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Passions rekindled in a PETA Theater Workshop

Educator Marianne Miguel teaches voice and chorale music to young children and teenagers at St. Scholastica’s College and St. Paul College. Last year, she enrolled in Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) Workshop Weekends’ Creative Musical Theater class.

Miguel came from a family of musicians. She is the granddaughter of world-renowned Filipino violinist Carmencita Lozada who reaped awards here and abroad.

Before she attended the workshops she acquired on-stage skills, having joined school theater clubs and performing in Pilipinas Circa 1907 of Tanghalang Pilipino.

PETA’s workshop came to Miguel like a blessing. After lying low because of a jaw dysfunction, Miguel enrolled in the workshop.

“After so many years of suppressing my passion, PETA came to me,” she said. “And I told myself, I must give time for this.”

Miguel attended each session of her Creative Musical Theater class with a renewed enthusiasm for her craft.

During the two-month weekend modules, she participated in sessions on voice, composition, performance, and various music explorations.

Rigorous rehearsals and acting exercises brought rewarding results. The workshop culminated in a final showcase, where participants performed in front of an audience on the PETA stage.

During the 2012 Workshop Weekends, the participants staged an original piece which told the story of Madam X, an authoritarian teacher whose irrational classroom rules drove her students to their limits, causing them to turn against her.

“In this production, I stepped out of my comfort zone,” she said.

It is also with the Workshop Weekends that Miguel realized that the purpose of singing and making music is about telling a story to an audience rather than just plainly belting out a tune.

“In PETA I discovered the purpose for my singing. I came to realize that it is not about producing amazing music but taking your audience on a journey and fully understanding the text while using your entire body.”

With director Phil Noble and composer Jeff Hernandez as her teachers, Miguel found new and creative approaches with which to teach her students.

“As a choir teacher handling shy beginners, I was able to share my experience with my students and apply what I have learned in our modules. The workshop also introduced me to innovative ways to engage my students,” Miguel shares.

Aside from her newly acquired skills as a teacher and performer, Miguel is convinced that her workshop with PETA was a holistic experience that she will never forget.

“With PETA, the artist-teachers focus on your core personality as an actor, as a performer, and as a human being,” Miguel said.

The Workshop Weekends is a nine-week theater course for young adults and professionals from October 12 to December 1. Apart from Creative Musical Theater, PETA also offers Theater Arts and Basic Acting for ages 17 and up. Each course incorporates the Integrated Theater Arts Approach which combines five different disciplines in theater such as creative drama, body movement and dance, creative sound and music, creative writing, and visual arts. A final showcase on the PETA stage concludes the entire workshop experience.

To enroll in the Workshop Weekends and schedule an interview, contact Chris Divinagracia at 0906-5564800, call PETA at 725-6244, or send an email petatheater@gmail.com

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