As one of the local stage talents who have already made a name for themselves abroad, Tanya Manalang dove straight back into the local theater scene first in the musical Rak of Aegis earlier this year and now in 9 Works Theatrical’s upcoming production of the off-Broadway rock musical Tick Tick Boom. Portraying the lone female member of the three-man cast, Tanya admitted it was definitely an acting challenge for her. "To be honest, it hasn’t exactly sunk in yet. Like I wake up every morning and I’m really excited about what I’m going to do but it hasn’t sunk in yet what it is exactly that I’m going to do, what I got myself into because it’s such a big challenge compared to especially what I did in my last show where there were four of us sharing one role. But this is completely different. It’s more intimate as well. You get to zoom in on each character,” she shared during the Tick Tick Boom presscon held last September 7 in Rockwell, Makati.
After working for two years in London’s West End as Kim in Miss Saigon, Tanya said she did not find it hard to adjust to the local theater scene. "I think I had a lot of time adjusting already when I was doing Rak of Aegis. It’s just a matter of switching back to doing English again,” she admitted. After headlining an internationally acclaimed production, Tanya said she has never been the type to compare roles and just wants to do her best with every new project. "To be honest, I don’t like putting that kind of pressure on myself even though I have people telling me to follow the career path of this artist or that artist kasi sayang daw yun (pagiging) Kim ko. You know I’m just happy to be doing theater here again and having great roles,” she added.
Although she started doing theater at an early age, Tanya admitted there was a time in her life where she totally stopped performing. "I stopped because my parents wanted to make sure that I finish school so I stopped performing until I graduated college and then I went back. But never has there come a point in my life when I thought I would give it up. Even now my parents own an entertainment company and they work behind the scenes, the worked with the creative and the crew but they’d never go up on stage to perform. I don’t see myself doing that and that’s the dilemma of my family and family business. I told them, ‘If I were to work for you mom and dad, can you just make me sing? (laughs),’ she shared.
Although theater will always be her first love, Tanya said she is also open to trying out acting on television and movies. In fact, she already knows which artist she wants to work with. "I don’t mind as long as I’m here in the Philippines. If I could choose it would be Coco Martin! Magaling kasi talaga siya umarte and I really admire his talent. Indie film days pa lang niya pinapanuod ko na siya. Kasi yung puso talaga ng aktor yung tinitingnan ko,” she admitted. But even with her experience in London, Tanya said she is in no hurry to audition for more international productions. "I don’t know but for now I’m dedicating my time here in the Philippine theater industry,” she said.
Watch Tanya Manalang in 9 Works Theatrical’s Tick, Tick…BOOM! on its limited run from October 1 to 23, 8 pm on Fridays and Saturdays, and 3:30 pm on Sundays. Tick, Tick…BOOM! is directed by Robbie Guevarra. For more inquiries, contact 586-7105, 0917-554-5560, Ticketworld at 891-9999 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.