A full online production entitled The Boarding House, alongside a specially designed interactive website, premieres on Nov. 5 to provide a quirky and innovative theater experience that pushes the potential of Philippine theater.
A promenade-style play allows the spectators freedom to curate their own viewing experience. They can enter their preferred rooms and select the order of the scenes to immerse themselves into, with varying social commentaries and perspectives presented on the narrative. They are likewise invited to traverse the fully-interactive online map that provides an in-depth introduction of each character as well as a tour of the surreal setting.
The presentation transports the audience to year 2030 in a futuristic surveillance state called Lunan City, formerly known as Manila. The capital was acquired and transformed by an umbrella corporation coined as O.W.L. Corp. into a speculative universe, wherein a diverse range of mythical creatures, sentient objects and structures, and humans co-exist.
All collectively referred to as Lunanites, they are forced to stay indoors as schools of Flying Fish caused a toxic outbreak throughout the city. Locked down within the four walls of the shared sanctuary, seven artists have to face their real selves confront their inner desires and struggles as they adapt and survive in the so-called new normal. In this seclusion amid the crisis, the protagonists are left to answer the question: Who are you when you’re alone?
The group, comprised of psychic Hala (Phoebe Louise Lina), actress Lucy (Camille Pedersen), director Mimi (Isabel Dimalanta Ravago), collector Blaise (Brio Mikhail Divinagracia), vlogger Kessy (Samantha Louise Campos), professor Atom (Christian Cusi), and news radio broadcaster Berke (Jack Denzel Gaza), are quarantined in the Eñya Boarding House.
The Boarding House was written, directed, and produced by Teatro 77, a team of Theater Arts students from the School of Design and Arts of the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde.
It features music by Sunny Side second engineer and in-house producer David Lina and psychedelic surf rock band La Playa, animation by multimedia artist Tara Isabel Javier, set design by Benilde Production Design student Zach Urbano, lighting design by Theater Arts student Kyla Ravago, who is likewise responsible for the website, together with performer, writer, and multimedia artist Phoebe Lina. The universe was brought to life by the web development of IT specialist Reuben Ravago.
The Boarding House is accessible from a website specially created to be non-linear and exploratory, designed for the global audience with subtitles in full English and Filipino.
The website is open to the public. Viewers, however, are encouraged to donate to pandemic relief operations of Para Sa Sining, a collective of creative individuals and organizations passionate about building a community that is inclusive through collaborative arts.
The Boarding House Acts 1 and 2 premieres on Thursdays, Nov. 5 and 12 at 7:00 p.m., respectively.
It will be available on view until Dec. 5, 2020, through its virtual front of the house at https://explorelunan.web.app/.
For inquiries, email [email protected] or visit the team’s social media channels on Facebook (@teatro77ph), Twitter (@teatro77), and Instagram (@teatro77_ph).
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