Need ideas on how to spend your summer weekends? Set your sights on new, original stories written for the stage (inside cool theaters) this month and the next.
May and June weekends will be packed with theater productions telling tales of romance, love (or forgiveness?) in the name of nationalism, history, culture, and more. Here are some shows you can add to your weekend plans.
May 12 to 28
The Mirror Studio, Makati
The Palanca-award winning play by Juan Ekis will once again be restaged for its 20th anniversary. The story follows two college friends who find themselves locked in a hotel room for 24 hours. As the title suggests, the characters play a game of twenty questions, which opens up conversations on matters of love, life, and sex.
“This new interpretation explores how the ideas about relationships written two decades ago might resonate with a younger audience with a more modern point of view,” Theatre Titas shares in a press release.
The Reconciliation Dinner
May 13 to 28
Power Mac Center Spotlight Black Box Theater, Circuit Makati
As we approach the anniversary of what may have been the most divisive national elections in recent history, the Dulaang UP original play by Floy Quintos once again takes the stage. Original cast members Gawad Buhay winner Stella Cañete-Mendoza, Frances Makil Ignacio, Jojo Cayabyab, Randy Villarama, Phi Palmos, and Nelsito Gomez return to reprise their roles. Meanwhile, actress Mica Pineda joins the cast as Mica.[READ: Is it safe to talk politics again at family gatherings? ‘The Reconciliation Dinner’ shows us what that’s like]
Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA)
Until May 14
PETA Theater, Quezon City
A tribute to and spoof of the classic zarsuela “Walang Sugat,” PETA’s new comedy musical is set to conclude its run on May 14.[READ: ‘Walang Aray’ is a fun and riotous look at the well-worn tale of revolution]
Ang Huling El Bimbo
Full House Theater Company
All weekends of May
Newport Performing Arts Theater, Newport World Resorts, Pasay
Witness the award-winning Eraserheads jukebox musical as they take the stage again, years since their first rerun. The tale of friendship and love is once again told, with minor updates and new faces to round up the cast.
Tanghalang Una Obra
June 8 to 18
GSIS Theater, CCP Complex, Pasay
Piolo Pascual at the GSIS Theater for “Ibarra” rehearsals 🎭— Cornerstone Entertainment (@cornerstone_ofc) April 17, 2023
Ngayong June 2023 na itatanghal ang “Ibarra” musical! Kindly refer to the poster for more show details.
📍GSIS Theater, Pasay City #PioloPascual #CornerstoneArtist #Ibarra2023 pic.twitter.com/oV5HHXrROO
“Ibarra” is a musical adaptation of Jose Rizal’s novel, “Noli Me Tangere.” It notably stars Piolo Pascual in the lead role, and is joined by Myramae Meneses as Maria Clara, Jeffrey Hidalgo as Elias, Floyd Tena as Padre Damaso, Carlo Mañalac as Padre Salvi, Nicole Laurel Asensio as Sisa, JD Tena as Basilio, Elian Santos as Crispin, Jon Joven Uy as Pilosopo Tasyo, and Carla Guevara Laforteza as Doña Victorina.
Virgin Labfest 18: Hitik
Writer’s Bloc and Tanghalang Pilipino
June 7 to 25
Tanghalang Ignacio Gimenez (CCP Black Box Theater), Pasay
Virgin Labfest (VLF) features “untried, untested, unstaged” plays in a several-weeks-long festival. This year, there will be 12 new works, three revisited works from the previous year, and four staged readings.
Those interested in the workings of the theater can also join various talks and workshops. There’s the Playwright’s Fair where aspiring writers can meet a wide range of VLF’s playwrights, lectures on lighting design, marketing, and acting. Meanwhile, mentorships under the VLF Fellowship, and apprenticeships on dramaturgy and production management will also be taking place during the festival.
The full list of featured one-act plays has yet to be announced.
Sandbox Fest: Lungs and Every Brilliant Thing
The Sandbox Collective
June 17 to July 15
Zobel de Ayala Recital Hall, Maybank Performing Arts Theater, BGC, Taguig
The Sandbox Collective marks their return to the stage with a twin-bill staging of Duncan Macmillan’s “Lungs” and “Every Brilliant Thing.” The two one-act plays will be staged back-to-back during the festival, which means audiences will be able to watch both plays with just one ticket.
“Lungs” is a two-hander play that follows the story of a couple who have to face important conversations regarding love, sex, relationships, change, and building a family. This year’s run, directed by Caisa Borromeo, will star Brian Sy, Justine Peña, Reb Atadero, and Sab Jose.
Meanwhile, “Every Brilliant Thing” is a one-woman production which following the journey of a young woman as she discovers, understands, and copes with her mother’s depression. The interactive play pushes forward important conversations on mental health. This year’s run will see Kakki Teodoro and Teresa Herrera reprise their roles.
[READ: 5 brilliant things about the one-woman play ‘Every Brilliant Thing’]
Pride Plays: Unica Hijas and Laro
Barefoot Theatre Collaborative
June 10 to 25
Power Mac Center Spotlight, Circuit Makati
After a successful run of “Mula sa Buwan” in 2022, Barefoot Theatre Collaborative is set to begin their second theater season with “Pride Plays,” which features the plays “Unica Hijas” and “Laro.”[READ: LGBTQIA+ stories take the stage this June with ‘Unica Hijas’ and ‘Laro’]