The Sipat Lawin Ensemble (SLE) is an edge-work, site-specific, independent performance company composed of theater artists engaged in devising relevant new works. Changing the landscape of theater in the Philippines, the group aims to develop a contemporary community theater experience shared among artists and audiences inside and/or outside the four walls of the theater.
SLE is comprised of three programs: the Main Wing (season production offerings); the Children’s Wing (works for and with children); and the Theater-in-a-Backpack (performance lectures and workshops). Its core artists called Players manage the company and its programs alongside producing and developing performances and alternative modes of theater-making.
In 2009, stripping theater down to bare essentials of Actor, Action and Audience, Sipat Lawin started independently producing works in alternative performance spaces with the “8-inch itch,” a twinbill production performed in cafes, bars and galleries around the Metro, featuring To Heat You Up and Cool You Down (2009), a collaboration with Australian playwright David Finnigan, and Lihis (2009), Emmanuel’ Canteras’ Filipino translation of Martin Sherman’s Bent. In 2010, it launched its official and inaugural season billed as SEASON 2000-X, which opened with Haring +UBU-L, a devise-work adaptation of Alfred Jarry’s play Ubu Roi; and was followed by Imperio Animalia, a devise-work adaptation of George Orwell’s novel Animal Farm. Since then, Sipat Lawin has produced a series of ensemble-devised anywhere-and-everywhere community collaborations: Fragments at the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ (CCP) Virgin Labfest 6, 7 and 8 (2010-2012); Rizal+150 Reverse Cosplay Parade (2011), R’meo Luvz Jhulz: Barangay Fiesta Edition (2011), and the smash-hit phenomenal live-action game Battalia Royale (2012). On top of these, the Ensemble has staged several interactive storytelling pieces for children in cooperation with Museo Pambata.
As the country’s premiere experimental site-specific theater company, Sipat Lawin Players have conducted performance lectures about their innovative works, alternative mode of production and evolving theater-making process, invited as guest speakers in Ateneo de Manila University’s Company Call 3 (2011), the Philippine Educational Theater Association’s Young Artists Forum (2012), Locus Redux International Art Conference at the Yuchengco Museum(2012) and the CCP’s 13 Artists Awards Forum Series on “Collaborations and Crossing Media” (2012).
An active player in the social media platform, SLE has been featured in local and international blogs, papers and programs by various networks and news agencies including GMA, Yahoo Philippines, and Reuters, among others.
The Ensemble aims to create and develop new forms of inter-action, social functions and modes of communication. Crossing and blurring boundaries among different performance media, SLE collaborates with top artists from different fields.
Sipat Lawin Ensemble: Contemporary Community Theater, Contemporary Theater Community