Repertory Philippines just celebrated 50 years of telling stories though an awesome musical gala at The Theatre at Solaire. The occasion saw Rep babies or Reppers coming home to where they all started. It was the night when Repertory Philippines told its own story while a captive audience listened and watched.
My very first experience in watching a performance from Repertory Philippines was far from intentional. About 10 years ago, I found myself the appointed companion of my Grade 1 son for their school field trip which included watching Cinderella at Greenbelt 1. I found myself enjoying the show so much, I wondered why it took so long for me to discover theater appreciation.
The Musical Gala
On the evening of June 11, 2017, my family and I found ourselves waiting with much anticipation for an historic presentation from Repertory Philippines. We’re talking about 50 years of performances, struggles, triumphs, and story telling in theater starting from a time when it literally did not exist. It was reason enough to be where we are.
Repertory Philippines’ President and CEO Mindy Perez-Rubio said that this musical gala is a showcase in a magnitude never before experienced in the industry. It brought together so many established names performing together in one stage all for the love of Rep. As it turned out, we were not disappointed.
The Rep Beginnings
Repertory Philippines was launched in 1967 by Zenaida Amador and Carmen “Baby” Barredo. It’s very first production was Bb. Julie, a Filipino adaptation of the play Ms. Julie which had exactly 7 people as its audience. Obviously, this did not dampen the duo’s goal to professionalize the theater industry.
Judging by the size of the audience who showed up to watch the 50th Anniversary of Repertory Philippines, the number of people who have developed appreciation for theater has definitely grown. The show was a tribute not only to Rep’s founders but also to each and every person who has one way or the other been a part of the production company. This includes, performers, directors, production staff, artistic staff, office staff, and all “Reppers”.
Theater Appreciation for the Youth
If there is one thing that I will forever be thankful for that Cinderella show I watched with my son, it will be the interest that it sparked in my son for the performing arts and the eagerness of my daughter to watch theater performances. Such interest did not come suddenly but was developed through time and exposure. It’s about time that young people realize and know that there is such a thing as theater arts.
Most Rep babies have grown and established their own production companies. This just proves that Repertory Philippines has trained them so well that they are capable of building their own. It is truly wonderful hearing them acknowledge their roots which started 50 years ago but it still counting.
Congratulations to 50 years of Repertory Philippines!