FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Photo Credit: Blonski Cruz
1. What do you mean by process-based or practice-as-research works?
Okay. This is a tough question, and we apologize in advance for the jargon.
According to Johannes Sjoberg (Centre for Screen Studies) and Jenny Hughes (Drama/Centre for Applied Theatre Research), practice-as-research refers to a kind of “research process that leads to an arts-related output, an arts project as one element of a research process drawing on a range of methods, or a research process entirely framed as artistic practice.” It sees the process of art-making not only as a mode of production, but as a significant platform for inquiry, investigation, experimentation, and exploration.
So, to make the long story (semi) short: LPT applies the same approach to theater and performance-making by tackling every project as an opportunity for practical study—a tool for critical research. We achieve this not just by creating an experimental style in our works per se, but also through method and practice. At LPT, we believe that an experimental concept requires an equally experimental methodology.
To better understand how we work, feel free to email us and we’d gladly meet up for coffee/tea!
2. Why don’t you have the usual theater season?
We prefer to brew our works slowly but surely rather than following a quarterly schedule. One reason is because we are mostly working artists who divide their time between day jobs, family, and art. And so as tricky as it may be, we schedule our projects around everyone’s availabilities.
Also, since we operate as a process-based performance company, we show our respect and dedication to a certain methodology by giving it the proper length of time that it needs. To give you an idea, it usually takes us around 6 months to complete a project. This does not mean we don’t have deadlines. It just means we prefer not to rush a work.
3. How do I audition for the company?
We don’t really like the whole concept of audition, and yet we do somehow practice it. So let us throw you a curve ball.
LPT does hold auditions, but they are not what most would expect. Depending on the needs of the project, our audition process may vary from time to time. Sometimes we just have a simple sit-down with interested collaborators, get to know who they are, and have a casual drink and conversation about a concept or two. Other times, we hold a workshop to test if the participant can handle the physical demands of a certain project. And in other situations, we customize a work according to the personality of the collaborator, and then devise a method based on that. All in all, at LPT we see each other as equal collaborators, and so we try to refrain from the usual director-actor relationship (superior-inferior relationship). By doing so, we always strive to rethink and reconfigure how we “audition” people.
4. I am a playwright. Do you accept new scripts?
Of course! But please bear in mind that our way or working is process-based and highly collaborative. This isn’t to say that we do not respect the playwright’s text. But we believe that in a group dynamic like theater and performance, everyone becomes a writer and editor. We welcome and encourage other artists in the project (actors, designers, and even SM’s) to contribute to the growth and development of the script (as long as their contribution is appropriate to the context of the play). If you are open to this kind of practice, then we would love to meet up and talk about your work!
5. Why “Langgam”?
In the Filipino languages, langgam has a dual meaning. In the Tagalog language, it means “ant”, while in the Bisaya language it means “bird”. The idea that these creatures represent ground and flight respectively seems to match greatly with the kind of work that we do.
The ant stands for the highly collaborative nature of our group, our penchant towards in-depth research and criticality in our performance works, and our artistic practice of thinking and working innovatively, resourcefully, and adaptively to the skills of each individual. The bird represents our attitude of constantly thinking out-of-the-box, of going above and beyond expectations in our works, of maintaining criticality from one’s work (bird’s eye-view).
6. Do you accept volunteers/interns?
Out of principle, we try to refrain from accepting volunteers. We strive to pay our artists and collaborators their proper fees because we believe that theater work is still work. Although we are humbled by offers of people who are willing to work for the company for free, this actually goes against the company’s advocacy to properly and justly compensate our collaborators for the time, work, and efforts they put in our projects.
However, we do accept interns, and rest assured they will be provided with stipends (travel and food).
7. Why don’t you do a musical?
First of all, as painful as it may be, the core members of LPT are not great singers (but we can rock the hell out of videoke after a few bottles of beer). Don’t get us wrong, we enjoy watching musicals from time to time. We have nothing against the genre itself and we very much respect its rich history and tradition. But if we are to do a musical, it has to adhere to our process-based, practice-as-research approach.
We will never say never. But for now, we prefer to rock our vocal skills in the videoke booth.