by Rhia Alcantara, ABS-CBN News
WINNIPEG — Winnipeg Theatre recently made history with its first-ever Filipino musical, premiering its first public reading.
This is Mabuhay — a homegrown, Filipino musical that seeks to rise in the world of theatre arts.
Behind the project is Joseph Sevillo, who has 23 years of professional musical theatre experience.
Sevillo shares that Mabuhay was inspired by his desire to give something back to the Filipino community and open doors for them in the field of theater.
“For me, I want to create a lane for younger versions of me girls/guys to know that if this is something they wanted to do that they can do it now because there’s a lane there’s a show actually created for Filipino kids and adults to star in and I just thought for many years I’ve been twiddling my fingers hoping that there’ll be some magic Filipino show that’ll be created and it never really happened other than that one time. Nothing has been done in Winnipeg.”
Canada’s longest-running and largest outdoor theatre, Rainbow Stage, has come on board and has presented the musical at the PTE Festival of New Works.
For many Filipino artists, who have played major roles in mainstream theatre, this is a dream that they’ve been waiting for to finally come true.
The all-Filipino cast musical truly shows the talent of Pinoy artists and cultivates the culture that many of our kababayans are very proud of.
With more than 80,000 Filipinos who call Manitoba home, seeing the potential of Mabuhay to be a hit in central Canada excites the Filipino community all the more.