Rak Of Aegis Season 6: Discovering Fresh-off-the-boat Talents!
Published · Wednesday, May 23, 2018 11:16 AM
Despite “Rak of Aegis” returning again and again to the theater, audiences remain to love the production as if it were the first time. Every season, PETA always tries to do something different, whether it is by tweaking the script, adding music, or adding new cast members. Although the story of “Rak” is perpetually relevant, the magic is that there was always something fresh about every run.
Last March 26, “Rak of Aegis” Season 6 took it to a whole new level by kicking things off with the Hu Got Talent: The Search For The Next Rakstar contest. It was a mash-up of open auditions and a talent competition to find the newest Aileen, Tolits, Kenny, and Jewel. After a mere three weeks, PETA received almost a hundred video entries from “Rak” hopefuls, and the Top 50 were announced on April 15.
Director Maribel Legarda shares that inasmuch as Hu Got Talent was a competition-audition, it was also a tribute to the character of Aileen. “I guess this year, we thought about the Hu Got Talent, because on Rak’s sixth season and maybe on, probably, its last, we want to go back to the premise of Aileen. A no one who wants to be a someone. A simple girl who wants to use her art, her voice, to find her place in the world. We are doing Hu Got Talent with the objective of bringing in fresh-off-the-boat talent. It is a tribute to Aileen, a girl with big dreams, who, amidst all of her challenges, can soar above them and reach her dreams,” Legarda says.
After a day of workshop-auditions, the Top 50 soon became the Top 20, comprised of theater newbies, singing competition contenders, student theater artists, and professional theater artists: Adrian Lindayag, Bryan del Rosario, Cathryn Gargar, Crystal Paras, Eumee Capile, Gidget Dela Llana, Gil “Chamyto” Aguedan, Joseph Madriaga, Katherine Medina, Kent Pontivedra, Lance Reblando, Marielle Mamaclay, Matel Patayon, Nieves Reyes, Pauline Denum, Princess Vire, Remus Villanueva, Rhap Salazar, Shaira Opsimar, and Yesh Burce.
The Top 20 underwent another intensive workshop-auditions where they really got a taste of “Rak of Aegis” by learning more songs and scenes from the production. Excitement and suspense pooled in for PETA, the original “Rak” cast, audiences, and the media: Who would star as the new Aileen, Tolits, Kenny, and Jewel in “Rak of Aegis” Season 6?
From almost a hundred Hu Got Talent hopefuls, PETA now introduces nine fresh faces who will join the original cast! World Championship of Performing Arts (WCOPA) multi-medalists Shaira Opsimar and Princess Vire star as the newest Aileens, Tawag ng Tanghalan contender Kent Pontivedra as Tolits, theater artist and teacher Remus Villanueva as Kenny, and Ateneo Blue Repertory RENT’s Adrian Lindayag as Jewel. Joining the ensemble are 5thGen band leader Marielle Mamaclay, TV actor Gil “Chamyto” Aguedan, Sandbox Collective Himala’s Matel Patayon, and Madison Events performer Crystal Paras. Another new addition to the cast is theater veteran and renowned Palanca award-winning writer-director Rody Vera as Fernan.
Shaira Opsimar and Princess Vire star as the newest Aileens
Kent Pontivedra as Tolits and Remus Villanueva as Kenny
Theater newbies Shaira and Princess consider nabbing the role of Aileen as their big break. “Sobrang big shot niya sa singing career ko and sa background ko sa theater kasi ito yung magiging first professional theater experience ko,” says Princess. Shaira, sharing the same sentiments, says that starring in “Rak of Aegis” is a dream come true. “Since I was a little girl, dream ko na po talaga maging part ng musical play. This is one of the biggest so far na sasalihan ko.”
Adrian Lindayag as Jewel
new cast of Rak Of Aegis - Marielle Mamaclay and Gil “Chamyto” Aguedan
Some new cast members saw Hu Got Talent as the avenue to reach their dreams and perform with PETA, like Kent who now plays Tolits, coming from humble beginnings as a mall and videoke sales clerk. Remus, now playing Kenny, describes being part of the production as “life-changing.” Other new cast members were no strangers to “Rak of Aegis.” Marielle, for example, passed auditions for Season 1, but was unable then to continue on in the first run of “Rak of Aegis” due to conflict of schedule. Crystal, on the other hand, has been a true fan since the beginning, having watched “Rak of Aegis” over a dozen times in the past five seasons.
new cast of Rak Of Aegis - Matel Patayon, and Crystal Paras
It was also no coincidence that the events of Hu Got Talent made waves on social media. Legarda reveals, “Aileen’s character rose to fame by being viral, so we wanted to use the metaphor of social media and provide young hopefuls a platform to realize their dreams.”
“Also, PETA is in its studying phase after our 50th year. We are studying politics, pop culture, Philippine society, social media, and technology. So we want to really use it and engage our audiences with it, to see how theater connects with social media,” Legarda adds.
After five runs and almost 300 shows, “Rak of Aegis” Season 6 offers old and new audiences a treat with a set of fresh faces that will grace the PETA stage.
“Rak of Aegis” runs from June 20 to September 2 at the PETA Theater Center, with shows on Wednesdays to Fridays (8:00 PM) and Saturdays to Sundays (3:00 PM and 8:00 PM). For inquiries and ticket reservations, contact PETA Marketing and Public Relations Office at Tel. No. 725-6244 or TicketWorld at 891-9999, www.ticketworld.com.ph.