Musical theater artist Sheila Valderrama Martinez is currently engrossed in rehearsals for the highly acclaimed musical, “Rama Hari,” a unique production that brings together five of our National Artists.
The production boasts an impressive lineup of National Artists: Alice Reyes, National Artist for Dance, is responsible for direction and choreography; Salvador Bernal, National Artist for Theater and Design, has contributed to the production design; Bienvenido Lumbera, National Artist for Literature, has lent his talents to the lyrics and libretto; Ryan Cayabyab, National Artist for Music, has composed the original music; and Rolando Tinio, National Artist for Theater and Literature, has provided the English translation.
“To portray the character of Sita is truly a dream come true for me,” Sheila admitted. “This opportunity not only allows me to embrace the role itself but also grants me the privilege of working closely with two National Artists – Alice Reyes and Maestro Ryan Cayabyab – a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
Sheila was initially slated to play the role of Sita in the 2020 production of “Rama Hari,” but the production was abruptly halted just a week before its scheduled opening due to the pandemic.
“When they invited me to reprise the role of Sita, I was overjoyed,” Sheila shared.
In this iteration of “Rama Hari,” Sheila will take center stage on the opening night at The Metropolitan Theater on September 15, and she will also lead the closing gala performance at The Samsung Performing Arts Theater on September 24.
Joining her in the cast are Arman Ferrer as Rama, Audie Gemora reprising his role as Dasarata, and Poppert Bernadas returning as Ravana from the original 2020 cast. They will be accompanied by the Orchestra of the Filipino Youth under the direction of Toma Cayabyab.
Despite her nearly three-decade tenure in the entertainment industry, Sheila continues to be a force of activity. In 2022, she received the Aliw Award for Best Female Host. Shortly thereafter, she joined the roster of hosts managed by Issa Litton at 1LitCorp.
Sheila maintains a packed schedule as a talent represented by Stages Management, with David Cosico serving as her personal manager.
In the coming months, she will embark on a new project under the direction of Erik Matti, set to begin filming this month and to be featured on Netflix.
Additionally, Sheila is slated to perform in live events across Singapore, Bangkok (Thailand), Shanghai (China), and Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) throughout the remainder of the year.
Photos courtesy of Jojo Mamangun