Filipina actress Dorothea Gloria stars in off-off Broadway play

Don Tagala, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 20 2019 09:57 PM

NEW YORK - For a Filipina stage actress, Broadway dreams do come true, sometimes one step at a time.

Actress Dorothea Gloria moved to the US to find her place on Broadway, but for now, she has landed a lead role in an off-Broadway experimental play with an award-winning theater group.

Gloria plays the role of Marsha Gates in the off-Broadway play "The Sandalwood Box" staged at The Flea Theater in Tribeca.

Marsha Gates is a mute student who gets lost in south Brooklyn, encounters a strange mysterious professor that collects noted world catastrophes and stores them in a sandalwood box.

That's where the play jumps from the ordinary to a dream-like fantastical world often described as haunting, perplexing, kind of weird but beautiful.

"When I read the script, I was like, Ang hirap naman nito hindi ko maintindihan, because it’s about metaphysics, existential crisis, and very allegorical," she said.


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"The Sandalwood Box" is a one-act play by Mac Wellman, three-time Obie Award-winning playwright and poet and one of The Flea Theater's original co-founders.

Gloria has earned the Broadway World's best featured actress for her role in Repertory Philippines' "August: Osage County" in 2014.

She said her experience and training in theater companies such as Repertory Philippines, Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) and Cultural Center of the Philippines in the past prepared her for landing her first role in New York.

"They want it to be very trained, like the voice, the body, which I owe a lot the classical training, but also the energy, the passion and fire I owe it to what I got from PETA...Just having all of those experiences back home, I think was such a huge factor to be actually play a lead role on off-Broadway in New York," Gloria said.

Gloria belongs to a theater group called The Bats, a company that offers a platform and a stepping stone for young artists to make a career in the arts, a good training ground for those who dream of making it on Broadway.

For Gloria, it's only a matter of time, and a matter of patiently going through all those auditions and casting calls, before her Broadway dream come true.