• Katrina Jaiun Roa

Broadway Youth Cebu Launches Les Miserables School Edition

With the success of their debut project “Miss Saigon School Edition” last July 2018, Broadway Youth Cebu is ready to take on centerstage once again this year with their second project “Les Miserables School Edition”. Les Miserables has become of the world’s most renowned plays, which has been the fifth longest running musical on broadway with 6680 performances as of to date, it has been performed in six continents with numerous translations. This is the very first time that Les Mis will be performed in the Philippines for school edition that is licensed.

Les Miserables School Edition, directed by both Nazareno and Aviles, will be held on August 9, 10, and 11 at the Rudolf Rahmann Cultural Center, University of San Carlos - South Campus, the same venue were Miss Saigon was held. The play is expected to have a two-hour running time and will have a live orchestra. It is also officially licensed by Music Theatre International and Cameron Mackintosh.

Broadway Youth Cebu (BYC) is a group that was formed in 2017 by Allan Nazareno and Rudy Aviles and is composed of young Cebuanos who have the love of passion for performing arts and theatre and wish to gain exposure to the global stage. The goals of BYC include to provide training for Cebuano talents from Filipino and international artists, form camaraderie in the local theatre community, and provide high quality live licensed productions performed by locals. BYC will provide four-month workshops on production and broadway musicals with training from local instructors and online training from international instructors. Of course, producing plays is not an easy feat, it requires a number of procedures to make it a dream come true.

Licensed Musicals

In order to produce musical plays in the country, a production group has to go through licensing the project which will be licensed by Music Theater International. “A big chunk of our budget for production goes to licensing. Because one of the missions of the Broadway in Cebu, is that we want to do shows that are fully licensed, we want to be able to give students an experience that they can officially claim, and we want to do things legally and correctly. Our goal really is to elevate the talent here and you cannot elevate if you are doing pirated productions”, shares Nazareno.

Aviles adds “With Miss Saigon last 2018, it was the first licensed production here in the Philippines. We’re very very proud that it was Cebu who started it all. And then right after that, other schools are also doing the same thing. That’s actually one way of popularizing musical theater here in Cebu.”

Ways to Increase Awareness for Cebuano Theatre

Realistically speaking, local theatre is not that exposed and acknowledged. Support from the government and academe can help shine a light on the theater community in Cebu, social media advertising is a solution as well, which has helped their debut play Miss Saigon gain an audience. With Cebu Broadway Youth, they want to create awareness about theatre as part of their advocacy, and generate their own audience in the long run.

“We want Cebuanos to come and watch theater because we want them to support musical theater. We are hoping that if we give them high profile Broadway shows performed by local talent then hopefully they’ll continue” said Nazareno. “We believe in Cebuano talent, for example Cebuanos have performed on Broadway and the top two performers in Hong Kong Disneyland are Cebuanos.”

In terms of creating awareness for theatre in Cebu, an organization by Nazaereno and Aviles called The United Artists of Cebu is composed of theater organizations, and in a year each organization produces one production.



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