PETA Deals With Mental Health Via 'NIGHT, MOTHER

PETA Deals With Mental Health Via 'NIGHT, MOTHERManila, Philippines--The Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) ends its 50th season by challenging local theater audiences to start conversations and explore issues on mental health, suicide, and family relationships via its Filipino adaptation of Marsha Norman's 1983 Pulitzer Prize-winning drama 'NIGHT, MOTHER.
Mental health is a very timely topic in the country as the Philippines' House of Representatives continues to work on the mental health bill, which will expand mental health services and protect people with mental health problems.

Adapted by Ian Lomogo and directed by Melvin Lee. 'NIGHT, MOTHER is an intimate straight play that stars award-winning actresses Eugene Domingo and Sherry Lara. Domingo stars as Jessie, a divorced woman suffering from epilepsy, who reveals to her mother, Thelma, played by Lara, of her plans to end her life that very evening. The play follows their back-and-forth conversation on the reasons behind Jessie's decision to take her own life and Thelma's desperation to convince her daughter that life is still worth living.

From big narratives such as the restaging of original Filipino musical "Care Divas," its 50th-Anniversary Concert, and its original martial law-related musical "Game of Trolls," PETA has been slowly venturing off to a more intimate, more serious tone with its recent production of Bertolt Brecht's "Life of Galileo," adapted to "Ang Buhay ni Galileo" by Alan Linoga and directed by Rody Vera, and its upcoming production of 'NIGHT, MOTHER.

It's worth mentioning that 'NIGHT, MOTHER is not exactly an advocacy play: it doesn't talk about facts, or give advice or resolution to mental health problems. It doesn't directly discuss suicide, depression, isolation, and family relationship problems, but it's a play that circles around them, with characters who go through them. It's a conversation of a trapped girl, who finds no other exit but to take her own life, with her mother. In that conversation, the mother and daughter reveal various issues they have with themselves, with other people, and their relationship with each other. The play itself is like a suicide note turned into a conversation with that person--a conversation that people should have had, but never had.

PETA Deals With Mental Health Via 'NIGHT, MOTHERDue to its intriguing nature, 'NIGHT, MOTHER may affect its audience negatively. Even so, PETA is willing to take this risk. It hopes that it will stimulate talks and awareness on mental health. PETA plans to conduct debriefings and dialogues with psychologists, counselors, and the audience members at certain show dates. It also plans to partner with various mental health organizations to promote sound mental health. In the words of 'NIGHT MOTHER's director, Melvin Lee, "Let's discuss issues that are bothersome, topics that are unsettling, and subjects that are disarming that will continually challenge our existence."

PETA is the first professional theater company in the Philippines to produce the play, which runs at the PETA Theater Center (No. 5 Eymard Drive, New Manila, Quezon City) from February 2 to March 3, 2018.

For show buying and ticket inquiries, contact PETA Marketing and PR Office at (63)927-6035-913 or TicketWorld at (632) 891-9999,

The play runs for 90 minutes without intermission.

Video/Photo: PETA

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From This Author Janine Angela Martinez

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