Markki Stroem: Moonstruck and more in ‘Mula Sa Buwan’

This year has seen Markki Stroem take on a wide range of acting roles in a number of TV movies.

He’s set to stretch his wings further as he returns this month to the boards in the original Filipino musical Mula sa Buwan.

The 35-year-old Filipino-Norwegian singer-actor will play the role of Christian, the young soldier smitten with the heroine Roxane, in the reimagining of the classic play Cyrano de Bergerac.

Set in 1940s Manila, Mula sa Buwan depicts young characters who are forced to grow up amid the backdrop of World War II and the death of Old Manila.

It opens 26 August as the inaugural production of the Samsung Performing Arts Center, the spanking-new performance auditorium at Circuit Makati.

Stroem was last seen on stage in 2019 as Joe Pitt in Atlantis Productions’ acclaimed take on the classic Tony Kushner play Angels in America: Millennium Approaches.

Earlier this year, he played the probinsiyano Mark in GagaOOLala’s Love at the End of the World; the non-binary drag queen Bianca D in Cignal Play’s My Delivery Gurl; and the serial rapist John in the Brillante Mendoza movie Virgin Forest.

“Being able to play four distinct roles in the span of a year is an achievement in itself for a character actor,” says Stroem. “It has been a wonderful year for me acting-wise. I am so thankful to each of these productions for believing in me.”

He says it still feels like a dream going back to what he loves to do, especially on the stage of the Samsung Performing Arts Theater. “It is such a rush every day in rehearsals! I am so excited to see the stage design and lighting for tech week and explore the magic every show brings.”

Stroem, a part-time model, was a hot topic in showbiz circles in 2021 due to daring projects that raised some eyebrows. Nonetheless, he says he takes pride in taking on diverse roles.

“I am an actor who wears many hats. In the morning I work as a radio DJ, in the afternoon I design and create my own underwear line MaXXI, and when I am given a role, I will do everything in my power to make it as authentic as I can. For some it may be provocative and controversial, but as an actor, it is just a hat I put on,” he explains.

singer-actor Markkie Stroem.

In Mula sa Buwan, Christian is dashing, kind-hearted and simple-minded. “He loves with all his heart and lives his life with purity and hope,” says Stroem.

To bring his character to life, Stroem did a lot of research about the Philippines during World War II.

“It required a lot of understanding of ROTC and cadet living, while also taking contemporary dance classes and one-on-one singing sessions with musical director Myke Salomon. Also, an in-depth analysis of old Tagalog and the poetry of the time,” he reveals.

The production features “wide-eyed dreamers, fools and misfits,” and Stroem says he’s a little bit of each.

“I’m a constant daydreamer. I see myself as a 12-year-old in a 35-year-old’s body. Sometimes I space out and live out my fantasies in my own little foolish world. Lastly, I have always been a misfit. I tried to conform to societal standards, but got bored and decided to live my best life without changing who I am for anyone.”

Also, “the theme of hope is ever present in the story [of ‘Mula sa Buwan’] — to continue to dream,” says Stroem. “Whenever there is hope, nothing can tear you down.”

When his schedule frees up again, Stroem sees himself taking on other projects that will further test his acting mettle. But, for now, “I am really focused on making this character (Christian) perfect.

Breathing life into a character has no shortcuts, just love and a lot of hard work. In the meantime, kita-kita sa Buwan!”

Staged by Barefoot Theatre Collaborative, Mula sa Buwan also stars Gab Pangilinan, reprising her role as Roxane, and Myke Salomon doing double-duty as Cyrano and as the show’s musical director.

Created by Pat Valera and William Elvin Manzano in 2010, Mula sa Buwan has been staged numerous times — at the GSIS Theater (2011), and at the Ateneo de Manila University’s Henry Lee Irwin Theater (2016) and Areté (2018).

The play features the late senator Francisco “Soc” Rodrigo’s Filipino translation of Cyrano de Bergerac.

Mula sa Buwan has a limited run of 13 shows until 11 September. Visit and

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