Among all the art forms that Francis M would inspire, I am most excited about how he would inspire the stage in the form of a musical theater production. I am looking forward to see how the Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) would close their 48th theater season with a much anticipated original musical production.
|Gio Gahol as Chino, Nicco Manalo as Sol|
Here's a preview on the plot and amazing talent behind PETA's 3 Stars and a Sun:
In time for the upcoming national elections, PETA experiments with the sci-fi subgenre dystopia to
present a daring social commentary on Philippine politics and culture.
“Though the narrative will not tackle the elections per se, we still hope that the ideas embodied in the
play can be both a source of inspiration and reflection on the historical and current ethos of the Filipino as we prepare for another national election,” shares PETA Artistic Director, Maribel Legarda.
‘3 Stars and a Sun’, brainchild of young writer Mixkaela Villalon and multi-awarded playwright Rody Vera, features a chilling plot: It is 2026, and the world has almost come to an end. Nuclear bombs have reduced countries to ashes and a huge portion of the Filipino population has been forced to enter The Stormdome, a fallout shelter made from durable steel. The Stormdome was closed down to protect its inhabitants from the ‘dangers of the outside world’ but also served as an icy prison for those who live in it.
The story unfolds in 2096, 70 years thereafter. The musical opens with Myke Salomon’s fresh arrangement of Francis M’s ‘Mga Kababayan’, and swiftly exposes the harsh realities inside The Stormdome. The dome is deteriorating and resources are hard to come by. Nourishment has been reduced to nutrition-deprived food packs. Education is limited and any trace of Filipino history and identity has been erased. The only thing that has remained the same is the extreme divide between the rich and poor evidenced by the two clashing sectors, Lumino and Diliman.
Due to the uninhabitable conditions in the Diliman scrapyard, a dissident group from the colony of
scavengers known as Tropang Gising has threatened to spark a revolution and turn the system upside down. Vidame Inky, supreme leader of The Stormdome attempts to keep peace and order and deploys reprogrammed Protektanods to quash the Diliman rebels led by fiery leader Sol. In a desperate attempt to keep power within her reach, Vidame Inky grooms her son Chino to be the next leader of the Stormdome and puts him in-charge of mind-wiping workers.
Meanwhile Vidame Inky’s daughter, Diane has refused to be part of her mother’s politics. Instead her attention has been drawn to finding answers about the disparity of her charmed life in Lumino City and the people of Diliman. Despite Vidame Inky’s effort to control all the information inside the Dome, Mang Okik, the oldest resident of Diliman Sector seems to have the answers to many of Diane’s questions.
‘3 Stars and a Sun’ offers a dystopian look at what our future can come to if the problems of the present are left unresolved. The play aims to serve as a cautionary tale and a challenge to today’s youth to act together and act swiftly before it’s too late.
The talented cast is headed by Nicco Manalo and Gold Villar as the fiery gang leader Sol. Paolo Valenciano and Gio Gahol alternate as the smug slacker Chino, joined by Justine Peña and Giannina Ocampo as Diane. Che Ramos-Cosio and Carla Guevara Laforteza portrays the rogue Vidame Inky while Bodjie Pascua and Raffy Tejada share the role of Mang Okik. They are joined by a strong slew of young theater talents, Anna Luna, Jet Barrun, John Moran, Nar Cabico, Lee Villoria, EJ Pepito, Anj Heruela, Gab Pangilinan, Jef Flores, Norbs Portales, Jason Barcial, Raflesia Bravo, Yesh Burce, Lance Busa, Roi Calilong, Gimbey dela Cruz, Nica Santiago, and Ian Segarra.
‘3 Stars and a Sun’ has an equally gifted artistic team. The musical is headed by Nor Domingo as director, with exciting musical arrangements by Myke Salomon. It features production design by Gino Gonzales, lighting design by Shoko Matsumoto and Ian Torqueza, sound design by Teresa Barrozo and choreography by Delphine Buencamino.
The musical opens February 4 at The PETA Theater Center and ends on Francis M’s 7th death anniversary on March 6. Shows are Tuesdays to Sundays (Tue-Fri 8PM, Sat-Sun 3PM and 8PM). For tickets contact PETA (02) 725-6244, petatheater.com or TicketWorld (02) 891-9999, ticketworld.com.ph.
Mark your calendars and don't miss this theater production that celebrates great talent and strengthens the Filipino culture and individuality.
Do you know of any other upcoming theater productions? What are you looking forward to? Let me know in the comments!