It’s been a big 2017 so far for theater actress Cara Barredo.
Early this year, we saw her as one of the female leads in the re-staging of “Sa Wakas,” the rock musical written around the sentiment-driven songs of Pinoy band Sugarfree. A few months later, in April, she played one of the key supporting roles in the Victorian sex comedy “The Vibrator Play.”
The Gawad Buhay awardee is back on stage, this time taking on a lighter yet ever as challenging role in a musical intended for younger audiences — as Beauty in Rep Theater for Young Audiences’ staging of “Beauty and the Beast.”
Cara’s first two plays this year were intended for adult viewing, whereas her latest endeavour is primarily for kids. The latter is something that she has gotten accustomed to by now; she played Tiny Tim in “Scrooge” when she was only seven years old. Performing in children’s theater is like second nature to her.
“Children’s theater is really kind of part of my every year to-do. No matter what show I’m doing, I always do one show for kids. So that’s usually Rep’s children’s theater,” she said in an interview with InterAksyon.
With romance, fairytale magic and lessons that can be passed from generation to generation, “Beauty and the Beast” is a story that children and children-at-heart have come to love; truly a tale that we never quite tire of.
However, most of us, especially younger viewers, are more accustomed to the stories told in film and television adaptations, which are actually quite different from the original fairytale.
In the original story, Beauty has siblings and the rose plays a more crucial role in the scheme of things. RTYA’s stage adaptation is closer to the classic French tale than any filmed version.
“The material, the script, is actually very dark and mature. The challenge was to make it lighter,” Cara shared.
While children’s theater is supposedly lighter, acting in a made-for-kids production still poses quite a challenge, according to Cara.
She explains, “It’s more challenging to act for kids because Tita Joy (Virata) has this thing called ‘there’s a fine line between truth and exaggerating.’ She calls it exaggerated truth. So everything has to be truthful but big. Kasi if you don’t capture the attention of the kids, they’re gone na.”
“If you don’t keep them wanting to watch, you’ll lose their attention right away and then they just won’t listen. For kids everything has to be more energetic. The sad can’t be too sad because they don’t understand that yet. The happy has to be really happy — it’s exaggerated truth.”
Cara had to psyche herself up for the role and create an entirely new mindset. “I had to rewind my brain to how I was when I was younger. I had to watch a lot of cartons like ‘Sofia the First’ just to see how black-and-white, how innocent everything is to them. The problems are innocent.” She even compares the experience to her recent projects.
“Di ba I did ‘Sa Wakas’ and ‘TheVibrator Play.’ The topics there are so deep and dark. Tapos ang daming layers ng emotions. So I kinda had to remove myself from that and go back to basic. Not naman that the character is just one level, but you kind of have to choose the lighter version of the character for the kids to understand,” she said.
“Beauty and the Beast” stars Cara Barredo, Alana Vicente, Jill Ita-as, and Maya Encilla alternating as the dutiful daughter Beauty, while Arnel Carrion, Jos Jalbuena, Hans Eckstein, and George Schulze play the role of the cursed Beast. It is directed by Joy Virata.
“Beauty and the Beast” runs until December 14 at the Onstage theater in Greenbelt 1, Makati City. Purchase tickets by calling REP at 843 3570 or Ticketworld at 891 9999, or log on to www.ticketworld.com.ph.
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