• A Carousel For Our Time
  • Philstage 12th Gawad Buhay Nominations
  • Wonder-filled: Insights of a Tech Host
  • What’s The Buzz: Tell Me What’s-A-Happening
  • Confessions of a Repper: Liza Infante Confesses
  • Theater or Dare

A Carousel For Our Time

by Patrick Lim

The crown jewel of Repertory Philippines’ 2020 season would have been Rodgers and Hammerstein’s masterpiece musical, Carousel. For over a year, its director Toff de Venecia had labored on bringing the show to life, piece by piece, note by note.

Carousel turns seventy-five this year. Consequently, a show this timeless, and this popular, is bound to have lots and lots of productions. In order to make REP’s Carousel different, Toff had opted for a more contemporary feel. You can see it primarily in the casting, with its two leads, Gian Magdangal and Nikki Gil. Both are best known for their adeptness at singing pop music instead of the operatic style associated with the musical.

Gian was chosen to play the morally conflicted Billy Bigelow. According to Toff, the actor stood out from the rest of those who auditioned for the role. He had exhibited certain “gravitas” in portraying the character. For Toff, Nikki agreeing to play the part of Julie Jordan was a “stars aligning kind of moment”. Carousel’s May 2020 production would have been Nikki’s theater comeback after some years of being absent from the Philippine stage.

The contemporary re-imagining for this production seemed necessary for the director. As he himself says, Carousel is problematic due to its political incorrectness. Billy hitting his wife Julie in a fit of rage is a focal point of the storyline. But then Carousel is not just about domestic violence, it is rather about a complicated kind of love.

The show was on its third week of rehearsals when Manila’s lockdown was announced. Toff had been hopeful that things would go back to normal in a month or two and that the show might be staged in the third quarter of this year. But sadly things have not gone back to normal yet. As a consequence, REP has decided to move the production to 2021.

According to its director, next year’s production will need a “conceptual overhaul”. The idea for 2020 would have been the story told from the perspective of Billy and Julie’s daughter, Louise, as an older adult. The setting was to be the Great Depression. Truly an innovative concept, but it wasn’t meant to be. But as Toff put it, “Pursuing art is always an act of risk and gamble”.

Dedicated, insightful, imaginative – what will visionary director Toff de Venecia’s 2021 Carousel be like? Will the carousel spin and turn and make us escape to a whirl of fantasy? Or will it bring us back where we left off, see the harsh reality, but fill us with hope?

Philstage, the umbrella organization for all performing arts companies in the country, has just honored Repertory Philippines with thirteen nominations for the 12th Gawad Buhay Awards.

Congratulations & Good luck, Reppers!

Gawad Buhay Awards Night on October 8 @ 8PM.

Wonder-filled: Insights of a Tech Host

by Jeanne Ascue, REP Workshop for the Performing Arts
Zoom Tech Host

Ever since Repertory Philippines launched its online workshops last July, I’ve had the honor of seeing the next generation of artists come out of their shells.

Through the workshop, I saw kids enthusiastically perform with growing confidence. I watched pre-teens form new bonds, finding joy in using their voices and bodies to create and tell wonderful stories. I watched as teenagers experienced how the hard work of memorizing lines, practicing songs, and rehearsing dances lead to an outstanding performance. I saw adults, with the passion to perform, come to understand that the motivation, discipline, trust and confidence that they learn are strengths that they can bring anywhere.

Every day, I watched as both young and old sang and danced their hearts out, under the guidance of REP’s veteran actors. They found themselves ready for new challenges and reaching new heights. I witnessed them find fulfillment in the craft that I and many others love.

REP’s workshop provides the fundamentals necessary to become a “triple-threat” – the theater world’s coinage for someone who can sing, act, and dance. Through our classes, one can sow the seeds to become that someone.

The experience is more than just discovering one’s inner actor. REP’s online workshop affords a chance to turn strangers into family. It lets you test and overcome your limits.

More than just a pastime, it’s self-discovery and an exploration of all you can be.

(REP’s Workshop for the Performing Arts continues for one final session this year – October 5 to 31, 2020. To enroll, tap or click

What's The Buzz: Tell Me What's-A-Happening

by Ma. Regina C. Valerio, REP Marketing Assistant

Repertory Philippines’ Workshop for the Performing Arts 2020, Online Classes, October 5 to 31, 2020

We had a blast with our July and August batches. Our September batch is coming to an end. If you missed out, you have one last shot in October! Enroll now and learn from the best -REP’s seasoned actors and theater professionals. Sing like a pro with our Voice Classes or be that triple-threat through our Musical Theater Classes.

Interested? Tap or click ( for the class schedules and to enroll. For inquiries, email us at or

Learn and have fun at our Online Workshops this October!

REPisode: An Artistic Collaboration

REPisode is our online brand which was launched earlier this year. We’ve created 4 REPisodes with 50,000 views altogether. It’s time for a new one!

We are excited to present a new REPisode in collaboration with a prestigious ballet company! Follow us on our social media for updates.

Can’t wait for the new REPisode? Binge-watch our REPisodes on our Youtube channel. We’ve uploaded 3 of our REPisodes: “Stage Kiss and Tell”, “You’ll Never Walk Alone” and “How Beautiful and Gallant is our Flag”.


Even though we are still in quarantine, we are hopeful that it will not last much longer. REP is looking forward and has been getting ready for our 84th Theater Season next year!

Rodgers and Hammerstein’s CAROUSEL

If you can’t wait to watch this epic musical, we can’t wait to finally bring it to you even more. By the time the show opens next year, REP’s Carousel would have been in the works for over two years. With Toff de Venecia at the helm, it will be well worth the wait. Stay tuned to this space or our social media for updates on our opening night.

September 18, 2021 – January 30, 2022, Onstage Theater

Last September 12th, Repertory Theater for Young Audiences (RTYA) would have premiered Snow White and the Prince at Onstage. Instead, the theater was dark. But worry not. We will delight young audiences once again when this classic fairy tale finally opens next year. Snow White, the Prince, the Evil Queen, the Seven Dwarves; they will all be there!

There are so many exciting new projects that REP has in store for our audience. We’ll share more buzz with you as they’re happening.

Confessions of a Repper: Liza Infante Confesses

Liza: “I remember Tita Bibot made me do that on the ground while I was crawling on the floor.”

This section is recommended for theater buffs only!

We will ask you a question and if you know your THEATER and answer correctly, you’ll be fine. If you don’t, you have to take the DARE!

REPartee Team
Editor: VV Vergara
Graphics & Video Editor: Ma. Regina C. Valerio
Webmaster: Georgelyn Francisco

Repertory Philippines, Inc.
Phone: 0966-905-4013

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