People embarking on the highly implausible and the seemingly impossible are more often than not considered “slightly mad” if not downright crazy. Yet it is from these people’s madcap minds that some of the greatest ideas are born. Repertory Philippines is one of them. In a world where only those with independent incomes could do theater and at a time when there was no theater industry let alone plays produced on a regular basis, six idealists thought to put up a theater group that would change all that.
These idealists wanted to mount commercially viable plays without sacrificing skill and artistry on a regular basis; to attract would-be artists and train them, and, where theater afficionados could enjoy the best of Broadway fare without actually going to Broadway. A pretty tall order by all accounts in 1967 – but Zeneida Amador, Baby Barredo, Leo Martinez and Tony and Monina Mercado marched to it! On a rainy evening in March of 1967, the fledgling theater company performed “Miss Julia” to an audience of seven… and the rest – as the cliché goes – is history.
Fifty-three years and over 455 productions later, Repertory Philippines has fulfilled all its initial goals…and then some. Through the years, Rep has consistently trained and developed budding actors, aided fledgling theater companies, and always produced at least five productions a year, averaging at least 150 performances annually. These productions range from conventional and contemporary classics to frothy farces, deep drama and magnificent musicals. These include LES MISERABLES, MAN OF LA MANCHA, FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, EVITA, EQUUS, AMADEUS, SWEENEY TODD, A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM, THE MERCHANT OF VENICE, MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, and ROMEO AND JULIET, just to name a few.
In the past 27 years, Rep has also been reaching and teaching the youth through the Repertory Theatre for Young Audiences… starting theater appreciation early through enjoyable and educational offerings such as PINOCCHIO, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, ALADDIN JR., JACK AND THE BEANSTALK, RAPUNZEL and many more. Moreover, the regularity and frequency of Rep productions has not only made possible the development of a theater audience, but it has also enabled Repertory Philippines to effectively achieve its vision to employ and train actors and production people. Proof positive of the quality of training at Rep is the number of “alumni” who have become household names in entertainment both locally and internationally – making their mark not only in theater but also in television, film and the concert scene. Many of these names have also gone on to form their own theater companies, many of which have been supported constantly by REP.
Considered the most prestigious theater company in the country, Repertory Philippines is a vital part of a thriving vibrant theater industry filling its specific niche as an actor oriented training company; with a loyal following and an ever growing audience; and a truly special place in the hearts of theater-practitioners and theatergoers in the Philippines, with the specific charter of continuing their outreach to teach and train passionate young (and old) artists, as well as produce plays to benefit the community.