² Chicago Fil-Am theater wrestles with stigmas and traumas
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Chicago Fil-Am theater wrestles with stigmas and traumas

/ 09:47 AM November 12, 2019

CIRCA-Pintig is staging “Silencing Stigma, Reclaiming Life,” vignettes on mental health in the Asian American community. CONTRIBUTED

CHICAGO — Filipino American theater group CIRCA-Pintig is staging a student production that brings to light the beauty of reclaiming a sense of self in harmony with the community after one overcomes stigmas.

“Silencing Stigma, Reclaiming Life” is a collection of vignettes that show Asian American—including Filipino American—experiences that tackle difficult topics about mental health and social justice struggles, according to the group’s artistic director Ginger Leopoldo.

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The vignettes were written by 14 participants of a theater and writing workshop conducted by CIRCA-Pintig earlier this year. In addition to Lepoldo, other facilitators included Larry Leopoldo and Luis Pascascio.

Some of the stigmas explored in the show include anxiety, suicide, self-harm, PTSD and transgenerational trauma. A piece titled “Inay: Ilaw ng Tahanan” (“Mother: Light of the Home”) is a letter from a mother to her daughters and spouse asking forgiveness for deciding to uproot her family to immigrate to the US from the Philippines.

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Collaboration

The workshop participants are all female, in their early 20s and are a mix of college and graduate students who are taking a class on Mental Health, Asian Americans and Community Engagement at University of Illinois at Chicago.

The participants conducted field interviews using techniques from their class and applied what they learned from the workshop to convert the interviews into scripts for the stage.

This is the third time CIRCA-Pintig has collaborated with Hasnain to teach her students how to dramatize their field interviews. The previous installments were done in 2014 and 2015.

Unspoken

To form “Silencing Stigma: Reclaiming Life,” Fil-Am playwright Lani Montreal merged the students’ works with excerpts from her own existing plays as well as those of Filipino playwright Liza Magtoto and Fil-Am playwright Conrad Panganiban.

“The play gives voice to unspoken thoughts and emotions in a dramatic forum that aims for community healing and positive reflection,” says Leopoldo.

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“This production brings together new and resident Circa Pintig actors and production staff sharing their time and commitment to create a dialogue about a topic not typically discussed at dinner table talk.”

Consultation

The production uses music composed by Demetrio Maguigad. Other Filipino Americans involved in the production include Joy Cusi (music direction), Chip Payos (choreography), Larry Leopoldo and Jose Agarri (set design), and Luis Pascasio (light and sound design).

There will be Q&A sessions and community consultations after each performance facilitated by the CIRCA-Pintig members along with organizations such as Trilogy Behavioral Healthcare and other community social services.

“Silencing Stigma, Reclaiming Life” runs Nov. 15-24 at Klausner Auditorium, Nazareth Family Center, 1127 N. Oakley Blvd., Chicago. Visit Circapintig.com.

CIRCA-Pintig is staging “Silencing Stigma, Reclaiming Life,” vignettes on mental health in the Asian American community. CONTRIBUTED

 

CIRCA-Pintig, stigmas, anxiety, suicide, self-harm, PTSD and transgenerational trauma, stage production

 

Chicago Fil-Am theater wrestles with stigmas and traumas

Walter Ang

CHICAGO — Filipino American theater group CIRCA-Pintig is staging a student production that brings to light the beauty of reclaiming a sense of self in harmony with the community after one overcomes stigmas.

“Silencing Stigma, Reclaiming Life” is a collection of vignettes that show Asian American—including Filipino American—experiences that tackle difficult topics about mental health and social justice struggles, according to the group’s artistic director Ginger Leopoldo.

The vignettes were written by 14 participants of a theater and writing workshop conducted by CIRCA-Pintig earlier this year. In addition to Lepoldo, other facilitators included Larry Leopoldo and Luis Pascascio.

Some of the stigmas explored in the show include anxiety, suicide, self-harm, PTSD and transgenerational trauma. A piece titled “Inay: Ilaw ng Tahanan” (“Mother: Light of the Home”) is a letter from a mother to her daughters and spouse asking forgiveness for deciding to uproot her family to immigrate to the US from the Philippines.

Collaboration

The workshop participants are all female, in their early 20s and are a mix of college and graduate students who are taking a class on Mental Health, Asian Americans and Community Engagement at University of Illinois at Chicago.

The participants conducted field interviews using techniques from their class and applied what they learned from the workshop to convert the interviews into scripts for the stage.

This is the third time CIRCA-Pintig has collaborated with Hasnain to teach her students how to dramatize their field interviews. The previous installments were done in 2014 and 2015.

Unspoken

To form “Silencing Stigma: Reclaiming Life,” Fil-Am playwright Lani Montreal merged the students’ works with excerpts from her own existing plays as well as those of Filipino playwright Liza Magtoto and Fil-Am playwright Conrad Panganiban.

“The play gives voice to unspoken thoughts and emotions in a dramatic forum that aims for community healing and positive reflection,” says Leopoldo.

“This production brings together new and resident Circa Pintig actors and production staff sharing their time and commitment to create a dialogue about a topic not typically discussed at dinner table talk.”

Consultation

The production uses music composed by Demetrio Maguigad. Other Filipino Americans involved in the production include Joy Cusi (music direction), Chip Payos (choreography), Larry Leopoldo and Jose Agarri (set design), and Luis Pascasio (light and sound design).

There will be Q&A sessions and community consultations after each performance facilitated by the CIRCA-Pintig members along with organizations such as Trilogy Behavioral Healthcare and other community social services.

“Silencing Stigma, Reclaiming Life” runs Nov. 15-24 at Klausner Auditorium, Nazareth Family Center, 1127 N. Oakley Blvd., Chicago. Visit Circapintig.com.

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TAGS: anxiety, Circa Pintig, PTSD and transgenerational trauma, self-harm, stage production, stigmas, suicide
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