Charot is a term that gets thrown a lot everywhere. Check your messaging history and you might find a message bubble quickly followed by another bubble with “charot,” “char,” or even the playful “charaught.” The colloquial term is thrown around these days like a punctuation—maybe even more frequently than a comma or a semi-colon. The word indicates that what has been said is a joke. And it might just be an apt description of our current political landscape. I mean, even President Duterte loves to “joke.”
Charot is also the title of Philippine Educational Theater Association’s (PETA) upcoming offering, which will open on Feb. 1 and will run until Mar. 17. Directed by Maribel Legarda, Charot is a political satire in the form of a musical.
“Charot will present Philippine current events for the freak show that it is, imagining a future under the new charter and its consequences. It will showcase how ridiculous we have allowed our country to be, and how more hilarious it will become,” the description on PETA’s website reads.
According a review from Theater Fans Manila, Charot is set in “2020, where the nation is set to vote on a plebiscite for Charter Change.” The schedule of the show is timely, since senatorial elections will happen this May and the result will directly affect the decision on Charter Change.
Expect this show to feel like a political affair—think miting de avance in town halls. It’s going to be interactive, too; the actors will conduct surveys and debriefings with the audience members as if they are under the actors’ jurisdiction.
Charot is not PETA’s first attempt in injecting sociopolitical issues this season. In October of 2018, PETA also staged A Game of Trolls. As the title suggests, the show tackled fake news and historical revisionism.
“Theater is a platform for social issues. Every day is an opportunity for us to reach people. So many things are happening that we should be talking about. It’s crucial at this time to be out there, and to be counted.” PETA director Beng Santos-Cabangon told Inquirer.
Charot is directed by Maribel Legarda and written by J-mee Katanyag and Michelle Ngu.
Tickets are available at TicketWorld.