SF’s Bindlestiff stages Tagalog one-act plays with English surtitles

/ 01:39 AM October 04, 2019

“Tagalog 2019” runs from Oct. 17 through Nov. 2, Thursday to Saturday at 8 p.m. CONTRIBUTED

SAN FRANCISCO Bindlestiff Studio, the only black-box theater in the nation dedicated to showcasing Filipino/Filipino merican performing arts, presents the Mainstage production of “Tagalog 2019,” a collection of one-act plays written and performed in Tagalog, with live English translation creatively woven throughout the evening.

The production runs from Oct. 17 through Nov. 2, Thursday to Saturday at 8 p.m. A Community Preview will be held on Oct. 17 as well as an Opening Night celebration on Oct. 18, with a reception immediately following catered by local vendors.


Matinees are scheduled for Oct. 19, 26, and Nov. 2, at 3 p.m.. Tickets available online: https://tagalog2019.bpt.me

Bindlestiff Studio is the primary performing arts venue of the SOMA Pilipinas Cultural District, and “Tagalog 2019” comes at a time when the district and Filipino culture as a whole are enjoying greater exposure in the face of ongoing challenges.


Lorna Velasco, “Tagalog” co-producer and former Artistic Director of Bindlestiff, sums up the importance of this production in this place and time: “The same moment we were producing the first ‘Tagalog’ was when the community was galvanizing to establish SOMA Pilipinas.  Bern Sy of Bayanihan Community Center and many community leaders have been fighting for over 15 years to have a Filipino Heritage District, as a way to fight the onslaught of displacement and gentrification that has been happening in the South of Market since the 1990’s after the first dot com boom.  To have ‘Tagalog’ at Bindlestiff in the heart of SOMA Pilipinas, year after year, is our way of saying, ‘We are still here. And we aren’t going anywhere.’”

In its third year, “Tagalog 2019” will bring to life stories deeply specific in its language and culture and yet universal in human experiences of love and friendships formed from struggle.

Three new playwrights from the prestigious Virgin Labfest of the Cultural Center of the Philippines will make their U.S. debut in the heart of the SOMA Pilipinas Cultural District.

“Ensayo (Rehearsal)” by Juan Ekis. Lolo (grandpa) Peds anxiously waits for his acting partner, Lola (grandma) Tisha. As the amateur actors work through a scene for the first time in their lives, they discover that they are in for a little more than just a rehearsal. Directed by Joe Cascasan.

“Labor Room” by Ma. Cecilia Maki Culvera de la Rosa. Three women meet in a busy delivery room. As expectant mothers come and go, they build a short and sweet friendship. Amid want, loss, and grim possibilities, these women give birth to hope. Directed by Aureen Almario and Laura Priscilla Paule.

“Mga Bata sa Selda 43 (The Kids In Cell 43)” by Rolin Migyuel Cadallo Obina. Philip and his younger brother, Ino, are playful children from the slums, who were kidnapped by aliens…so they thought. But their dreams of escaping to reunite with their mother shatter when they meet Ed. Directed by A. Samson Manalo.

Featuring Akiko Aspillaga, Kathlyn Cabrera, Nic Feliciano, Nix Guirre, Faye Lacanilao, Russelle Anne, Bryan Palac, JC Quimpo, Sunshine Roque, and Tina Shauf-Bajar.


“A production like Tagalog in today’s world is absolutely necessary to welcome home those who once felt embarrassed or alienated because of our native tongue or accents,” actress, Nic Feliciano explains the show’s personal resonance.

“But probably above all, it’s clear that globalization is here. If we can find a way to bridge the gap between here and home, I think we can start to imagine a world where we can share the talents we learned here to benefit the home we left as well. ‘Tagalog’ is a great start towards that or at least a good reminder of why that’s important,” adds Feliciano.

Tagalog 2019

October 17 – November 2, 2019

Thursdays – Saturdays @ 8pm

October 17th, Community Preview @ 8pm

Opening Night,  October 18th @ 8pm. Reception immediately following, catered by local vendors

Matinee @ 3pm: October 19, 26, and November 2

$20 General

$15 Students/Seniors

$30 Support-the-Stiff

$17.50 Group Rate (6 or more)

Get your tickets now at https://tagalog2019.bpt.me

Bindlestiff Studio

185 Sixth Street

San Francisco, CA 94103

Sponsored by the SF Arts Commission and SF Grants for the Arts

Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments
TAGS: ‘Tagalog 2019’, Bindlestiff Studio, dramatic arts, Filipino one-act plays, plays
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.