Theater in Manila: Exciting Shows to See Online This November

Under My Skin is going from stage to screen!

theater in manila

(SPOT.ph) The last time our theater calendars were filled to the brim was in early March 2020 (a.k.a. before all hell broke loose). Matilda, The Band’s Visit, and Anna in the Tropics were all scheduled (and eventually cancelled) pre-panini—back when watching live was the norm. While Metro Manila slowly (but surely) reopens their theater doors, you can still catch a couple of theatrical shows by local production companies online.

If you're into streaming plays and musicals, here are exciting shows to put on your watch-list this November:

Under My Skin

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Under My Skin, written by Rody Vera and directed by Melvin Lee, is part of the  Philippine Educational Theater Association's campaign to use theater in raising awareness and starting conversations about national issues, such as HIV and AIDS. It follows Dr. Gemma Almonte, an epidemiologist who reveals not only the facts and figures surrounding this disease, but also the stories behind the characters who are living with HIV.

First show live in February 2020, Under My Skin was nominated for Outstanding Script, Outstanding Stage Direction for a Play, Outstanding (Original) Play, and Outstanding Female Lead among others at the Gawad Buhay Awards for 2020.

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Under My Skin runs from November 26 to 28 and from November 30 to December 5 through the Ticket2Me web player. Tickets, priced from P180 (Livestream) to P250 (video on demand), are available through Ticket2Me.

The Great Christmas Cookie Bake-Off

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Repertory Philippines' The Great Christmas Cookie Bake-off is the return of the theater company's REP Theatre for Young Audiences after over a year in hiatus (and we all know why). With the time-honored tradition of feasting on Christmas sweets, the musical follows eight young cookie chefs who battle it out for the first prize at the Cookie Coliseum in true reality baking competition style. Directed by Joy Virata, The Great Christmas Cookie Bake-off! embraced the shift to digital amid the pandemic and was purposely filmed for online streaming.

The Great Christmas Cookie Bake-off runs from November 12 to December 12 through Broadway on Demand. Tickets, priced from P700 (regular) to P1,000 (family), are available through Ticketworld.

Island Song

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Adapted for the online audience by Metro Manila-based Artermix Productions, Sam Carner and Derek Gregor's Island Song tells the story of five New Yorkers and their love-hate relationship with the Big Apple. The cast includes Dippy Arceo, Sophia Meily, Jillian Ita-as, JV Fulgencio, and Joshua Valenzona. It is directed by Nicodemus Varona.

Island Song runs on November 27 and on December 4. Tickets, which are available for free, are available through Artremix Productions' website

Tuko.exe:SystemUpdate

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First streamed in July 2021, Ateneo Entablado’s Tuko.exe:SystemUpdate is an online adaptation of Al Santos' Ang Sistema ni Propesor Tuko, which was written during Martial Law under late dictator Ferdinand Marcos. Playwright Adrian Soriano's updated iteration is set during the pandemic when students are forced to take their classes online amid economic constraints. The play follows Ninging and her friends, whose lives are dirsupted by well, the pandemic and the surprise appearance of a mysterious substitute teacher.

Tuko.exe:SystemUpdate runs from November 10 to 24. Tickets, priced at P250, are available through KTX.ph.

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