Salvage Vanguard Theater Presents The World Premiere Of DECAPITATIONS By Megan Tabaque

Decapitations is a diasporic ghost story about a multi-racial Filipino-American family.

By: Sep. 21, 2023
Salvage Vanguard Theater Presents The World Premiere Of DECAPITATIONS By Megan Tabaque

Salvage Vanguard Theater Presents The World Premiere Of DECAPITATIONS By Megan Tabaque

Salvage Vanguard Theater has announced the world premiere of Decapitations, by Megan Tabaque.

When a local dog goes missing the week of Halloween, the Santos family become the targets of a homeowners association dispute while mourning the death of their matriarch an ocean away. Surreal, funny, and haunting, Decapitations is a diasporic ghost story about a multi-racial Filipino-American family.

Under the direction of Alexandra Bassiakou Shaw and in collaboration with an award winning team of designers (Inji Ha, Lisa Laratta, Henna Chou, Aaron Flynn, Stephen Pruitt), the team has reimagined the script as an interactive, outdoor, Halloween experience performed on the bucolic grounds of Rogge Ranch House.

Decapitations is scheduled to premiere on the evening of a full moon on October 28th. Audiences have the opportunity to purchase a special Opening Night Full Moon Soiree package where a $100 ticket includes dinner and drinks with the artists before the show. Additionally, on October 31st, a special Halloween night performance is programmed and to be followed by a signature SVT event, Scare City-a costumed, karaoke gala.

SVT presents this world premiere after a three year pause in this play's development due to the ongoing pandemic. Last shared as part of SVT's Works Progress series in February 2020 at the Asian American Resource Center, the creative team gathered anew in May of 2023 for a two week workshop to reignite the piece in a site specific, outdoor mode, for a "post-pandemic" audience. This return is a testament to SVT's resilience in the face of a nationwide decline across the regional theater circuit.

SVT presents this world premier in collaboration with the Asian American Resource Center, where the playwright, Megan Tabaque, will be hosting a public storytelling event around the invention of new Asian-American family folklores on October 19th.

Decapitations is Directed by Alexandra Bassiakou Shaw

Featuring performances from Alexa Capareda, Katherine Catmull, Sarah Chong Dickey, Madge Darlington, Zachary Gamble, Rommel Sulit, and Virgil Shelby.

The piece features music by Henna Chou, sound design by Dillon James, costumes by Aaron Flynn, and co-scenic & properties design by Inji Ha and Lisa Laratta.

Stage Management and Technical Direction by intrepid Tor Reynolds.

Connective Tissue Tending and Producer hats donned by both playwright Megan Tabaque and SVT Artistic Director, Kate Taylor


Saturday October 28 @ 7:30pm -w. Opening Night Full Moon Soiree (Preshow Benefit 6:30PM)

Sunday October 29 @ 7:30pm

Tuesday October 31 @ 7:30pm-w. Scare City Karaoke (come in costume!!) afterward

Wednesday November 1 @ 7:30pm

Friday November 3 @ 7:30pm-ASL night

Saturday November 4 @ 7:30pm- w. AAPI Night + Post Show Panel

Sunday November 5 @ 7:30pm

PERFORMANCE LOCATION: Rogge Ranch House, 3506 Rogge Ln, Austin, TX 78723

TICKETS: Reservations available online at and at the door. Tickets start at $15+ and Pay-what-You-can. The SVT board has committed $500 in the spirit of Pay-what-You-can ticket pricing to ensure more audience members have access to impactful work. Whether you can contribute $15 or $500, donations in this spirit preserve SVT's mission of Radical Accessibility.

MEGAN TABAQUE | Megan Tabaque is a Filipina-Canadian-American playwright, actor, and arts educator. Her work has been developed, commissioned, and produced by the Alliance Theater, Salvage Vanguard Theater, Tofte Lake Center, the Workshop Theater, Paper Chairs, and Theatrical Outfit among others. She is a James A. Michener Fellow, Kundiman Fiction Fellow, Sewanee Writers' Conference Scholar, Seattle Public Theater Emerald Prize finalist, Playwrights' Realm Scratchpad Series semi-finalist, a 2021 Four Seasons Residency nominee, and the recipient of the Emory Playwriting Fellowship from 2021 to 2023. She's also written for the immersive weirdos at Meow Wolf, assisted award winning TV writer Sheila Callaghan, and taught creative writing at Bennington College, Emory University, and UT Austin.

A few of her plays include Britney Approximately (an adaptation of Medea through the lens of the Spears conservatorship) Cycle Play (a two woman thriller that takes place in a Soul Cycle), Marry Me, Bruno Mars (a rescue caper about QAnon, AAPI Spas, and Super Bowls in the south) and Batman Returns Returns (a rock-musical adaptation of Tim Burton's 90s classic). Megan writes to create new mythologies, exploring pop cultural tropes as accessible entry points to questioning the absurdity of human existence.

In Austin, she recently performed in Dave Malloy's Ghost Quartet (Penfold Theater), Anne Carson's Antigonick, (SVT), Elizabeth Doss' Poor Herman and The Audience (Paper Chairs), among others. Megan earned her MFA in Playwriting and Fiction from the Michener Center for Writers in Austin, TX. She currently resides in Los Angeles with her husband and playwright Drew Paryzer, and their cat Rylance .

ALEXANDRA BASSIAKOU SHAW | Alexandra Basskiakou Shaw directs, writes and performs new work. She is a company member of Rude Mechs theatre collective based in Austin, TX with whom she performs in Not Every Mountain (Guthrie Theater world premiere) and Contranyms (Fusebox Festival), directs a solo performance by Kirk Lynn called The Cold Record (Under the Radar Festival, Brisbane Festival, Harbourfront Festival), and directed the B. Iden Payne award-winning Fixing Troilus and Cressida.

In Austin, she directed the regional premiere of Kirk Lynn's Your Mother's Copy of the Kama Sutra (Museum of Human Achievement); the national premiere of Mouthful a series of interconnected plays by by Inua Elams, Neil LaBute, Lydia Adetunji, Bola Agbaje, Clare Bayley, and Pedro Rozo; Antigonick by Ann Carson (MMNT); Joanna Garner's The Orange Garden (UT Austin) and Patrick Shaw's Operation Istanbul (Cohen New Works Festival). She is an associate artist with paper chairs with whom she performed in Elizabeth Doss' Catalina d'Erauso and The Divine Narcissus.

Her plays are all about women. Works include Yvette and the Wild Shame (New Plays Now/ Signature Theatre), Althea the Garden Cantata (The Motor Company), Womanize (NYMF Mint'd Explorers), and Si, Mi Piace l'Auto (ITE/FullStop).

Salvage Vanguard Theater (SVT) based in Austin TX, is a nonprofit organization that provides accessible, affordable, artistic exchange between a diverse, inclusive community of artists and audiences through high quality experiences that foster experimentation and generate conversation.

Concerns? Curiosities? Excitement? Visit Click Here or reach out via with any questions.

This project is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Texas Commission on the Arts, and the Austin Community Foundation. To find out more about how the National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit

The City of Austin is proud to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. If you require assistance for participation in our programs or use of our facilities, please email or call 419.503.5548.

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