Tenure Cut Short: Lauchengco-Yulo Steps Down as Assoc. Director of Rep
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by Oliver Oliveros
Manila, Philippines, December 4, 2012 — Repertory Philippines (Rep) bids goodbye to its associate artistic director for three seasons, Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo.
According to sources close to the theater company, Yulo was asked to step down from her post due to her busy schedule as a freelance actor outside of Rep.
“My accepting of shows outside Rep was never an issue before. But I guess it is now,” Yulo told BroadwayWorld.com.
“I will just finish my responsibilities as director next year,” she said.
Most of Yulo’s supporters, who are fellow theater practitioners, have expressed their support to the actress by placing “red boxes” as their profile photos on Facebook; their current profile pictures say, “In solidarity and love.”
As of this writing, Rep has not issued any official statement on Yulo’s abrupt departure from the company. However, according to a reliable source, Rep founder Baby Barredo will take over artistic directorship functions sans an associate director; while Joy Virata will remain as the artistic director for Rep’s children’s theater.
When asked what are her plans after Rep, Yulo was quick to say, “At least now, I’m free to explore new possibilities.”
During Yulo’s term as associate artistic director, which started in 2010, she led Rep’s artistic team in preparing and selecting shows that would stimulate the interest of not just Rep’s avid theatergoers but also new audience members by mounting critically-acclaimed and well-attended productions of “The Joy Luck Club,” “The 39 Steps,” “Shakespeare in Hollywood,” and “Peter Pan,” which she co-directed with theater veteran Jaime del Mundo.
In 2012, she further pushed the company to produce a more exciting season with productions such as “Next Fall,” “Leading Ladies,” Frank Wildhorn’s “Jekyll and Hyde,” and Disney’s “Camp Rock: The Musical.”
As a freelance actor, Yulo has just finished her stint with Atlantis Productions’ Singapore-run of Yasmina Reza’s “God of Carnage,” alongside Tony winner Lea Salonga, Art Acuña, and Adrian Pang. She is set to play the role of Anna Leonowens, replacing Monique Wilson; opposite Nonie Buencamino’s King Mongkut, in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “The King and I” at Resorts World Manila.
Rep has recently announced that Yulo would be directing two new productions — “No Way to Treat a Lady” and the musical comedy “The Producers" — next year.