’13th of September’ Philippine Play to be Staged in Germany
13th of September, written and translated by Eljay Castro Deldoc, is a reimagination of Lanie Robertson’s The Insanity of Mary Girard, directed by Riki Benedicto.
The team will be bringing the play to the Cultural Center Dieselstrasse in Esslingen, Germany, now with the support of the Philippine and German government, National Commission for Culture and Arts (NCCA) and Bund Deutscher Amateurtheater (BDAT), to compete in the Theaterwelten 2022.
Theaterwelten is both a festival and an international theater encounter, held every two years since 2015. Due to the travel restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, it had its first-ever digital festival in 2021, which was also attended by BOGT Philippines. This year’s festival will be held from October 13-16 2022, with performances coming from 8 countries: Philippines, Ukraine, Chile, Mexico, Zimbabwe, Lebanon, Germany, and Israel. An accompanying symposium will examine the topic of “Theater and Safe Spaces” from local and global perspectives: Is theatre a safe space? How does it affect participation in social events?
13th of September features performances by Marco Calilao, Norman Peñaflorida, and Lao Rodriguez, the latter taking on the role of Mary Girard. This will be the second time that this production will be competing in an international festival. It is preceded by its run in 2019 at the 9th Festival International de Théâtre De Mont-Laurier in Quebec, Canada.
Joining Deldoc and Benedicto in the artistic team are Drew Espenocilla (Dramaturg/English translation), Jay Lorenz Conanan (Production/Costume Designer), Roldan Lozano (Lights Designer), Ces Valera (Projection Artist), Paw Castillo (Photo and Graphic Artist), and Jared Acuna (Video Artist).
The story follows Mary Girard, who is preparing for her last night in Pennsylvania Asylum. Now, 56, her age is visible after more than two decades re-living the moments of her life inside the asylum. While doing her daily routine and preparation with other patients, her past is dawning inside her– the memories of her mother, husband, and her dear daughter are right in front of her and it seems like she’s “sane” once again. As for her last night with the tranquilizing chair, she will fight and relive the moments of lies and betrayal that have never been proven.
BOGT Philippines is a team of professional theater and film practitioners based in Manila, Philippines. The group’s major goal is to create and produce shows for different international theater festivals. They want to boost the presence of the Philippine theater in the international realm and at the same time, bring home and share their learnings to Filipino professional and school-based theater companies.