Generation Why: A Review on the Sandbox Collective’s “No Filter”

How do you begin to paint a picture of the complicated and eccentric millennial generation? You make them talk about themselves.


No Filter: Let’s Talk About Me

No Filter is an original Filipino production about millennials and the varied issues they face as a confused bunch, told through monologues and short skits. From the get go, the subject of the production will have you eye-rolling and scoffing.

Given that so much material has been written and read about 20-something younglings struggling to find themselves, what else would there be to know about and to hear?

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This kind of subject is the very core of the “Me! Me! Me! Generation”. I expected to watch a slew of performers preaching to a choir. And true enough, most of what they said, I’ve heard before.

But that does not go without saying the play was truly a revelation, a revolution if you will. I found No Filter to be somewhat a Bohemian Revolutionary piece as it has elevated and leveraged freedom, beauty, truth, and love in revealing a clearer view on the phenomenon of the millennial generation.

In 2.0, Sandbox Collective wanted to expand their monologue topics and pull in new actors for the show namely Sam Concepcion, Carla Humphries, and Paolo Valenciano. Here’s a review of the first run of the play.


Exploring the psyche of Gen-Y

The monologues written were based on personal experiences and musings of the play’s writers which include Jam Pascual, Petra Magno, Don Jaucian, BP Valenzuela, Jonty Cruz, Kara Ortiga, Gian Lao, and many more.

Throughout the initial parts of No Filter, Sarah Facuri performed both heightened and softened personas. Performing her pieces which mostly dwelt on love, she was charming, chaotic, mellow, and explosive all in a fluctuating and exciting manner.

Dealing with the experience of trying to pull herself together at the lowest point in her life, Lauren Young is a convincing performer battling grips of desperation and desolation.

Micah Muñoz performed a monologue grounded on the Greek myth of Icarus and this was certainly one of the more powerful pieces in the production. Micah’s performance is as heart-wrenching as Icarus’ story was tragic.

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Cai Cortez brought down the house with her hilarious performance of the “Love Me Tinder” monologue. The piece certainly seemed to be a crowd favorite as familiar ooh’s were quietly buzzing amidst the crowd.

One of the best pieces was definitely “The Interview” as performed by Sam Concepcion. Rendering a brilliant performance with precise execution, he is pained by cognitive dissonance during a job interview, appearing confident all the while dealing with inner anxiety.

Sam also performed “Into Silence”, the culminating millennial piece on intergenerational differences and criticisms, which was powerfully written.

There were some lighter parts of the play such as a text conversation which was funnily intelligible despite it being an exchange of emojis.

Others were cheeky and annoyingly cute like an advertisement for apps that cater to our first world millennial problems and striking impromptu IG-worthy poses.


Entertaining and witty eye candy

Watching the play reminded me of reading fairy tales and fables, where there are morals to learn told through whimsical characters and fantastic plots. This is what No Filter is. We’ve heard the stories, we know the morals, and we’re being told all these through pretty characters decked out in glossy magazine finery.

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No Filter’s monologues are stories that resonate with millennials. The play has succeeded in not only brutally and at times, humorously relaying the truth, but doing so with theatrical flare and minimalist style.

As millennials have more issues than Vogue, it felt a bit taxing to hold onto their performances for two hours, but this serves as a lesson in the long-forgotten art of listening. Their words mirror back to the audience as ugly truths, painful realities, and funny, familiar anecdotes.

These are not stories vaguely written in 140 characters and not performances hiding behind the veil of a screen. This is our generation with No Filter: young, free, dazed, and confused.

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NO FILTER 2.0 will run from October 3 – October 25, 2015 at the Power Mac Center Spotlight, Level 2, Circuit Lane, Circuit Makati. For tickets and other inquiries, call The Sandbox Collective at 585-6909 or 0917-8996680. Tickets may also be purchased through TICKETWORLD at 891-9999.

Photos from The Sandbox Collective (@thesandboxco), Tim Yap (@officialtimyap), and Pia Magalona (@piamagalona).