Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Family and educational entertainment from Theater Down South

Theater Down South is one of the newer entries into the country's burgeoning theater scene and the only one that caters specifically to audiences in the South Metro area. Addressing the needs of the residents in Alabang, Parañaque, Las Piñas and points further down south, the company is dedicated to providing quality family and educational entertainment for the communities in these areas.

This year, Theater Down South will add two more musicals to its repertoire: "The Princess and the Red Carp", an original children's musical based on the earliest known retelling of the Cinderella story, and "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum", the Tony-award-winning musical by Stephen Sondheim. Veteran stage actor Michael Williams, who is also the company's Artistic Director, will direct both shows.

Previous Theater Down South productions include "A Midsummer Night's Dream", "Rapunzel" and "Treasure Island," which have all been well received. The company is also making a mark with its summer theater workshops, now in their third year, and their special holiday shows and events.

Theater Down South has a strong educational component through its children's shows and curriculum-based productions. These shows feature thematic lobby exhibits, which provide pertinent historical and literary information about the plays and allow for a more immersive experience for the audience members, to help them gain a deeper understanding of the show.

With "A Midsummer Night's Dream", for instance, a 3-D replica of the Globe Theater was on display along with a graphic chart outlining the relationships of the characters in the play. For "Treasure Island", the lobby was transformed into a beach with a shipwrecked boat filled with informational posters about the history of pirates as well as the life of Robert Louis Stevenson, whose book was the basis for the show.

In addition, during shows for school audiences, study guides are given to teachers and the actors are made available for meet-and-greet sessions, open forums after the performance and even pre-show visits, to teach students about theater etiquette and what to expect from a live show. It is the company's belief that developing an early appreciation for the art form will help create future audiences and perhaps also inspire a new generation of theater practitioners.

With its latest offerings, Theater Down South hopes to welcome new audience members alongside returning patrons and to continue helping theater to thrive in the South Metro area.

For sponsorship or show-buying inquiries, please call 6436976 or 5056380, e-mail or visit

PLUS: Company members of Theater Down South perform Comedy Tonight, from A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, at the recent presscon announcing TDS' new season. (Apologies for the audio--positioning myself in front of the speakers proved to be a bad idea.)

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