PETA’s “Charot!” Kickstarts “Stage Of The Nation” Events For 2019

Published · Thursday, January 10, 2019 11:06 AM

Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) continues its mission to utilize the arts and engage audiences and artists to contribute to the discourses that concern our nation through its creative campaign dubbed “Stage of the Nation”.

“PETA has always harnessed the power of the arts to capture the imagination, shape opinion and provoke feelings that could transform and affect change. The arts, especially theater, can tell stories, make us understand history and our past. It can communicate and educate, bring people together, inspire and heal,” said Beng Cabangon, PETA executive director, during the launch of the campaign September last year.

CJ Navato and Gardo Vicente

Given the political, economic and social challenges that continue to divide the country today, PETA has dedicated all aspects of its artistic and teaching practice throughout its 51st theater season to break barriers between creed, colors, labels and stereotypes, and to move audiences to reflect, think and speak.

Bene Manaois and Teetin Villanueva

PETA’s theater season is composed of three returning shows and one new musical that aims to tackle pressing social and political issues in typical PETA fashion . A lot of the chosen productions will talk about the themes of truth, historical revisionism, human rights and EJK, martial law, the elections, charter change and people’s participation.

The company’s artistic director, Maribel Legarda, known for creating plays like the hit comedy musical “Rak of Aegis” and “Care Divas” which are not only wildly entertaining but also thought provoking, will be directing PETA’s political comedy “Charot!”, written by young PETA playwrights Michelle Ngu and J-mee Katanyag.

Meann Espinosa and Kitsi Pagaspas

A Filipino colloquial term that means, "just kidding”, charot underlines a pun, a word used to downplay an otherwise scathing statement to mere jest. PETA’s “Charot!” presents the realities of the Philippine society in a strangely familiar satire that is both hilarious and ridiculous. The play is set to run from February 8 to March 17 at the PETA-Phinma Theater, just before the May senatorial elections which will largely affect how the issues of charter change (cha-cha) and federalism will pan out. “Charot!” focuses on the value of people’s participation as a key cornerstone of good governance and democracy.

PETA has also designed the theater season to provide a creative platform wherein discussions about various issues can transpire. According to Legarda, all of PETA’s shows included in the season will be followed by debriefings. “Some of them have also been designed to be coupled with workshops that can happen in the schools and communities,” she shares.

Apart from “Charot!” the second half of PETA’s “Stage of Nation” campaign includes Dulaang UP’s “The Kundiman Party”, Third World Improv Theater’s “Manila Improv Festival 2019”, the 5 th year anniversary show of Words Anonymous, and a “Human Rights Film Festival”, which will surely liven up the conversations with the audiences even more.

PETA will also continue to offer its year-round workshops. This includes the Workshop Weekends from January to March 2019, which allows creative break for young professionals, and its annual Summer Workshop for children, teens, and adults from April to June 2019. Apart from learning about theater, the participants are encouraged to tackle the issues and themes that are in line with the “Stage of the Nation” campaign.

According to Legarda, “Stage of the Nation” aims to bring two of the things that PETA does really well, which is teaching and performing, “We are going to bring those two experiences together, in the hopes that this interaction with the arts can make a more powerful experience for our audiences and participants,” she says.

PETA calls all artists, young people and the public to join the campaign. Everyone is invited to enter the stage, to take a role, and to make a better history for our nation!

PETA’s “Charot!” runs from February 8 to March 17, 2019 at The PETA Theater Center, #5 Eymard Drive, Brgy. Kristong Hari, New Manila, Quezon City, with shows on Fridays (3:00pm), Saturdays and Sundays (3:00pm & 8:00pm). For inquiries and ticket reservations, contact PETA Marketing and Public Relations Office at Tel. No. 725-6244, TicketWorld at 891-9999, , or Ticket2Me at 721-0431 to 33 loc. 8109,

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