Tokyo International Players’ production of “The Who’s TOMMY” opens Thursday, May 17 with a very talented cast. English Shows Tokyo talked with one of the lead actors, Carlos Quiapo.
–Please tell me about yourself.
My name is Carlos and I’m from the Philippines. Currently working as an Engineer here in Tokyo. I moved here in 2015 right after graduation. I’ve been involved with theatre since 2011 and I feel lucky to have been involved with the local scene here through the Tokyo International Players and The Pirates of Tokyo Bay. On the side, I am also a freelance photographer.
–What brought you to Japan?
I originally did not plan on leaving my country to work outside. My company went to my University and had a recruitment event. Got lucky when I told them how much I love sushi and ramen. I guess that was enough for them to offer me a job here.
How did you get involved with theater?
My theatre involvement is still relatively new; I started in my University. I did not sing or perform until I was 17 in 2011 when a friend of mine suggested auditioning to a musical theatre organization. Since then, I have performed in at least 10 different productions both in the Philippines and in Japan.
–Please tell me about your role and what do you relate to your role and the story?
Playing as Tommy in this musical is probably one of my biggest challenges as a performer. This is my first titular role and the pressure could be great sometimes. I play as this deaf, dumb, and blind kid who suffered through various forms of abuse in growing up. I take my connection with him at being lost in my surrounding— being lost in Japan as a foreigner, and not knowing how to react positively. The story is about forgiveness and accepting the things we cannot change and for me that is the biggest connection I have with Tommy.
–What do you hope audiences take away from the show?
This show is dark, yes, but I hope the audience sees the light in it. It’s that famous line, accepting the things we cannot change, and changing the things we cannot accept. The circumstances in our lives are nothing but instruments, we are but the masters of our fates.
–What is your dream?
If I’m being realistic, I’d love to do more theatre while being able to continue my day job and other activities. If I’m being over the top, I’d love to be part of the Broadway world in NYC. I guess that’s every musical theatre geek’s dream. I would also love to work for Elon Musk.
–What is Tokyo to you?
Tokyo is home. It took me a while to find my small communities here but since Day 1, I know it is home.
The Who’s TOMMY
Date: May 17 – 20, 2018
Location: The Pocket, Nakano
For ticket reservations: Tokyo International Players on peatix
Entrance fee: 4,500 yen for Adult, 2,500 for students
Tokyo International Players： http://www.tokyoplayers.org