It’s noteworthy for a stage production to tour nationally, particularly in the Philippines, its theater work because it helps the regions and the grassroots to appreciate the literary meaning and significance of an artistic creation. It also promotes the performing art as a venue to express ideas in crystalizing values in the growth and development of the human condition.
But no matter how inspired and supportive theater artists are in bringing the art form to the countryside, there are limitations and misgivings in the pursuit.
Take the case of Frontrow Entertainment which initially produced “M Butterfly” last year at the Maybank Performing Arts Theater. The theater company is bent on bringing drama education and theater arts in the provinces through its productions like “M Butterfly.” As a matter of fact, it has already started its national tour last February.
RS Francisco, one of the men behind Frontrow, was indeed happy and committed when he kicked off the project of showing the story of Son Liling, a disguised Chinese female opera singer who was a spy of the Communist politburo one French envoy named Rene Gallimard fell in love with he revealed to “her” info of the anti-Red West.
When RS met up with the movie press before the kick-off tour, he said that it’s his mission to spread theater arts in the key cities of the country through “M Butterfly.” As a matter of course, he was excited to come face to face with Filipinos in the provinces.
“Although there problems in a national tour like the transport of props and other technical requirements, I feel happy about bringing joy to our kababayans in the countryside,” said Francisco.
Lately, Frontrow has come to terms to the harsh realities of a national tour but he could only do so much as a person, as a capitalist and as an artist.
Through Toots Tolentino, the publicist of the stage production, RS is very sad about what happened to the cancellation of other shows in key cities all over the archipelago.
According to Toots: “Due to adverse factors related to marketing, promotions and the political climate for the forthcoming mid-year elections, ‘M Butterfly’ announces that the last leg of its national tour will be in Cebu from March 14-17, 2019.
“The succeeding shows in Davao (Mar. 28–31), Manila (May 8–19) and Baguio (May 30–June 2) are cancelled.
“Jhett Tolentino and Frontrow Entertainment would like to thank everyone who supported ‘M Butterfly’ National Tour 2019.”