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Top Theater Productions to Watch Online Now

The shows you can watch, from ‘Carousel’ to ‘Dolorosa’

With most theaters and performance spaces empty and temporarily shuttered amidst the worldwide lockdowns and bans on large public gatherings, many theater companies and organizations have chosen to release their work online for a limited time, allowing audiences to enjoy them from their homes. While viewing a performance through a screen may never measure up to the thrill of sitting in a theater and watching a show in person, the availability of shows online allows us to now watch (and even re-watch) them at our convenience.

A Game of Trolls​ (PETA)

A Game of Trolls ​is an original musical by Liza Magtoto and Vincent de Jesus about Hector, a keyboard warrior who is paid to write Pro-Martial Law comments on social media pages. His insensitive and often baseless comments cause him to be visited by the Ghosts of Martial Law, who remind him of the atrocities committed during this period in Philippine history and allow him to realize the sacrifices that many Filipinos had to pay for freedom from the dictatorship. The production warns audiences that when a nation forgets its history, we are likely doomed to repeat them.

The Kundiman Party​ (UP Playwrights’ Theatre)

The Kundiman Party​ by Floy Quintos and produced by Dulaang UP focuses on Antoinette, a college student honing her vocal skills with the help of Maestra Adela. Together with Bobby, Antoinette’s suitor, and Adela’s titas of Manila friends – Mitch, Helen, and Mayen – Antoinette learns of Adela’s past and how she permanently injured her throat at rallies in 1986 while performing ​kundimans.​ They decide to launch the Kundiman Party, an online campaign that hopes to allow their viewers to similarly speak up and take a stand. ​The Kundiman Party ​is a timely and lively homage to the ​kundiman​ as an art form, and a reminder of the role of art and music in inspiring us to continue to forge ahead no matter the circumstances.

Dolorosa​ (Tanghalang Ateneo)

Dolorosa​ brings faith and feminism center stage through the stories of Pilar, her two daughters, and their female ancestors. Their devotion to Mater Dolorosa, a wooden sculpture of Our Lady of Sorrows carries the women through Philippine history’s most trying times – from the Spanish occupation to the Japanese conquest. Over the course of three acts, they examine the various facets of womanhood throughout these periods in history. Tanghalang Ateneo’s 2019 production is directed by Jenny Jamora and features Bibeth Orteza and Ron Capinding in the roles of Pilar and Mariano respectively.

Rodgers and Hammerstein’s ​Carousel​ (Lincoln Center)

Rodgers and Hammerstein’s ​Carousel ​is set in 1873 Maine and focuses on the romance between Billy Bigelow, a carousel barker, and Julie Jordan, a millworker. Dire circumstances later cause Billy to join a robbery to provide for Julie and his unborn child. When the robbery fails, he must face the consequences as he desperately attempts to rectify his mistake. Broadway stars Kelli O’Hara and Nathan Gunn star in the 2013 production by the Lincoln Center, accompanied by the award-winning New York Philharmonic Orchestra.

Revelations​ (Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater)

Revelations,​ a modern dance production by the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre “pays homage to and reflects the African-American cultural heritage” through gospel songs and African-American spiritual music, and song-sermons. By drawing together choreography from modern and West African dance traditions, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre creates a powerful and moving piece to be enjoyed by audiences of all ages and backgrounds.

Lead photo from PBS