The Lifeworld of Millennial Stage Actors in Metro Manila: A Schutzian Phenomenological Study

Main Article Content

Jalaine Joyce V. Malabanan
Jose Mari A. Carpena
Feorillo Petronilo A. Demeterio III


Using the phenomenological method developed by the Austrian-American philosopher and social theorist Alfred Schutz, this article studied the lifeworld of millennial stage actors in Metro Manila, Philippines. Lifeworld is the meaning-giving sphere of common sense that is shared by individuals from a given social group. Using the data gathered from key informant interviews with 12 professional actors and five consociates from the said locale, we investigated how these millennial actors started their careers in the theatre industry, how they perceived theatre in general and Philippine theatre in particular, how they experienced the challenges and difficulties in their careers, how they were motivated to persevere, and how they envisioned their long-term future in the same industry. This article contributes to the sparse literature on the lives of contemporary professional stage actors in general, and to the almost non-existent literature on Filipino professional stage actors in particular. Understanding the status and problems of the lives of professional stage actors should be the first step in further improving their plight and in appreciating more their central role in the continued existence of theatre as a cultural practice.

Article Details

How to Cite
Jalaine Joyce V. Malabanan, Jose Mari A. Carpena, & Feorillo Petronilo A. Demeterio III. (2022). The Lifeworld of Millennial Stage Actors in Metro Manila: A Schutzian Phenomenological Study. Wacana Seni Journal of Arts Discourse, 21, 31–43.
Original Articles


Aylesworth, A. 2008. Improving case discussion with an improv mind-set. Journal of Marketing Education 30(2): 106–115.

Babson, T. W. 1989. Theatre’s illegitimate child: The screen actor. TDR (1988-) 33(3): 17–20.

Balda, J. B. and F. Mora. 2011. Adapting leadership theory and practice for the networked, millennial generation. Journal of Leadership Studies 5(3): 13–24.

Blix, S. B. 2007. Stage actors and emotions at work. International Journal of Work Organisation and Emotion (IJWOE) 2(2): 161–172.

Cardullo, B. 2012. Playing to the camera or the house: Stage vs. screen acting. In Stage and screen: Adaptation theory from 1916 to 2000, ed., B. Cardullo, 205–217. New York: The Continuum International Publishing Group.

Cinque, S., D. Nyberg, and K. Starkey. 2020. Living at the border of poverty: How theater actors maintain their calling through narrative identity work. Human Relations 74(11): 1755–1780.

D’Monte, R. 2015. British theatre and performance 1900–1950. London: Bloomsbury Publishing.

Delimata, M. 2013. Contemporary theatre in the Philippines: The actor in the identity shaping process. Mimesis Journal 2(2): 48–56.

Dreher, J. 2011. Alfred Schutz. In The Wiley-Blackwell companion to major social theorists, volume 1, eds., G. Ritzer and J. Stepnisky, 489–510. United Kingdom: Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Faigin, D. A. and C. H. Stein. 2010. The power of theater to promote individual recovery and social change. Psychiatric Services 61(3): 306–308.

Gotinga, J. 2020. Will the coronavirus kill Philippine theater? Rappler. (accessed September 30, 2020).

Gregory, M. 2006. From Shakespeare on the page to Shakespeare on the stage: What I learned about teaching in acting class. Pedagogy 6(2): 309–325.

Griggs, T. 2001. Teaching as acting: Considering acting as epistemology and its use in teaching and teacher preparation. Teacher Education Quarterly 28(2): 23–37.

Heim, C. 2015. Audience as performer: The changing role of theatre audiences in the twenty-first century. London: Routledge.

Henderson, A. and N. McEwen. 2005. Do shared values underpin national identity? Examining the role of values in national identity in Canada and the United Kingdom. National Identities 7(2): 173–191.

Holdsworth, E. et al. 2014. Client engagement in psychotherapeutic treatment and associations with client characteristics, therapist characteristics, and treatment factors. Clinical Psychology Review 34(5): 428–450.

Huffaker, J. S. and E. West. 2005. Enhancing learning in the business classroom: An adventure with improv theater techniques. Journal of Management Education 29(6): 852–869.

Iglesias, I. 2018. Growth in viewership. The Manila Times. (accessed 30 September 2020).

Kershaw, B. 2001. Oh for unruly audiences! Or, patterns of participation in twentieth-century theatre. Modern Drama 44(2): 133–154.

Leary, M. R. 1999. Making sense of self-esteem. Current Directions in Psychological Science 8(1): 32–35.

Leidner, R. 2016. Work identity without steady work: Lessons from stage actors. Research in the Sociology of Work 29: 3–35.

Martin, E. and C. Battaglini. 2019. Health status of live theater actors: A systematic literature review. Medical Problems of Performing Artists 34(2): 108–117.

Martin, J. J. and K. Cutler. 2010. An exploratory study of flow and motivation in theater actors. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology 14(4): 344–352.

Ordinario, C. 2020. PHL staging profitable, culturally rich future for performing arts. Business Mirror. (accessed 30 September 2020).

Orzechowicz, D. 2008. Privileged emotion managers: The case of actors. Social Psychology Quarterly 71(2): 143–156.

Quek, R. 2012. Dramatic pre-emption in Singapore’s National Theatre: Constructing national identity before an independent nation. National Identities 14(3): 287–307.

Ravengai, S. 2010. Political theatre, national identity and political control: The case of Zimbabwe. African Identities 8(2): 163–173.

Rocco, R. A. and D. J. Whalen. 2014. Teaching yes, and… improv in sales classes: Enhancing student adaptive selling skills, sales performance, and teaching evaluations. Journal of Marketing Education 36(2): 197–208.

Salazar?Clemeña, R. M. 2002. Family ties and peso signs: Challenges for career counseling in the Philippines. The Career Development Quarterly 50(3): 246–256.

Sarason, S. B. 1999. Teaching as a performing art. New York: Teachers College Press.

Schutz, A. 1962. The problem of social reality: Collected papers I. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff.

Sedgman, K. 2018. The reasonable audience: Theatre etiquette, behaviour policing, and the live performance experience. Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan.

Serquiña, O. T. 2019. Documenting theatrical and performative Philippines: Possibilities of a task and a practice. Theatre Research International 44(2): 196–199.

Sierz, A. 2011. Rewriting the nation: British theatre today. London: A & C Black Publishers Limited.

Silva, J. E. et al. 2017. Theater and psychological development: Assessing socio-cognitive complexity in the domain of theater. Creativity Research Journal 29(2): 157–166.

Stewart J. S. et al. 2017. Managing millennials: Embracing generational differences. Business Horizons 60(1): 45–54.

Stocker, D. et al. 2010. Appreciation at work in the Swiss armed forces. Swiss Journal of Psychology 69(2): 117–124.

Tiatco, A. P. 2011. Situating Philippine theatricality in Asia: A critique on the Asian-ness/Philippine-ness of Philippine theatre(s). JATI – Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 16: 131–150.

Tiongson, N. G. 1983. What is Philippine drama. Manila: Philippine Educational Theater Association.

Van Vegchel, N. et al. 2002. Testing global and specific indicators of rewards in the Effort-Reward Imbalance Model: Does it make any difference? European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology 11(4): 403–421.

Weinstein, E. A. 1957. Development of the concept of flag and the sense of national identity. Child Development 28(2): 167–174.

Young, R. A. and J. D. Friesen. 1992. The intentions of parents in influencing the career development of their children. The Career Development Quarterly 40(3): 198–206.