( Workshopper Rizzy Ponti recounts her experience with Peta’s Workshop Weekends and calls on professionals and adults to make their weekends count. Contribued photos by Potchie Lazaro and Mia Lopez.)
These days, weekends are incredibly glorified. We begin our Mondays already waiting for Friday night. Every day seems like a long prelude to the oh-so-awaited Saturday and Sunday. If we’re honest about it, this is the reality for every young professional in the metro.
Or at least, it is for me. Working in a taxing Monday to Friday job, I have considered weekends special – sacred, even. These two days are reserved for my personal errands and affairs. However, there are times when these weekends are spent doing nothing or worse, finishing paperwork leftover from the weekdays.
Motivated by my curiosity about theater, I decided to enroll in the Workshop Weekends offered by the Philippine Educational Theater Association, or more commonly known as Peta. They offer workshops for Theater Arts, Basic Acting and Creative Musical Theater for 6 weeks, inclusive of 10 sessions from 9 am to 3pm. They also offer night classes on the same days from 4pm to 10pm.
I took up Theater Arts, the introductory course. Along with 24 other workshoppers, I spent my weekends with breathing, movement, and vocal exercises – far from my daily routine of office work and events management. All our activities were anchored upon Peta’s Integrated Theater Arts approach and facilitated by experienced theater artists.
I still remember the first day clearly. We were tasked to introduce ourselves by associating our nicknames with a specific sound and movement. Clearly, it didn’t take much after that for us to warm up to each other.
Each weekend, more and more activities were introduced. We were challenged to be creative, out-of-the-box and over-the-top. From creative writing to dramatic improvisation, we learned the basics of theater arts in the most holistic way possible.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a theater workshop if we weren’t asked to perform. Each weekend, we had mini performances where we had to incorporate an assignment or a lesson. That was the exciting part about the workshop, we learned by doing. We created by mounting.
Our final activity was a showcase – written, directed and staged by our own class. In our last five sessions, we went through all the nitty-gritty details of a theater production.
Last September 6, 2015, our friends and family came to watch “Pila”, a 30-minute play that is a labor of love more than anything else. To say that we are proud of our work is an understatement. The story is witty, engaging and whole. The actors were astounding for non-professionals. All thanks to Peta.
Whenever I look back to the workshop, it is always the friends I gained that I treasure most. I speak for the whole class when I say we will never be the same again. This workshop lit a fire in us, to go beyond the daily rat race of the corporate world and unleash our creative side. Who knew a group of 20 young professionals from different industries would spend their weekends together creating art?
Take a break from stressful workweeks and take hold of creative pursuits with Peta’s Workshop Weekends! Enrollment is ongoing for the second cycle happening this October 10 to December 6. Visit the website for more information, www.petatheater.com or call Peta (02) 725 6244 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Peta is located at No. 5 Eymard Drive, New Manila, Quezon City.