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July 28, 2013

A New Theater Company To Watch - Red Turnip Theater

Five actors. Five friends. Today, Topper Fabregas, Jenny Jamora, Ana Abad Santos, Cris Villonco, and Rem Zamora together announced the formation of their new theater company: Red Turnip Theater

“It’s an idea we’ve been talking about off and on the past three years,” Zamora said. “We were beginning to notice that not many productions of contemporary, straight plays were being staged. We love musicals but don’t want to see the straight play go away. So we thought, why not just do it ourselves?” The company pools together the talents and experience of the five performers, who have received acclaim for their performances and, in Zamora and Abad Santos’ case, their work as directors.

Jenny Jamora adds, “Technically, we have titles like secretary, treasurer, and so on, but in terms of major decisions it’s a very horizontal structure. We talk amongst ourselves and plot a course of action.” Along with a focus on straight plays, RED TURNIP will also incorporate ideas the team has observed and absorbed in their travels. “Whenever we can, and so long as it’s appropriate to the work, we try to ‘customize’ the experience. A site-specific production, for example, or adaptation in terms of locale and culture. There’s also less content-related ideas like allowing drinks during performances, maybe a forum after shows, for those interested.”

Along with the announcement of their formation, RED TURNIP also unveiled the first two productions comprising their maiden theatrical season: Patrick Marber’s Tony-nominated, Olivier-winning play Closer, set for this October; and Mike Bartlett’s Olivier-winning Cock, set for the first quarter of 2014.

Patrick Marber’s Closer may be more familiar to those who remember the film adaptation almost a decade ago by director Mike Nichols. For RED TURNIP’s production, the cast includes Angel Aquino, Cris Villonco, Bart Guingona, and Marc Abaya. Directing the show will be Abad Santos. “We’re very happy with this cast,” she says. “They each bring their own touches to the roles and have different experiences with the material. It’s very interesting watching them play off of each other.”

“Closer is one of those works that excites us as actors and lovers of theater,” says Villonco, who will be portraying Alice. “It’s an example of the kind of shows we want to do, which is why we formed RED TURNIP.”

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