Neri: Theatre kids, unite!

Little Local
KILLER QUEEN. Pipay Nava gives “Ice Queen” donned from head to toe in a silver and frosted look as she performs the role of Killer Queen.
KILLER QUEEN. Pipay Nava gives “Ice Queen” donned from head to toe in a silver and frosted look as she performs the role of Killer Queen.

For as long as I can remember, I have always loved the theatre. My heart lies in musicals in particular, and some part of me would much rather watch a musical theatre production than go to a concert.

BROADWAY YOUTH CEBU. The kids of Broadway Youth Cebu’s 2023 Summer Workshop strike a pose during the staging of their summer culminating production.
BROADWAY YOUTH CEBU. The kids of Broadway Youth Cebu’s 2023 Summer Workshop strike a pose during the staging of their summer culminating production.

I guess that my Disney childhood is to blame. All those afternoons replaying “The Lion King,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Pocahontas” and “The Little Mermaid” time and again on VHS during my formative years has really wired my brain to immediately be drawn to anything even remotely musical. I shamefully admit that I can’t help but break into song when no one is watching—a little cringe, but very typical-theatre-kid kind of vibes. And, once I fall in love with a musical and its songs, I’m stuck like a fly in honey.

SCARAMOUCHE, SCARAMOUCHE. Lexie Garcia beams on stage as she plays Scaramouche.
SCARAMOUCHE, SCARAMOUCHE. Lexie Garcia beams on stage as she plays Scaramouche.

Having been in the Cebuano theatre scene for many years now as both a performer and a viewer, I really do appreciate all the creative initiatives different groups in the community set out to do.

WE WILL ROCK YOU. Jaienne Braveree Suralta as Scaramouche and Tyler Tolentino as Galileo in the jukebox musical based on Queen, “We Will Rock You.”
WE WILL ROCK YOU. Jaienne Braveree Suralta as Scaramouche and Tyler Tolentino as Galileo in the jukebox musical based on Queen, “We Will Rock You.”

Our local artists work hard to keep theatre in Cebu alive and kicking, and they do this in many different ways. One way to keep the legacy going strong is to provide avenues for artists to perform — thus they take all the daunting and costly steps to put up a production. Another way is to foster and nurture the skills and interests of the younger generation; the kids and the youth.

BYC CREATIVES. From left: Dexter Teves, Rudy Aviles, Gab Lada, Jay Chan II, Allan Nazareno, Everild Catugal, Rhodamie Chan, Fitzgerald Galenzoga, Raven Chan and Clariza Mae Sevilla.
BYC CREATIVES. From left: Dexter Teves, Rudy Aviles, Gab Lada, Jay Chan II, Allan Nazareno, Everild Catugal, Rhodamie Chan, Fitzgerald Galenzoga, Raven Chan and Clariza Mae Sevilla.

One of the much-awaited annual happenings in the youth theatre sector is Broadway Youth Cebu’s summer program and production. And, this year, the little girl inside me is giddy with excitement because the production is... “Beauty and the Beast.” (Oh, what an ode to my childhood. And how I wish I were young enough to join!)

BYC is now seeking young performers from ages eight to 18 years old, and those interested in stagecraft from ages 13 and up to join its summer workshop. The workshop culminates with the staging of Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” in August 2024. In the BYC page, it was mentioned that Disney recently announced that they would be recalling this title from licensing availability from 2024 onwards. With that, it may be the last time that “Beauty and the Beast” will be performed in the Philippines for a long time.

Registration for the Summer 2024: Musical Theatre Workshop is ongoing and those interested can check out “Broadway Youth Cebu” on Facebook to learn more.

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