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Hey Manila, a New Baby is Born: Red Turnip Theater


Theater is fast growing in Manila and it completely reaches its peek as numerous Theater companies continue producing magnificent shows from simple one act plays to the more extravagant Broadway musical adaptations.

But despite the fast rising attention to these cultural sensibility, the theater community still knows they are still far from economic growth when it comes to theater being a source of stable income.  Theater is still a tough world in short.  But a few people... few FEARLESS YOUNG minds are ready to face these challenges as they gave birth to a new company that will soon hit Manila.  Ladies and gentlemen, meet the Red Turnip Theater.

L-R: Rem Zamora, Jenny Jamora, Cris Villonco, Topper Fabregas and Ana Abad Santos

Brainchild of 5 talented actors and directors namely Topper Fabregas (No Way to Treat a Lady), Jenny Jamora (Mind's Eye),  Rem Zamora (Bare), Anna Abad Santos (Joy Luck Club) and Cris Villonco (D Wonder Twins of Boac), Red Turnip Theater is formed out of the immortal words of the late Repertory Philippines' founder Zeneida 'Bibot' Amador.

"You can's Squeeze Blood from a TURNIP...

... But you can Sure as Hell Paint it RED."

Aiming to change the face of theater in Manila, Red Turnip wants to feature never before seen shows that they believe deserves an audience.  “It’s an idea we’ve been talking about off and on the past three years,” Zamora said. “We were beginning to notice that not many productions of contemporary, straight plays were being staged. We love musicals but don’t want to see the straight play go away. So we thought, why not just do it ourselves?”

Though they believe straight plays would be the company's main target now.  Their main vision is to stage productions they believe has the strong material, whether it is a straight play, a musical comedy or a circus (no pun intended).  They are not too concerned with what the current audience like (musicals and comedies), according to Jenny they are in search of their audience.  She strongly believes that there is a market for them.  Yes they admit it is a big risk on their part because they don't know if the shows will get a lot of audience but everything is not always about what they will get back.  These bunch enjoys doing what they like and that is to perform.

Together with the official launch, Red Turnip Theater is happy to announce their maiden production with the play "Closer".  Written by an English playwright named Patrick Marber , Closer is a romantic drama about 2 couples' romance getting complicated after some turn of events that makes the man on the other pair meets with the woman on the other.  Marber receives critical acclaim from this play including an Olivier Award for Best new play and a New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for Best Foreign Play.

RED TURNIP THEATER with the cast of CLOSER: Bart Guingona, Cris Villonco and Mark Abaya

To be directed by Ana Abad Santos, Red Turnip's Closer will be played by Angel Aquino, Cris Villonco, Mark Abaya and Bart Guingona“We’re very happy with this cast,” Abad Santos says. “They each bring their own touches to the roles and have different experiences with the material. It’s very interesting watching them play off of each other.”  They also revealed that this very play is one of the catalyst why they finally gave Red Turnip a go signal.  “Closer is one of those works that excites us as actors and lovers of theater,” says Villonco, who will be portraying Alice. “It’s an example of the kind of shows we want to do, which is why we formed RED TURNIP.”

So are we ready for a new blood?  I don't know about you but I'm definitely sure I'm ready for it.  Here comes Red Turnip Theater and no one can stop them now.



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A blogger, artist, performer and musical lover. Loves discovering new things and making friends.

A web designer by profession. Working on a publishing company and part time Entertainment Blogger. Also once upon a time an actor, singer and creative writer.

Loves reading comicbooks and graphic novels. Enjoys watching movies and stage plays and musicals. Internet "lakwatsero", enjoys discovering new and cool sites to discover new things and most specially meeting new interesting people whom I can share my hobbies and interests.

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