Fil-Am comedy fundraiser against anti-Asian hate
SAN FRANCISCO — An unapologetically Filipino American story about art, family, and culture will serve as a fundraiser for the Bay Area’s Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community.
In the play, Jay has writer’s block, he’s lost his job and his girlfriend has just left him. Now he’s stuck sleeping on the couch after being forced to move in with his Filipino immigrant mother. He must finally come face to face with the pressures and dreams of his parents while finding the bravery to find his voice as an artist of color in America.
Fil-Am Jeffrey Lo’s play “Writing Fragments Home” will star Fil-Am thespians Jomar Tagatac and Moses Villarama. Fil-Am director Victor Malana Maog helms the production.
Lo is the director of community partnerships and casting director at TheatreWorks Silicon Valley, the group that will stream a benefit reading of his play on June 5. The production will then be available by streaming on-demand from June 6 to 9.
This reading will benefit Compassion in Oakland, a nonprofit formed in response to the surge of anti-Asian attacks and dedicated to promoting safety and community in Oakland Chinatown and beyond. (Visit compassioninoakland.org.)
Viewers can sign up at TheatreWorks.org to receive a link to view “Writing Fragments Home.”
Donations are encouraged, with levels starting at $10 in tiers named for popular Filipino dishes such as Lumpia Platter, Lechon, Pancit and Adobo.
“One of the big themes in this play is loneliness and how sharing stories is a way for us to cure loneliness and build empathy in our world,” says Lo.
“With the tragic rise in hate crimes against the AAPI community, I can’t help but think about how scared, anxious and alone our community feels right now; how these hate crimes were activated from a lack of empathy for people with different backgrounds and identities.
“My hope is that this project, in addition to financially supporting the incredible work of Compassion in Oakland, can inspire hope and make the members of the AAPI community feel a little more understood.”
Lo’s directing credits include “The Language Archive,” “The Santaland Diaries,” “Vietgone,” “Peter and the Starcatcher,” and “Eurydice.” Awards include Leigh Weimers Emerging Artist Award, Emerging Artist Laureate by Arts Council Silicon Valley, and Theatre Bay Area Director’s TITAN Award.
Writing Fragments Home” was a finalist for the Bay Area Playwrights Festival and a semi-finalist for the O’Neill Playwright’s Conference.
Jomar Tagatac’s credits for TheatreWorks include “The Language Archive,” a role for which he won a San Francisco Bay Area Critics Circle Award. Other credits include productions Jessica Hagedorn’s “Dogeaters” at The Magic Theater and “Monstress,” based on short stories by Fil-Am short story writer Lysley Tenorio, at American Conservatory Theater.
Moses Villarama’s credits with TheatreWorks include “tokyo fish story.” He is a company member of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and teaches acting at Southern Oregon University.
Victor Malana Maog has worked at the Public Theater, Second Stage, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Classic Stage Company, Drury Lane Theatre, American Conservatory Theater, Berkeley Rep, Cal Shakes. He has taught and directed in training programs across the country He is currently Visiting Professor in Theatre at St. Mary’s College of California.