Monday, Apr 19

Calls for Water Repentance Text actors open

September 16, 2019 | Jonas Trinidad

An audition for actors for scenes of the Water Repentance Text stage adaptation on September 16 has attracted both professional and freelance actors to Tzu Chi Great Love Campus. The two and a half-hour performance which consist of around 11 scenes need 20 to 30 actors. 【Photo by Jonas Trinidad】

Story Highlights

  • Auditions for acting roles in the upcoming Water Repentance Text adaptation began on September 16 at the Tzu Chi Great Love Campus. Fourteen professional and freelance actors, most of them with extensive portfolio, answered the casting call.

  • For most of the actors, the adaptation is an entirely new genre they must tackle because it contains no dialogue. Regardless, they’re confident that their skills in acting and dance will speak for themselves.


Tapping into local talent, Tzu Chi invited actors for the opportunity to play a part in the upcoming Water Repentance Text performance.

14 professional and freelance actors joined the September 16 audition for actors for the Water Repentance, Most of them have performed in stage plays since their college years, but they also include veterans like Roeder Camañag. Aside from having performed in over 200 musicals and straight plays, he also co-runs an arts and performance company in Quezon City.

Despite his extensive experience, Camañag admits that the Water Repentance Text adaptation is an entirely new genre for him. All eleven scenes in the adaptation will have no dialogue, a far cry from the plays he had performed in. Nevertheless, the message of the adaptation piqued his interest from the moment he watched it.

“It’s also part of my job as an actor to keep on learning. So, this will be a new thing for me and a learning experience,” said Camañag.

For the audition, the actors acted out roles in three scenes: “The Bottomless Pit of Desire,” “The Four Evil Karmas of Speech,” and “The Three Evil Karmas of the Body.” While no dialogue is involved, the actors will have to make up for it with body movements and facial expressions. For Paul Jake Paule, a professional actor for ten years, he believes in the power of movement.

“Even without words, you can still deliver the message to the audience, as long as you know what the movement conveys,” explained Paule, who took up pantomime training in college.

While equally talented in acting, Brylle Parzuelo’s strength is in dancing. Having competed in world dance competitions in the past, he treats the adaptation as a new challenge.

“Ever since I was a kid, I really want to express myself through dance. And since I’m also an actor, this is my way of combining the two. It’s a lot of work because the audience needs to understand what you’re doing without dialogue,” said Parzuelo.

Meanwhile, Jeel Ching underwent acting training for six months after graduating with a degree in industrial engineering. However, her reason for joining extends beyond her passion for arts. She said: “Even though we’re stuck in the limbo of everyday life, we must always remember that we’re all connected to good and bad karma. In the long run, we have to think how we can affect other people,”

Tzu Chi volunteer Olga Vendivel, who managed the auditions, was impressed by the raw talent shown by the candidates. She also assured them that the actors would be paid for their efforts.

“They know that this is a foundation, so they were very much willing to have a negotiated compensation. And we’ll make sure that they’re covered by insurance in case of accidents,” Vendivel explained.

  • For the auditions, the candidates were tasked with enacting certain roles. In one scene, Roeder Camañag plays the greedy businessman in "The Bottomless Pit of Desire." 【Photo by Jonas Trinidad】

  • Candidates Paul Jake Paule (left) and Brylle Parzuelo (right) play as the pastor and devotee, respectively, in "The Four Evil Karmas of Speech." 【Photo by Jonas Trinidad】

  • To understand the roles better, the actors watch excerpts from the stage adaptation in Malaysia in 2015. This performance serves as the overall basis for the Philippines' upcoming adaptation in 2020. 【Photo by Jonas Trinidad】

  • Jeel Cheng (left) & Bench (right) acted out a scene during the audition. 【Photo by Jonas Trinidad】

  • The candidates gather around to get to know one another more. The casting call remains open for more actors to join. 【Photo by Jonas Trinidad】