Young Filipinos who are keen to participate in a three-month theatre performance scholarship program are invited to attend the open auditions for a new Filipino musical.

Here's a short Q&A with Filipino-Australian writer, director and producer Dr. Mars Cavestany about the musical.

Tell us more about this new project.

Along the Pasig is the live stage version of the radio musical play by the same name produced to celebrate the 150 years birth anniversary of Philippine national hero Jose Rizal. It is a private creative initiative of Filipinas' PETALS Community Theatre auspiced by or in partnership with APCO, Inc. (Alliance of Philippine Community Organisations, Inc.)

The scholarship will be given to 50-60 children/youth who must be recommended by a Filipino organisation or known Filipino leader who shall be responsible for him/her throughout the period of training and performances. Total commitment and strict attendance and full cooperation and adherence to house rules and policies apply.

Who should audition?

Young people, age from 7 to 25 years old, willing and able to undergo intensive and integrated voice, speech, acting, dance and movement training laboratory for three months leading to the actual performances in November and December 2013 at a venue to be confirmed at a later date.

I will head the teaching staff and handle the acting, voice and speech clinic with professional guest theater artists imported from Manila to handle music and dance lessons. There will be special sessions in ethnic chanting and merry mix of indigenous Philippine and Aboriginal sports and movements.

In addition, parents who are willing to get directly involved in the production in various backstage work and marketing schemes may also get free training and laboratory hands-on practical workshop in the organisation/supervision and management of shows and stage production.

Who should they contact

Call me on 02 8840 9334 or mobiles 0423870074 and 0422191493 to arrange for a personalised, individual instruction-cum-open audition where those who audition will be asked to read a script in English aloud, deliver an improvised monologue or story telling, and move/dance or be willing to learn ethnic sports/movements on the spot to check for agility and presence of mind  

Where: auditions may be held at various places, case to case, depending on where the respondent is located. Auditioners (Dr. Cavestany & company) may even travel to your place if necessary, if you can arrange a group of no less than five people auditioning altogether at the same time and place.

Background on the play 

Along the Pasig antedates and, in fact, is Dr. Jose Rizal's phantasmagorical answer to J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series; a modern socio-religious politically correct deconstruction and contemporanisation of an allegorical play about Spain's subjugation of the Philippines seen from the point of view of a young Christian faithful battling it our with a three-headed Devil-cum-Monster Diwata.

Starring Marcus Rivera, Brian Babon, and Charles Chan as the Tres Dahlias/Devil Camp of Mars Cavestany essaying the role of the Devil opposite Reggie Daguio  playing the lead child actor Leonido together with Grace Pascua, Annie Regaliza, Cecile Germo, Rachel Zarate, and the Sydney Sonata Singers and APCO Choir plus a whole new batch of total performers from the Open Auditions.

The musical is set to modern rock, RnB rhythms in merry mix with indigenous/folk Philippine and aboriginal chants, and other original Filipino theatrical forms. Conceived, written,directed and performed by Dr. Mars Cavestany of Filipinas' PETALS in collaboration with APCO and the Australia Council for the Arts and Short and Sweet Australia.

Photo credits: Oliver Gadista, Bless Salonga and Sweet Mojo Band


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