THIS ongoing period of home quarantine has jolted every one out of our comfort zones. Locked down in the confines of our homes for more than 11 weeks now, this season has brought about so many changes in our lives, taught us a few good lessons, and opened us up to so many realizations about ourselves, about others, and about life in general.
The performing arts industry has been hit hard by this pandemic, and the guidelines that are regularly updated by our leaders suggest that entertainment and the performing arts are down there in the bottom of priorities. For one, theater companies, its actors and production experts, are all feeling the brunt of this, when their world suddenly took a very long pause, and all productions, whether ongoing, planned or about to take off, have been cancelled.
But the creative minds of our artists can never be put on hold. New concepts and never-before-done executions are being planned, studied and experimented. Take, for instance, the creative minds behind Artist Playground, a relatively new player in the theater arts circuit that has been making its presence felt since it debuted its first show in mid 2015.
Artist Playground has just launched its latest offering online, billed as Taguan, A Quickie Musical. The 12-minute musical, with spoken lines and original Filipino music, was created through the company’s newest program, called Artist Playground Theatrix, a new form of visual and aural performance art using the latest in technology that combines theater and film in its final output.
The team behind Taguan is composed of award-winning creatives and industry experts. Narrative, script and lyrics of the songs were created by Jose Jeffrey Camañag, a recent Live Entertainment Awards and Festivals awardee for Best Director. Music is by the ever-reliable, multiawarded and well-loved maestro Jesse Lucas.
The musical tells of that one very special online video chat of two teenagers who, during quarantine, realized that they wanted to end their friendship. There are three songs featured in the few minutes of their magical transition from friendship to something deeper. The songs are “Ganito Pala,” “Munting Ala-ala” and the title song “Taguan.” Jayson Santos and Vince Conrad star as the teenage best friends.
Artist Playground artistic director Roeder Camañag shared, “We are exploring the new normalities in the performing arts. The challenges we are facing may seem insurmountable but we just keep on trying and pushing and creating. In Taguan, we blended musical theater and film. Sooner or later, we will have more materials and, hopefully, more platforms to showcase the Filipino talent, because there is no stopping our creative resources from coming out.”
To watch Taguan, A Quickie Musical, go to the Artist Playground YouTube channel and Facebook page.