Theatre continued to flourish in Metro Manila over 2018. What is remarkable in the scene this past year is the prominence of outstanding full-length productions of
original Filipino material. These have of course been in evidence in previous years as well, but seldom have they so dominated the roster of quality stage output. Just as notable was that the output went beyond the traditional purveyors of Pilipino-language theatre, such as PETA and CCP’s Tanghalang Pilipino. Eye-opening was the number of theatre companies almost totally dedicated to putting on English-language works, which broke mold to stage ambitious highquality Filipino works with roaring success: Sandbox Collective (Himala), 9Works Theatrical (Eto Na! Musikal nAPO), and Resorts World’s F ullhouse P roductions ( Ang Huling El Bimbo). On the student front, the same applied to Ateneo’s Blue Repertory (Skin Deep). But there were also independent groups that contributed their own productions: Black Box (with two vastly different musicals, the political Dekada 70 and the bittersweet-romantic Mula Sa Buwan), Synergy 88 Digital and Rebecca Chuaunsu Film Production, the Tsinoy producers of Binondo, and the trio of theatre actors-turned- A Survey of Theater in Metro Manila Selected Productions, January–December 2018 producers (Kalil Almonte, Jenny Jamora, and Renante Bustamante)
who staged the outstanding political drama Desaparesidos.