A word is worth a thousand pictures-Jude B

Building Audiences for Phil Theater

from left: Tanghalang Ateneo Artistic Dir Ricky Abad, TRUMPETS founder Audie Gemora, Dulaang U.P. Asst. Dir Mara Marasigan and ‘Orosman and Zafira’ lead actress Delphine Buencamino. Catch their shows at the 4th National Theater Fest from Nov 7-18, 2012 at the CCP. Photo by Jude Bautista

Written and photographed

By Jude Bautista

Speaking during the press launch for the 4th National Theater festival, TRUMPETS founder Audie Gemora hopes for the day that theater will be appreciated by a bigger audience in the Philippines, “My dream is if we can bring the ticket prices to a lower level na almost presyo na siya ng sinehan. Movies now cost 300 bucks right? If we can bring ticket prices to that level and something like a network could show it to the masa. They will acquire a taste for it.”

The cast of Circulo by KANLAON Theater Guild of Colegio San Agustin-Bacolod Catch it at the 4th Natl Theater festival on Nov. 9 and 10 at the CCP. (Contributed photo)

The 4th National Theater Festival brings together productions from around the country. It will run from November 7-18, 2012 at the CCP.  While theater is still an acquired taste for the great majority of audiences, there are signs that it is growing.

A scene from UWAHIG from IPAG (Integrated Performing Arts Guild) from MSU–Iligan Institute of Technology) Catch it at the 4th National Theater Fest from Nov 7-18, 2012 at the CCP. (Contributed photo)

Some companies have even been able to invest in theater according to Gemora, “I think Resort’s World is thinking of constructing a 3,000-seater so they can bring down the ticket prices. Precisely to catch an audience that wouldn’t otherwise go into what is considered as an elitist form of entertainment.” After a successful run of “Sound Of Music” last year Resort’s World decided to produce “The King and I” with Leo Valdes and Monique Wilson. Since audience and ticket sales have also been stellar, the original schedule of September has been extended to December 30.

from left: Sipat Lawin Ensemble Mng Dir Joseph Keith Anicoche, PETA Artistic Dir Maribel Legarda, SPIT Art. Dir Gabe Mercado, Tanghalang Pilipino Artistic Dir Nanding Josef, Cultural activist and performer Carlos Celdran, Tanghalang Ateneo Artistic Dir Ricky Abad, TRUMPETS founder Audie Gemora, Dulaang U.P. Asst. Dir Mara Marasigan and ‘Orosman and Zafira’ lead actress Delphine Buencamino. Catch their shows at the 4th National Theater Fest from Nov 7-18, 2012 at the CCP. Photo by Jude Bautista

Theater has its advantages on how it can draw more spectators, “There’s nothing like live. Once they acquire that mabubuhay talaga ang theater natin dito. I dream for that. I think the day is very very near.” Gemora will be directing Joy Virata for the play “Mind’s Eye.” He is also currently directing “Camp Rock” for Repertory Phil.

A scene from ‘Dula Ta’(Let’s Play) by Kabpapagariya Ensemble – Mindanao State University. Catch it and many other shows at the 4th National Theater Fest from Nov 7-18, 2012 at the CCP.

Apart from different shows from theater groups from around the country there will also be a forum to talk about how to develop theater by practitioners and academicians.  The fest includes theater groups such as: Mindanao State University Kabpapagariya Ensemble, Barasoain Kalinangan Foundation Inc., Bohol Antequera and Maribojoc Cultural Collectives, Teatro Bol-Anon , Carlos Celdran, Dulaang U.P., Gantimpala Theater Foundation, Integrated Performing Arts Guild, PETA, Sipat Lawin Ensemble, Tanghalang Ateneo, The Xavier Stageof Cagayan de Oro and Trumpets Inc. There will also be special performances by Kanlaon Theater Guild of Colegio San Agustin-Bacolod, SPIT (Silly People’s Improv Theater) and ventriloquists Ony Carcamoand Wanlu.

SPIT Art. Dir Gabe Mercado and Rappler reporter Claire Agbayani. Catch the 4th National Theater Fest from Nov 7-18, 2012 at the CCP. Photo by Jude Bautista

Tanghalang Pilipino Artistic Director Nanding Josef talked about the origins of the previous National Theater Festivals also in the CCP. According to him it started in 1992 when the CCP’s Dramatic Arts Division needed to touch base with different theater groups all over the country. He said, “Eto yung sinimulang tulungan ng PETA in the 70’s, 80’s at tinulungan din ng CCP outreach division. After the EDSA revolution na yung mga tumulong sa PETA ay nandito na rin sina Dr. Tiongson sina Mrs. Bing Roxas.”

A scene from DUHA KA ALIMPO SA HABAGAT…Bohol 1700 (Two Eyes of the Monsoon Storm) By Bohol Antequera and Maribojoc Cultural Collectives in cooperation with Teatro Bol-Anon. Catch it at the 4th Natl Theater festival on Nov. 9 and 10 at the CCP. (Contributed photo)

The very first fest back in 1992 was graced by Nora Aunor, “May rituals na ginawa para sa tubig para sa hangin. Pagkatapos sa apoy. Meron kaming na kuhang chanter na imbitahan namin. 94 years old yata si Lola Elena na galing sa Panay mountains nagchachant ng hinilaud. Nagchant siya dito kumanta si Ate Guy ‘Pagibig sa Tinubuang Lupa’.”

Standing from left: Sipat Lawin Ensemble Mng Dir Joseph Keith Anicoche, PETA Artistic Dir Maribel Legarda, SPIT Art. Dir Gabe Mercado, Tanghalang Pilipino Artistic Dir Nanding Josef, Cultural activist and performer Carlos Celdran, Tanghalang Ateneo Artistic Dir Ricky Abad, TRUMPETS founder Audie Gemora, Dulaang U.P. Asst. Dir Mara Marasigan and ‘Orosman and Zafira’ lead actress Delphine Buencamino.
Seated from left: ‘Battalia Royale’ actress Alison Segarra, ‘Walang Kukurap’ actors Regina De Vera and Marco Viaña, ‘Sayaw ng Mga Señorita’ actors Paul Christian and Johnron Tañada and ‘Sintang Dalisay’ actor Brian Sy. Catch their shows at the 4th National Theater Fest from Nov 7-18, 2012 at the CCP. Photo by Jude Bautista

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s