Photo © 2018 Joseph Legáspi
Photo by Noam Shapiro. Taken while in rehearsal for On This Side of the World, April 2019.
As a musical theatre writer, Paulo tells distinctly Filipino-American, Asian-American, and immigrant stories that explore universal human themes -- and in doing so, he proudly gives his community a voice on the American stage, while speaking to audiences of all backgrounds.
Scroll down or click one of the buttons below to learn more about Paulo's work in musical theatre.
Stories of overseas workers, young lovers, and gossipy church ladies. Snapshots of undocumented immigrants, millennial princesses, and first-generation Americans. In On This Side of the World, six actors give voice to Filipino immigrants navigating old lives and new beginnings, as a one-way ticket sends them on a journey eight thousand miles from home.
Paulo began writing On This Side of the World while studying at NYU in 2013. In 2018, with half the songs written, director Noam Shapiro started developing the piece with Paulo. The two completed On This Side of the World over the next eight months with the help of an artistic residency at Access Theater, which culminated in a sold-out two-week run there in May 2019.
In February 2020, Prospect Theater Co. produced a concert staging of On This Side of the World at Greenwich House Theater in NYC's West Village. Also in 2020, On This Side of the World was one of eight shows selected for the prestigious NAMT Festival of New Musicals.
"THEATRE IS EASY BEST BET: On This Side of the World may play best with immigrant audiences, but the themes of separation, love, and perseverance are relatable even to those who have never set foot outside of their home country. Audiences won’t be able to stop cheering (when they’re not weeping) for this ambitious underdog of a show.”
(Maria Paz Alegre, Theatre is Easy)
In September 2021, On This Side of the World was shared with West Coast audiences for the first time.
On September 19, Musical Theatre West in Long Beach, CA presented a staged reading of the show at the Karen Carpenter Center for the Performing Arts, as part of their Festival of New Works.
And on September 25, FilAm Arts Teatro presented highlights of the show at 2020 Arts & Archive in Historic Filipinotown in Los Angeles.
Click here to learn about the cast and creative team in these presentations.
The Philippines is the call center capital of the world, with over a million Filipino phone agents serving American customers — and pretending to be American! — every day.
Called tells of the story of one such agent: an ambitious overachiever named Carmela, who is five days away from attaining her long-time dream of being transferred to the United States. …That is, if she can deal with her obnoxious fellow agents, the reappearance of an old flame, and most of all, the elderly widower named Nelson calling from North Dakota who, upon realizing Carmela is Filipino, makes an unusual request: for her to be his friend.
Through this frame, Called explores the American dream, post-colonial imperialist thought, and the transactional nature of relationships in today’s world. of moving to the United States.
Paulo developed Called as one of 11 fellows in the 2019-20 class of the Dramatist Guild Foundation Fellows Program; and had a virtual reading in October 2020 (dir. May Adrales). Called was also partially developed through Musical Theatre Factory's 4X15 series in May 2018 (dir. Rebecca Aparicio).
Click here to download the virtual program that accompanied the virtual reading in October 2020.
"Stories Like Air", music and lyrics by Paulo K Tiról. Written for Broadway Barkada's performance at the Festival of Philippine Arts and Culture 2020 (#FPAC2020). Featuring Ali Ewoldt, Emily Borromeo, Jaygee Macapugay, Liz Casasola, Devin Ilaw, Aaron Albano, Al Guerzon and Brian Jose. Music direction by Steven Cuevas. Mixed by Jonathan Cuevas.
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