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13th OF SEPTEMBER Tours Anew, this Time in Germany

This Filipino adaptation of 'The Insanity of Mary Girard' debuts at Theaterwelten 2022 on Oct. 15.

13th OF SEPTEMBER Tours Anew, this Time in Germany

Film-theater actor Lao Rodriguez takes on the role of Mary Girard in this Filipino adaptation of Lanie Robertson's "The Insanity of Mary Girard." He is supported by his fellow actors Marco Calilao and Norman Florida. (Axl Guinto/Teatro Pinas)

Manila, Philippines--Be Our Guest Theatricals Philippines, led by artist-teacher Riki Benedicto, is at it again: bringing "13th of September," a Filipino adaptation of Lanie Robertson's "The Insanity of Mary Girard," to international audiences. Following its pre-pandemic performances at the 9th Festival International de Theatre De Mont-Laurier, in Quebec, Canada, "13th of September" is set to debut at the touring edition of Theaterwelten in Esslingen, Germany, on Oct. 15, 2022.

Theaterwelten is an international theater festival hosted once every two years. Relegated by the COVID-19 pandemic in the past two years, conducting the festival via a virtual space, the festival is back before live audiences, with performances from Zimbabwe, Lebanon, Chile, the Philippines, Ukraine, Mexico, Germany, and Israel.

Filipino playwright Eljay Castro Deldoc, and his dramaturg, Drew Espenocilla, reimagine Ms. Robertson's short play, an unsettling, highly-theatrical piece based on the true story of a woman from Philadephia, named Mary Girard, who spent the last 25 years of her life in an asylum.

In Mr. Deldoc's able hands, he depicts present-time Mary Girards [Filipinos] as victims of a harsh society whose leaders are oblivious to the awful truth--that the Philippines is living within a culture that emphasizes time-tested resilience and eccentric humor amid deep suffering, making it difficult to talk about mental health, especially among the older, more conservative Filipinos.

In "13th of September," Mary Girard's story is told by esteemed actors Marco Calilao, Norman Penaflorida, and Lao Rodriguez, who now takes on the role of Mary Girard. They are backed by production designer JayLo Conanan, production and stage manager Katreen Dela Cruz, lighting designer Roldan Lozano, and projection designer Ces Valera.

Besides directing the "13th of September, Mr. Benedicto will also conduct a workshop about the fundamentals, aesthetic aspects, and dramatic power of stage combat.

Thanks to the Philippine and German governments, the Philippines' National Commission for Culture and Arts, and the Bund Deutscher Amateurtheater for their aid in the production.




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