Less than two years after its Philippine Premiere, The Sandbox Collective brings Lungs back to the stage, and now more than ever does its message ring relevant.
Opening with a rapid-fire conversation between a man and woman deciding whether or not to have children, Duncan Macmillan’s ninety-minute play revolves around a discussion most millennials are having today. No longer is the question, “What world are we leaving the future generations?” Among the youth of today, it has turned into, “Should we even have future generations, if this is what the world has come to?”
The Sandbox Collective’s Managing Artistic Director, Toff de Venecia says, “Now with natural disasters occurring left and right, and significant doubt materializing in the age of anxiety, perhaps Lungs has gained a horrific new timeliness as well.” And with the ever-mounting climate change crisis, people have been more inclined to take steps in lessening their everyday carbon footprint. More and more, consumers are acknowledging how unsustainable fast fashion is, and online stores have been stepping in to fill the void with their sustainable, eco-conscious products. Among millennials and Gen Zs, the newest In Thing is saving Mother Earth. And much like Lungs’ two protagonists, at the forefront of the youth’s mind is: “Even if I wanted children, with everything going on around us, what kind of world would I be leaving them?”
With an intimate cast of two, Lungs approaches the audience, looks them straight in the eye, and faces that dilemma alongside them.
Reprising their roles as M & W, respectively, are Jake Cuenca and Sab Jose, both of whom garnered nominations at the Philstage Gawad Buhay Awards and BroadwayWorld Philippines Awards for their roles in Lungs’ 2018 run. Jake has established himself as a rich and dynamic actor in Philippine film and television. He previously studied at the Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute in New York. Recent television and film credits include Los Bastardos, The Blood Sisters, Ikaw Lang Ang Ibigin, FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano, Ang Panday, Tuhog, In the Name of Love, among others. He made his long-awaited stage debut in The Sandbox Collective’s 2018 run of Lungs, for which he won Best Actor (Play) and Best Crossover Artist (Mainstream to Theater) at the 2018 BroadwayWorld Philippines Awards.
His leading lady Sab Jose is an actress, teacher and Marketing Director. In Spring 2018, Sab graduated with honours from the Guildford School of Acting, London, U.K. with a Master of Arts Degree in Musical Theatre. She was most recently seen in The Sandbox Collective’s production of Lungs (which earned her a Philstage Gawad Buhay nomination for Outstanding Female Lead Actress in a Play), Globe Live and 9 Works Theatrical’s first and second run of Musikal nAPO!, Grease, Shrek, Peter Pan, RENT, and The Wedding Singer, among others. During her stint in London, she appeared in multiple musical productions such as Traces: A New Musical, Carrie the Musical, Oklahoma!, GSA Showcase (The Shaftesbury Theatre) and Spilt Milk (The Other Palace). She makes her theatrical comeback in the SANDBOX FEST 2020 after a yearlong sabbatical.
In the director’s chair once more is Andrei Nikolai Pamintuan. As director of the Sandbox Collective’s 2018 run of Lungs, Pamintuan received nominations from both BroadwayWorld Philippines Awards and the Philstage Gawad Buhay Awards. As for what’s different this time around? “Expect more lived-in performances by Jake and Sab, as they’ve gone through a lot of changes in their lives since the first run. With Sab now married, and Jake in a new relationship, it will add vigor and passion to their performance,” he says. He also hopes that, “The audience will be able to take away how intense, complicated, and beautiful relationships can be. At the end of the day, what keeps people connected (despite what’s happening in the world) is love, compromise, and taking risks.”
Lungs will also have Caisa Borromeo returning as assistant director, as well as production designer Jodinand Aguillon and lighting designer Miguel Panganiban completing the artistic team.
Heading the production team are The Sandbox Collective managing artistic director Toff de Venecia, 9 Works Theatrical executive producer Santi Santamaria, Anna Santamaria as operations & finance director, Sab Jose as marketing & PR director, Maine Manalansan design director, Jonjon Martin as PR & publicity manager, Salve Villarosa as marketing and PR associate, Vicky Herrera as media & PR associate, Kitkat Lastimosa as design & social media associate, Marcel David as production manager (SANDBOX FEST 2020) and stage manager (Every Brilliant Thing), Pachot Festejo as stage manager (Lungs).
Lungs returns as a part of SANDBOX FEST 2020, a theater festival featuring the works of Duncan Macmillan. SANDBOX FEST 2020 will open on March 6, 2020 and will have a limited engagement until March 29, 2020 at the Zobel De Ayala Recital Hall, Maybank Performing Arts Theater, Bonifacio Global City. Tickets are now available through Ticketworld online or 891.9999 and The Sandbox Collective at 0956 200 4909 / 0917 554 5560 / 586 7105. Festival passes are now available through The Sandbox Collective.