Why We Are Re-Staging “Reyna Elena”

I first wrote about my mom’s Palanca-winning play last October 2016. In that post, I shared the story of my mom and how she wrote “Reyna Elena”, a 3-act play in English for a playwriting workshop she joined here in Cagayan de Oro. I also shared information about some of her other works. Apart from introducing Kagay-anons to my mom, my post was also intended to seek for support for our play. And we were lucky that several doors opened, so we were able to stage “Reyna Elena” at the Xavier University – Little Theater last November 10 & 11, 2016.

This Saturday, January 14, we will be re-staging my mom’s 2nd place Palanca winner. Originally, we had no intention of doing a 5th show (we had four last November), but some people messaged and approached us asking when we would stage it again. So, despite the difficulty of staging a play here in CDO (if you are not affiliated with a school or organization), we will be back onstage telling the story of “Reyna Elena”.

Another reason we decided to go ahead with the re-staging is the fact that a lot of people deserve to know that a work of art like “Reyna Elena” was and can be written by a Kagay-anon. For some, it may be a simple story of love, but it still is an original work by a Kagay-anon, something that we have been wanting to stage for a long time. Oh no, there’s nothing wrong with staging adaptations or foreign plays. In fact, our group annually stages “The Vagina Monologues”, Eve Ensler’s award-winning work about women (and the LGBTQ) discovering the joys and pains of being a woman. It’s just that we’re thirsty for original Kagay-anon stories. We believe that now is the right time to unfurl the banner and create some noise.

So, even if we get only 50 people to watch us on Saturday, we’ll be happy with that. At least we’ve connected with 5o people who will now know what creative powers Kagay-anons possess. At least we can reach out to 50 people who will now share our advocacy of local CDO theater. At least they will now know that Kagay-anons are world-class artists.

With only a few days left until the show on Saturday, we’re still unsure of where we’ll get our financial support. That has always been the case for all our shows. But we know that we’ll pull through. We know because we believe in our cause.

Our next goal is quite ambitious because it’s a Binisaya musical, but we’ll do our best to make it real. We haven’t even located the script and copy of the music for my mom’s “Ay, Kasing Kasing Ko!”. But we’re confident that the people who acted in the play when it was staged at the XU – Little Theater back in the 80s will be able to help us out. Someone has to have a copy of it. (It frustrates me that my mom and I were not able to properly keep a copy of the play. I was stage manager back in 1988, but I can’t find all my files. Maybe because we’ve moved houses too many times!)

For now, we have “Reyna Elena”. And despite the fact that we had only a month to work on the play last year, we’re proud of what we have created. I may be the show’s director, but my actors and creative staff are as responsible as I am for what “Reyna Elena” has become. Each one of them contributed their time, ideas, skills, and talents every step of the way. Our group works well together, and this is another one of the strongest advantages of “Reyna Elena”. It is the product of genuine hard work of Kagay-anons.

On Saturday, if you’re not doing anything, I’d like to invite you to watch “Reyna Elena” at the old Sky Hi Cinema along Capistrano Street. The show starts at 7pm. Entrance is at Php100 (we had no time to print tickets anymore). Aside from witnessing the world-class talent of Kagay-anons, I’m sure you’ll also love getting to know Elenita and her story of love, family, and friendship.

See you on Saturday!

 

(Photos by Aicy Soriano, Chinx Banquerigo, and Mau Ordoña.)

 

 

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