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

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