(SPOT.ph) Philippine Educational Theater Association, fondly known as the 55-year-old PETA Theater, is all geared up to start another year with the staging of Rody Vera's Walang Aray. It is an all-original Filipino musical based on the 1902 sarsuwela Walang Sugat by Severino Reyes. And with only three months left before opening night on February 17, PETA has finally revealed their full cast. Former Pinoy Big Brother contestants Alexa Ilacad and KD Estrada alternate with Marynor Madamesila and Gio Gahol as the show's leads Julia and Tenyong.
Ilacad rose to prominence after joining the kid's gag show Goin' Bulilit in 2008. She later became known for playing Bobbie Salazar in Four Sisters Before the Wedding, Luna Dela Cuesta in The Killer Bride, and Lexie Domingo in Luv U. Estrada, on the other hand, started out under Star Magic and released a single under Star Music's subsidiary Star Pop. He later joined The Squad Plus (now The Squad 2022). Both Ilacad and Estrada were celebrity housemates of Pinoy Big Brother: Kumunity Season 10.
Madamesila, a graduate of the University of the Philippines' Theater Arts program, was part of the online streaming of Rak of Aegis in August 2021. Gahol, a movie, television, and theater actor, previously starred in Cinema One film Sila-Sila (2019) and PETA's Under My Skin (2019).
The rest of PETA Theater's Walang Aray cast members are:
- Jarred Jaicten as Miguel
- Kiks Baento as Monica
- Carlon Matobato as Lucas
- Gie Onida and Norbs Portales as Don Tadeo
- Neomi Gonzales as Juana
- John Moran as Padre Alfaro
- Tom Bienvenida, Donn Boco, Gerard Dy, Yeyin Dela Cruz, Ada Marie Tayao, and Ayla Garcia as members of the ensemble
- Csai Habla and Gardo Exconde as the swings
Directed by Ian Segarra with original music by Vince Lim, the new Filipino piece is described as a "fiercely irreverent, ferociously clever, and seriously hilarious farce." It's a refreshing take on Walang Sugat, which is one of Reyes' opus that featured romantic narratives but imbibed social themes. The 1902 piece described the Filipinos' struggles under 333 years of Spanish occupation and tackled the bravery of the Katipuneros and their victory in toppling colonial rule.
Walang Aray runs from February 17 to May 14, 2023 at PETA Theater Center, 5 Sunnyside Drive, New Manila, Quezon City. For updates, follow Philippine Educational Theater Association on Facebook.