REP returns in full force with a new season of dynamic productions for 2024
From romances to folklores: Its 87th season explores the thrills and spills of love and yearning
Repertory Philippines returns to form for its 87th season with a full lineup, a first since 2019, marking a celebration of the enduring legacy of one of the country’s foremost theater companies and a resurgence of live stage performances all around the world.
REP launches into 2024 with exciting new productions that explore a kaleidoscope of narratives and characters that tackle the profound universality of love and yearning. This new season takes audiences to the familiar highs and lows of all kinds of relationships and inspires them to deepen their appreciation for Filipino culture. As one of the longest-running English-speaking theater companies in Southeast Asia, REP opens its 2024 season by bringing two exciting global productions to Philippine theater.
The first is the Manila premiere of Betrayal, one of the best-known plays of British theater icon and Nobel Prize winner in Literature Harold Pinter. It will feature London-based Filipino actors James Bradwell, James Cooney, and Vanessa White with Jef Flores and Regina De Vera as covers. Running from March 1 to 17, this production employs a reverse-chronological structure to tell the story and examine the consequences of an extramarital affair on three complex individuals and how clandestine meetings turn to dramatic confrontations. A recipient of the Lawrence Olivier Award and New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award, the drama has featured prominent British actors like Michael Gambon, Daniel Craig, Rachel Weisz, and Tom Hiddleston.
This Manila staging of Betrayal holds many other firsts for REP. It is going to be the first Pinter play of the theater company. It marks the Philippine directorial debut of Victor Lirio, a Manila-born, New York and London based actor and theatre director, who trained at London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art and earned his Master of Arts in Drama Directing from the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. He was most recently Resident Director on Dr Semmelweis at the Harold Pinter Theatre in London’s West End starring Oscar winner Mark Rylance. REP will also collaborate with Lirio on The Bridge Project, a “skills exchange” program for professional practitioners trained in different theater cultures to create a congress for collaborative learning. The three Filipino-British actors, along with two New York-based Filipino-American designers and Lirio, are being flown in to Manila by REP in February not only to perform in Betrayal, but also to hold free masterclasses, lectures and readings, for Filipino theater practitioners and audiences.
From June 7 to 30, REP then goes off-Broadway with the lighthearted Joe Di Pietro (book and lyrics) and Jimmy Roberts (music) musical I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change taking audiences through a whirlwind series of vignettes on love and relationships. Perfect for fans of modern musicals and sitcoms, the revue is rife with a whirlwind cast of characters ranging from big-city singles and awkward wallflowers to suburban settlers and sassy seniors – all played by a cast of four! The longest-running off-Broadway musical revue with tours to 250 cities worldwide, this musical also tackles everything people thought about dating and marriage, lovers, and in-laws—but were just too afraid to confront and admit.
Directed by the ‘first lady’ of Philippine musical theater Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo, REP’s I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change ensures a seamless blend of hearty humor and music. Other renowned creatives joining the production are Ejay Yatco for musical direction and Joey Mendoza for set design.
For its last two 2024 offerings, REP celebrates its roots by underlining its love for Filipino storytelling. Repertory Theater for Young Audiences (RTYA) showcases Filipino folklore in the all-new children’s musical Jepoy and the Magic Circle an adaption of The Magic Circle, a children’s short story by Philippine cultural icon and literature legend Gilda Cordero Fernando. The light-hearted musical centers on Jepoy and his dog, Galis, as they enter the whimsical balete world and befriend kapres, aswangs and tiyanaks and everything in between, to attend a tikbalang wedding.
Premiering in the last quarter of the year, Jepoy and the Magic Circle is bound to resonate with young audiences, leaving them with a meaningful and enduring message about the power of empathy and caring for the planet. This musical adventure is brought to life by RTYA Creative Director Joy Virata as its director, award-winning playwright Rody Vera, and Ejay Yatco as its musical director.
REP caps off 2024 in November till December its first-ever original jukebox musical: Going Home to Christmas featuring the music of Mr. Christmas himself, Jose Mari Chan!
For the season’s closing show, REP taps distinguished director, actor, and set designer Leo Rialp as director and esteemed theater actor Jeremy Domingo as assistant director. The musical is written by REP stalwarts Robbie Guevara, Luna Griño-Inocian, and Joel Trinidad, with additional scenes by Cathy Azanza-Dy.
Chan’s music and lyrics lend themselves to the charming and heartwarming stories of each of the couples; provide the perfect soundtrack for this seasonal offering; and, make Going Home to Christmas a theater experience the whole family will surely enjoy.
What makes the 2024 season extra special for REP is it also marks its nostalgic return to the Carlos P. Romulo Theater in RCBC Plaza, when they inaugurated the theater in 2001 with Celebration III, A Musical Revue before running for two wonderful decades at the Onstage Theater in Greenbelt.
“This new REP season is going to be one for the books. We’re back and stronger than ever since the pandemic, having experimented with virtual theater and mounted Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musical Carousel as well as currently staging Snow White and the Prince for RTYA,” says REP President and CEO Mindy Perez-Rubio. “Despite dealing with close to four years of darkness, the show must go on. REP is ready for a new chapter with a fresh lineup of carefully curated productions, plus the initiation of The Bridge Project, that will enrich the cultural lives of Filipino theatergoers and artists.”
Catch the entire REP 2024 season by purchasing season passes now. Season subscribers can get access to REP productions at up to 30% off. The full season year pass includes 3 season shows + RTYA, with the Gold Year Pass at Php 6,650 (Orchestra Center), the Silver Year Pass at Php 5,250 (Orchestra Side) and a Balcony Year Pass at Php 3,710. Student and Corporate Season Passes are also available at discounted prices.
For show-buying and ticket inquiries, contact REP at 0966-905-4013 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
For updates and show schedules, visit www.repertoryphilippines.ph, or like and follow repertoryphilippines on Facebook and Instagram.
The plot of Betrayal integrates different levels of betrayal relating to a seven-year affair involving a married couple, Emma and Robert, and Robert’s best friend Jerry, who is married to Judith. For five years Emma has an affair with Jerry, without her husband Robert’s knowledge. She is unfaithful to Robert and betrays Jerry’s wife, Judith. Emma, without telling her lover, Jerry, admits her infidelity to her husband, Robert (in effect, betraying Jerry), although she continues their affair. Four years after exposing the affair to her husband, and two years after she and Jerry break up, Emma meets Jerry to tell him that her marriage to Robert is over. She then lies to Jerry in telling him that she had to reveal the truth to Robert just the night before, and that he now knows of the affair. The truth however, is that Robert was told about the affair by Emma four years ago.
Pinter’s particular usage of reverse chronology in structuring the plot is innovative: the first two scenes take place after the affair has ended; the final scene of the play ends when the affair begins, seven years earlier; and, in between this seven year span, scenes in two pivotal years (today, and four years earlier) move forward chronologically. The Betrayal structure strips away all dishonesty and deception. In this view, the play shows, heartlessly, that the very capacity for love itself is sometimes based on betraying not only other loved ones, but even ourselves. Betrayal shows that complex emotions are based on stress from two timeframes, one forward in calendar time toward disappointment, and one backward toward the redemptive freedom of time.
I LOVE YOU YOU’RE PERFECT NOW CHANGE SYNOPSIS
I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change is a lively musical presented in the form of a series of vignettes connected by the central theme of love and relationships. The play’s tagline is “Everything
you have ever secretly thought about dating, romance, marriage, lovers, husbands, wives and in-laws, but were afraid to admit.” With few exceptions, the scenes stand independent of the others, but
progress in a fashion designed to suggest an overall arc to relationships throughout the course of one’s life. A first date, for example, comes before scenes dealing with marriage, and scenes dealing
with marriage come before those dealing with child bearing. Despite the large number of characters,
the show is typically done with a comparatively small cast: the original Off-Broadway production uses
a cast of four, as with REP’s production in 2024.
JEPOY AND THE MAGIC CIRCLE SYNOPSIS
The play is based on a short story, “The Magic Circle,” by Gilda Cordero-Fernando, about Jepoy and his dog, Galís. Jepoy, the poorest kid in town, son of a lavandera named Aling Barang, grows up with an absent father who looks like a kapre and his mother like an aswang. Jepoy’s dog, Galís, runs off with a fine gown that his mother was washing. He dashes into a massive Balete tree with Jepoy chasing her. They enter the giant Balete that is a home to Encantos (magical spirits).
There is a folk belief that when the sun shines even when it rains, it is a sign that a tikbalang wedding is going on (the tikbalang being a mythological horse-like creature, with body of a man, and head of a horse). Jepoy attends the tikbalang wedding, and a tiyanak debut, (Chavacano-speaking hobbits,) and meets aswang cooks, a santelmo (fire elemental), and a slew of enchanted animals even an ipis (cockroach). There is also the Queen of the party, the voluminous Doña Geronima, who lends her finest china to the enchanted ones when they have parties, and a kapre, who mourns the loss of his trees due to construction of homes and buildings.
Although it is a light-hearted musical geared towards children, with the enchanting and magical creatures that are comical and Disneyesque, the production cleverly incorporates the original intention of folk stories — that there is always a lesson learned, this story being that of saving our environment.
GOING HOME TO CHRISTMAS SYNOPSIS
A Jose-Mari Chan Musical
In the midst of bustling crowds and a chorus of public address announcements, the setting of an
airport seems somewhat paradoxical to finding love and forging meaningful relationships. However,
this Christmas, fate weaves an enchanting tapestry of romance at a bustling airport. As travelers
yearning for warmth and affection during this festive season find themselves stranded due to
unforeseen circumstances, four separate stories of love and relationships unfold. With Jose-Mari Chan’s timeless classic compositions, it is an inspiring symphony of stories that shows that love defies all expectations, adversity and distance to restore faith in the magic of Christmas. The holiday season is a time when families and loved ones come together, but sometimes, life throws unexpected curveballs.
This heartwarming musical cleverly weaves the music of Jose-Mari Chan in song and dance, as it delves into the lives of strangers who find themselves stuck at the airport at Christmas — an airport where people from all walks of life converge. Travelers realize that love has the power to transcend boundaries, create new beginnings, and bring joy even during the most challenging times. This uplifting musical reminds us that, ultimately, love is the greatest gift we can give and receive, no matter where life takes us.