If you’re still swooning over Ang Huling El Bimbo, which was streamed for two days over ABS-CBN Entertainment’s YouTube Channel as part of their donation drive, then you might want to watch other plays that are being streamed online for free as well! Let’s face it: Whether you liked it or not, Ang Huling El Bimbo‘s online streaming was not only able to raise funds for the communities affected by COVID-19, but also encourage more people to watch, talk about, and support Philippine theater. This observation got me all giddy, causing me to be way more protective of the play for the past few hours, but then I realized that it’s better to share a list than keep on blabbering about how it helped the theater industry.
Note: I haven’t watched all these yet (so it serves as a compilation for me as well) but these have been shared by theater actors and associations that I follow on social media so I trust their call on these ones. 🙂
In time for Mother’s Day, the Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) released the full video of Rated: PG, directed by Mae Quesada-Medina. It’s about parent-and-child relationships, so I’m sure we can pick up a few lessons from it, too. It will be up for a limited time only so putting this on the first spot.
2. Ang Bagong Cristo
Another relatable play for Filipinos. Aurelio Tolentino’s Ang Bagong Cristo may sound like a religious play but it mirrors class struggle and injustice in our society. This was staged by Dulaang UP in 2017 under the direction of Alexander Cortez.
3. Lysistrata ng Bakwit
Staged by Tanghalang Ateneo and directed by Ricardo Abad, Lysistrata ng Bakwit is an adaptation of Lysistrata – a Greek comedy by Aristophanes, originally performed in Athens BC! Those who love classical pieces may get drawn into this.
4. Fathers & Sons
Nick Joaquin’s Fathers & Sons was brought to life by UP Playwrights under the direction of Tony Mabesa in this play. Might make you want to topple the patriarchy after as the play aims to “confront us with the dangers of power and the plight of the oppressed”.
5. Ang Nawawalang Kapatid
For those who are looking for musicals, you might want to watch Ang Nawawalang Kapatid, staged by Dulaang UP and directed by Dexter Martinez. It’s a Filipino musical adaptation of one of India’s most revered epics, The Mahabharata, by playwright Floy Quintos.
6. Kung Paano Ako Naging Leading Lady
The Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) is also releasing copies of their plays for free this week. Kung Paano Ako Naging Leading Lady is a “tragicomedy” about domestic help, sibling rivalry, and shattered dreams. This play directed by Chris Martinez was created for Virgin Labfest 9.
7. Orosman at Zafira
Another free streaming for a cause: Dulaang UP‘s 2011 staging of Orosman at Zafira (by Francisco Baltazar), directed by Dexter Santos is still available online for those who want to watch and donate to “KALingain Ang Kapwa Fund” – a fundraising campaign by UP Diliman College of Arts and Letters and their student council for those in need. Donations can be coursed through Ticket2me.
8. A Tea Party with Quarantined Princesses
For those who want to watch with their kids, this livestream of REP Theater for Young Audiences can keep you entertained. Hard not to sing along to princess songs! There’s Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, and even Cinderella! Although not staged like usual productions, Repertory Philippines’ REPisodes via Zoom aim to help members of the performing arts community. Donations can be sent via http://bit.ly/DonateOpenHouse.
9. Asawa Kabit
Another example of how those in the theater industry are coping with the changes brought about by the extended community quarantine in the country. Philstage recently released their livestream version of George de Jesus III’s Asawa Kabit with Ricci Chan and RS Francisco.
A classic! I’ve seen different versions of this story about the mythic Ibong Adarna but not everyone gets the chance to upload full theater plays online. This is Dulaang UP‘s take on the full-length corrido that I’m sure you’ve discussed during your High School Filipino class, too!
Aside from the links above, you can also visit Tanghalang Pilipino, The Egg Theater Co., Open House, One Night Stand: A Monthly Cabaret, and SPIT for online improv and updates on more shows that will be available online in the next few weeks.
We have different opinions about these shows, I do not claim that these are the best ones nor are they ranked, but I believe these can help serve as a stepping stone for those who want to see more examples of Filipino theater productions. Sharing in support of Philippine theater!