Philippines-born Caleb Lagayan in TUTS’ Cinderella
Philippines-born Caleb Lagayan is excited to be coming back for his third season at Theatre Under the Stars (TUTS) in Stanley Park’s Malkin Bowl in Vancouver. Having recently graduated from Capilano University’s musical theatre program, Lagayan is thrilled to be playing one of his “bucket list” roles this summer — Lord Pinkleton in Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella.
TUTS’ 2018 season offers not just one, but two dream-come-true tales — one of the princess who finds her prince charming, the other of an aspiring theatre star who gets her lucky break on Broadway in 42nd Street. The two productions run on alternating nights starting with Cinderella, July 11 until August 18, 2018.
As an actor, singer and dancer from an immigrant background, Lagayan’s goals are to bring diversity in the entertainment industry. He has played roles like Gilbert Blythe in Anne of Green Gables (CapU Theatre) and Peter in Jesus Christ Superstar (URP) and more.
“Growing up, I never actually thought that being a visible minority in the entertainment industry could have ever posed as an issue until just a couple of years ago,” Lagayan says. “There were moments of doubt, fear and self-hatred that had sunk in every time I entered an audition room because I was afraid that I wouldn’t book a role just because of how I looked.”
But while studying at Capilano’s musical theatre program, he says they taught him the importance of inclusion and openness to all people of colour and backgrounds. “I am proud of who I am, and I am proud to be a Filipino-Canadian actor pursuing my dreams. I am ready to keep working hard and to one day be performing under the big lights of Broadway.”
Until then, he’s happy being back at TUTS this year. “Having been a part of Theatre Under the Stars for the past three seasons, one thing I enjoy is that anything can happen; from pouring rain midway through a show to a raccoon family hopping up on the stage! This allows the performers to really think on the spot and to really adapt to their surroundings. I believe it’s so important to tackle each show like it’s the first time experiencing it; to unravel the story like a book.”
He also thanks his parents for all their support in helping him achieve his artistic dreams. “My parents always told me growing up that we moved to Canada so that I could have a better future,” Lagayan says. “I never understood what that fully meant until I went back to the Philippines and realized that my parents sacrificed so much in their life just so that I could have the best life. My parents were there through thick and thin, so any challenges I may have faced, we conquered together.”