Theater Review : Red Turnip Theater' Tribes

Makati, Philippines – Last August 4, I was invited to watch a theatrical play entitled “Tribes” inside Power Mac Center Spotlight in Circuit Makati. A play produced by Red Turnip and directed by Topper Fabregas.

“Tribes” is a story about a deaf boy named Billy - who was raised by his family to adapt into the circle of the hearing people. Later after, Billy went to a university where he met a going-deaf girl named Sylvia – who was raised by both deaf parents. Eventually, Sylvia introduced sign language to Billy that creates an avenue for him to know the deaf community. Billy struggled to identify which community/tribe he should belong to, as his perspective about the deaf community widens. The story is composed of the six characters namely:

Billy performed by Kalil Almonte – It was my first time to see him act and I almost believe that he is an actual deaf person. I must say that he excellently portray a deaf person as a character in persona of Billy. His interaction with the character of Sylvia creates a new dimension of love, family, and belongingness - even if they are using a straightforward language that lacks some of emotions.


Sylvia performed by Angela Padilla – A very beautiful woman that portrays a going-deaf person. Even if she is just a new face in the family of “Red Turnip,” she excellently blends in with the actors in the stage/story. Angela in the character Sylvia, which in the story is turning deaf, shows a new perspective what it feels like when transitioning in becoming a handicap person. In addition, I really enjoy the love story of Billy and Sylvia as the story goes by.

Christopher performed by Teroy Guzman – The husband of Beth and a loving father to Daniel, Ruth, and Billy. Teroy as father in the story give justice in what it might feels like to be a father of a handicap son. I think Teroy as a veteran actor just proves to us his experience in acting as he portrays the character of Christopher in the story effortlessly. I really like the part when he is talking to Billy as to how much he loves him as his son despite his being deaf.

Beth performed by Dolly De Leon – The loving wife of Troy. Dolly in the character of Beth is your typical mother just like in every ordinary family. However, Dolly makes it very fun to be a mother with his three offspring as she interacts to them humorously yet in a motherly kind of way. In addition, with his very quirky husband that makes their tandem something special-fun.

Daniel performed by Cris Pasturan – The lovingly brother of Billy. I think Cris know what he is doing when he plays the character of Daniel - A little crazy yet a very caring brother to Billy. I like the part when he reveals the reason why she kisses Sylvia, which in that time was already in relationship with Billy. (No spoiler here)

Ruth performed by Thea Yrastorza – The only princess in the family of Billy. I have already seen Thea acts in a previous play and I must say she is an excellent actor. Even though she is just a supporting character in the story, she manages to put a little fun in her character. Thea as Ruth is just your ordinary only princess in the family – a little brat yet a realistic one.


The stage design is intricately designed, every corner of the stage is well optimized specially when Billy and Sylvia start to do some sign language and they project a synchronous subtitle in every strategically located screen. The light and sounds works very well in every moment of the story.
In conclusion, I really enjoy the story and the way “Red Turnip” tell the story to the audience. I recommend all people to watch this play – as it will open a new perspective in how other people live/struggle with their daily lives especially with the handicap community.

 Red Turnip Theater' Tribes runs til September 4. Get your tickets at https://www.ticketworld.com.ph/Online/tribes

SEE YOU AT THE THEATER !!!!!

Review by : Tony Yson
Photos by : Jaypee Maristaza

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