The songs and scenes from Miss Siagon

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Monday, August 25, 2014


The University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R) Lhuillier scholars undergo theater and communication workshops to develop confidence, creativity, team work, value formation, discipline and stage production.

This program has been going on since the 1980s, a carry-over of what used to be the similar project of the USJ-R Dramatics and Cultural Ensemble (1976) and the USJ-R HS Little Theater (1964).

Aside from cultural shows performed in Cebu, Manila and abroad—like Korea, Singapore, Beijing, USA, Russia, Vegas, Xiamen and Hawaii, among so many others—USJ-R adapted on stage Broadway plays, Hollywood musicales, one-act plays and dramatic readings.

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In the USJ-R Hall of Fame in the theater arts are the late Fr. Victor Lluch OAR, who honed the Colegio de San Jose-Recoletos (CSJ-R) Dramatics Guild from 1965-1976; Fr. Blas Montenegro OAR (1976), who expanded the group into CSJ-R Dramatics and Cultural Ensemble, to USJ-R Dramatics and Cultural Ensemble (Drac) under the College of Arts and Sciences, when the school attained its university status.

In 2001, the group of the Adelante dancers and part of the Drac were merged into the Adrac or Adelante Dramatics Ensemble. Thus, the Lhuillier scholars, with the inspiration of benefactress Dr. Amparito L. Lhuillier (1996) carry the name of USJ-R Allef (Amparito L. Lhuillier Educational Foundation) performers.

Also, in the Hall of Fame are outstanding mentors and alumni who helped this writer in countless stage productions since 1964: the late Aniano Abellana, Pris Esplanada and engineer Alix; Pio and Lucy Bonilla, Dolores Cue, Nonilon Labata, choreographer Rady Ruiz; advisers Alita Laborte, Usaffe Requieron and Marietta Degamo, and recently, Ramon Sebastian and Nellie Dosado. A number of alumni pursued further their career in the performing arts like Anna Feji, Maria Donna, Jimmy Marquez; while others are high-ranking professionals, politicians and businessmen (too many to mention). The plays I directed were Snow White (two times), Student Prince, West Side Story (five times), Mamma Mia (three times), Songs and Scenes from Miss Saigon (four times).

Rounding out the list are Sister Act (two times), excerpts from A Chorus Line, Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera, South Pacific, Oklahoma, Grease, High School Musicale; and religious musicale on the lives of St. Augustine and St. Ezekiel Moreno, among others. Fr. Lluch and Nonilon Labata presented Oliver, Showboat and South Pacific.

The Songs and Scenes from Miss Saigon will once again recall the love story of Kim and Chris, amid the last years of the Vietnam war. It will be the workshop output of some 21 Allef scholars; plus, some alumni, Recoletos priests and guest performers slated Sept.1 -2, USJ-R Main Campus. It will be solely for the Josenians; outsiders by invitation. Free admission with door prizes. All scholars have roles to play in three batches.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 26, 2014.

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