Season 15

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KATIPS is a Musicale depicting the dynamic tale of love and sacrifice amidst the uproar and wide mass desolation. Apparently, the love story crosses the threshold of a historical back draft.

It is about the lives of distinct individuals during the dark era of Philippine history in the 1970s. Greg is an Editor of their school organ, Lara is a new balikbayan student, Panyong is a principled over-staying college student and Alet is known the new Tandang Sora. The students showed strengths which proved their courage in expressing their disgust to the government. But fear embraced them when three of their fellow activists were kidnapped. It’s surprising though that Lara continued the fight, the person least expected to show concern for his fellowmen because she was raised and born in the United States. Lara proved to the world that love for country starts with an honest acceptance of one’s self. The rest of the characters will accept victory upon the end of dictatorship. But the fight goes on.

Katips will show the unique language, fashion and culture in the 70s. But more important than the superficial factors, the musical will show the young people’s desire to effect change in the society during that era. This murky period of history is elusive in our history books or rarely discussed in the classroom. But it is a social blunder to totally disregard the lessons of the past. Hence, this musical has an objective of educating the young audience with the use of music, a universal language that binds us all.

This Filipino Musicale will be accompanied by a live band. The costume, props, set design will also be colorful and authentic to the times. The play to be presented by the Foundation is educational and with a spectacular production value. The cultural importance and creativity of their stage presentation will benefit the audience in the development of their historical learning and artistic exposure.

Four- time Aliw awardee, Three-time Broadway World Awardee and Outstanding Manilan Vincent M. Tanada directs the play and wrote its libretto exclusively for sole-exhibition right of Philippine Stager Foundation a non-stock, non-profit theater company he founded 15 years ago. Production Management is by Jeffrey Ambrosio, Marketing and Publicity by Chris Lim , Musical Direction by Pipo Cifra, Choreography by Gerald Gimarino, Lights Design by Art Gabrentina and Costume Design by Emy Tanada. The Musical stars more than Thirty PSF Homegrown talents and assisted by more than 15 Technical and Production Crew.

The story, concept and language can be understood and appreciated by all ages (General Patronage) with a running time of Two (2) Hours.


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Review of PhilStagers' KATIPS: Resolve Against Revisionism by Fred Hawson

When I heard that the title of the PhilStagers' latest project this year is entitled "Katips", I thought it would be about the Katipuneros. However, since they had already tackled Andres Bonifacio and the Katipunan back in 2013. This new show must be about something else.

Just a few days ago, I read an article in the newspaper that this play would actually be about Martial Law. Wow, that is one tough subject matter, very touchy and sensitive, especially with the election just past when "the Martial Law thingy" was again brought up. After seeing how skillful Atty. Vince Tanada was in creating full-length musicals about events like World War 2 (in "Filipinas 1941") or people like Pope Francis ("#Popepular"), I was eager to see how he would navigate this darkest time in our country's modern history. Musical direction was again by Pipo Cifra, Tanada's longtime collaborator in his shows. 

Introduction of the Premise

The play opened in 1970 on Mendiola Bridge in Manila during the so-called First Quarter Storm. Among the activists out there were Panyong (Vince Tanada), a writer for the Philippine Collegian, and Greg (Kevin Posadas), a medical student. Panyong thought of himself as Bonifacio, while he called Greg Rizal. The Metrocom came to disperse the activists in a violent manner. Some leaders, a UP professor among them, were killed.

"Katips" refers to the house of Alet (Adelle Ibarrientos-Lim), a lady who has opened her home for student activists from UP to meet and stay over in, earning her the monicker of "Tandang Sora". Lara (Maya Encila), a Fil-Am actress from New York City whose father was one of those killed in the first rally, is the newcomer at Katips. Lara will get a rough awakening from her inherent bias and apathy as she gets to learn firsthand what the Martial Law is really all about.

It won't be all serious political issues though. As before, there will also be personal love stories among the characters interwoven into this story. There was a noteworthy part where four pairs of lovers get to converse with each other in a witty interconnected manner, culminating in one big song number "Sa Gitna ng Dilim", in true Tanada style. Despite the very serious main topic, we also get moments of shallow jokes and romantic thrill moments to enliven and lighten the proceedings once in a while.

First Quarter Storm Scene

Fans of previous Stagers play will immediately recognize the energetic and youth-oriented style of song, dance and acting. Every song is given a big production number with cast members located all over the stage, singing their lines and dancing in unison, with a band playing the music live. The choreography had a rocking disco vibe but we still see those unmistakeable signature Stagers moves. Seeing those psychedelic Niknik shirts and bell bottoms onstage really evoked 70s nostalgia. 

Tanada's tried-and-true formula really gets the youth interested in and react positively to his shows. He uses no highfalutin jargon to confuse issues. There is only common street language everyone will understand, so the message will get through clearly. There are certain moments during the play which some older viewers may call corny or cheesy or over-the-top, but it has to be emphasized that the youth is the target audience and these stage techniques may be the better way to get through to them. 

Vince Tanada and the UP Oblation

As an actor, Vince Tanada can really possess the stage when he is on because of his commanding vocal power and range. The vocal demands for Panyong were really so punishing as he had to sing rock anthems like "Manhid" which can really push the voice to the breaking limit. It was incredible when he revealed that they had been playing this show up to four times a day for the past two weeks in soft-opening shows. We can hear his vocal fatigue during his talk during the curtain call. This guy really gives his all in his every show. (Alternating in the role of Panyong isJomar Bautista, Atty. Vince's nephew.)

Adelle Ibarrientos-Lim has really risen through the ranks to now play the female lead character,Alet. Her dramatic skills shine through in both her spoken and the sung parts. Her intense portrayal of Alet in the heart-wrenching climax will definitely wring your tear ducts. You will definitely feel her pain.

Kevin Posadas played the long-haired hippie loverboy Greg. He had definitely improved a lot from previous Stagers' plays I have seen him in, especially in the field of singing. His baritone has become fuller and more solid. Acting-wise, his range is a bit limited because the character of Greg being mostly reactionary to those of Panyong or Lara, but Posadas makes the most out of his role. (Alternating in the role of Greg are Daniel Cruz and Kierwin Larena.)




Hailed all its plays as spectacular, well-polished and innovative. The Aliw Awards, the only award-giving body in the country honoring live performances, has recognized for numerous times its various stage plays and musicales, as well as its Director and Cast Members. The Broadway also recognized PSF as Philippines’ best theater group.

But PSF is not just an ordinary performing group.  It is a Foundation with an objective of helping the poor, the sick, the elderly and the forgotten through the medium of theater arts.  At present, the foundation has more than 200 High School and College Scholars.  Aside from its very active Scholarship Program, the foundation is consistently handling absolutely free Summer Theatre Workshop with more than 200 participants from various schools in the country.  For its regular season runs, the Foundation has also organized outreach activities at various charitable institutions such as Golden Acres Home for the Aged, Servants of Charity, National Center for Mental Health and Reception Study Center for Children.  Through this, Philippine Stagers Foundation is an artistic team with a purpose in the society.


Vince Tañada: the actor is a modern day patriot-By: Archie Liao

A more forceful objective of utilizing the arts not only in entertaining our youth audience but also in inspiring them and changing their lives for the better, hoping that I could be the start of a social transformation.

-Vince Tanada


Third prize winner PSF educates and entertains their audiences through their values-oriented productions. Through PSF’s Theater with a Purpose project, aspiring theater performers are able to get free extensive acting workshops that discover and constantly polish their talent. The group is behind the successful staging of the acclaimed youth-oriented play “Ako si Ninoy: A Filipino Musicale.” 



For more Information: 09227475134



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