. Salonga is currently the music director of the ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra. He is in his second season as assistant conductor of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. Fernandez is a soloist of the Deutsche Oper Berlin since 2001.

Slated on Valentine’s Day 2020, the concert offers Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky’s “Pathetique” Symphony no.6 op.74 in B minor, National Artist Lucio San Pedro’s Ang Buwan sa Kabundukan, Franz Schubert’s Erlkönig, Manuel de Falla’s Siete Canciones Populares Españolas.

On March 13, Japanese violinist Ryu Goto returns to Manila to perform again with the PPO. Goto has established himself as a significant icon in classical music, with a large and growing following in Asia, North America, and Europe.

Maestro Fukumura leads the PPO in a repertoire consisting of Zhou Tian’s Concerto for Orchestra, Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s Violin Concerto op.35 in D Major, and Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony no.5 op.67 in C minor.

The grand finale of the PPO concert season, on April 24, is an exciting collaboration with the ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra. Ray Wang again plays the cello with the PPO under Maestro Fukumura. Wang currently serves as head of the Junior Music Department and he is a senior lecturer in strings at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts.

The evening program will feature Carl Orff’s Entrata for Orchestra, Franz Joseph Haydn’s Cello Concerto no.2 in D Major, and Hector Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique op.14.

The PPO is the country’s leading orchestra and also recognized in the Asia-Pacific region. It was established on May 15, 1973 as the CCP Philharmonic Orchestra intended to perform at the center as one of its main resident performing groups and collaborate with renowned Filipino and foreign artists either as soloists or conductors.

The PPO promotes music appreciation, especially to Filipinos, through the CCP’s Office of the President Outreach Program headed by Arsenio Lizaso. Through this program, the PPO performs in schools, parishes, government agencies, and underserved communities not only in Metro Manila but also in other key cities.

Currently, the PPO is under the music direction of its principal conductor and music director Maestro Yoshikazu Fukumura. with Prof. Herminigildo Ranera as associate conductor and Dino Decena as concertmaster.

For ticket information, please call the CCP Box Office at 832-3704.

CCP-PPO Images


PH play to represent S.E. Asia in Canadian theater festival

By Ibarra C. Mateo

A play written by award-winning playwright Eljay Castro Deldoc and directed by Riki Benedicto will have its international gala performance on Sept. 9 in Quebec, Canada.

“13th of September” had been chosen as the Philippine official entry to the 9th Festival International de Theatre De Mont-Laurier and will be staged at the Espace Theatre located at 543 Rue du Pont Local in Quebec. It is also the only play selected from Southeast Asia to join the festival in Quebec.

13th of September had a series of performances at the Erehwon Performing Arts Theater in Quezon City and at the Zobel de Ayala Recital Hall, Maybank Performing Arts Theater in Taguig City before its Canadian gala.

The 9th Festival International de Theatre De Mont-Laurier is a biennial theater festival, which runs Sept. 5-11, with 25 companies from 19 countries participating.
The Philippines is the only Southeast Asian country which was selected to join the festival since its launch in 2003.

The following countries are participating: Algeria, Argentina, Bangladesh, Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Egypt, France, Italy, Morocco, Mexico, the Philippines, Poland, Romania, and Syria.

The artistic and production team of 13th of September is composed of: Benedicto (director), Deldoc (playwright), Drew Espenocilla (dramaturg / English translation), Jay Lorenz Conanan (production / costume designer), Katreen dela Cruz (stage manager), Roldan Lozano (lights designer), Ces Valera (projection artist), Paw Castillo (photo and graphic artist), and Jared Acuna (video artist).

Be Our Guest Theatricals is a group of professional theater and film practitioners based in Manila. The group’s major goal is to create and produce shows for different international theater festivals.

The group aims to boost the presence of the Philippine theater in the international scene.

13th of September is about Mary Girard who is preparing for her last night in Pennsylvania Asylum. Now, 56, her age is visible after more than two decades of re-living the moments of her life inside the asylum.

While doing her daily routine and preparation with other patients, her past is dawning inside her, the memories of her mother, husband, and her dear daughter are right in front of her. It seems like she’s “sane” once again.

As for her last night with the tranquilizing chair, she will fight and re-live the moments of lies and betrayal that have never been proven.

Adore Dominguez, Marco Edward Calilao, and Paolo Rodriguez are cast members.
Director Benedicto puts forward another universal concern in Deldoc’s 13th of September, where he aspires to “challenge society’s restrictive definition of sanity, gender, and sexuality or even one’s perception of truth – truth is relative.”

Be Our Guest Theatricals Image