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Town Hall Announces Fifth Installment for New Voices Series

Performances run January 20th, 21st, 27th & 28th 2023.

Town Hall Announces Fifth Installment for New Voices Series

Playwright Molly Olis Krost's piece, "Nanay" will be brought to the stage by Director Yari Cervas. This lightly produced, two-weekend performance model will be the Fifth in Town Hall's New Voices series. The series will produce two brand new, never produced-on-stage plays by playwrights living in the nine Bay Area counties. New Voices will heavily feature plays written by traditionally under-represented and under-produced artists.

Angela has arrived to congratulate her twin sister on her new baby but, instead finds Eve "cohabitating" with a Filipino vampire with an infamous hunger for all things fetus. Does Angela believe Eve's claims that all is well with her new relationship? NANAY, a new play by Molly Olis Krost, incorporates Filipino mythology and tradition to compare eastern and western approaches to sisterhood, trauma and healing.

"NANAY is a play that has been living and evolving with me since 2018. It began as my own exploration into the notion that Filipino-Americans struggle with discussing mental health, especially around the pains and trauma of pregnancy loss." explained playwright Molly Olis Krost. "Through the process of writing, researching, collaborating, and developing the play over the years, it ultimately became a play about what it means to be a Filipino-American living in between. How it often feels like a balancing act of wanting to honor and connect with the history, traditions, and practices we come from but also figuring how to presently live and survive in a colonized world. NANAY is a story of two sisters struggling to navigate this and their differing approaches demonstrate how every Filipino-American experience is unique and all we can do is embrace the journey that we are all on. At the heart of NANAY though is the love and bond of Eve and Angela. And while I don't have any sisters myself, I grew up surrounded by my mom and aunties. The messy beauty of their relationships with each other and seeing all of the highs and lows they've gone through together is the lifeline of this play. NANAY is a tribute to them and all they have taught me about love, strength, and how to find healing."

"When I first encountered Molly's writing in 2018 I was drawn to her exploration of family legacy and love. This newest work in development asks a question I hold deeply in my own heart: how do we heal from the trauma passed down by our ancestors?" shared director Yari Cervas. "NANAY is a practice in healing generational mother-wounds in children of the Philippine diaspora. Eve, in her desperation to reforge a loving connection with her mother-culture, traps herself in denial rather than accept the painful reality of loss. Enter the Manananggal--a vampiric demon by most accounts--pictured instead as a Babaylan, a Philippine folk healer. By presenting the Mananagal in this way, Molly asks us to imagine what a pre-colonial healing journey might possibly have been. How do our colonized perceptions (whether inherited or learned) villainize Indigenous culture? Spirituality? Healing practice? What happens when we finally wipe away the colonized film from our eyes to see ourselves and our heritage plainly? Can remembering their wounded pasts lead twins Eve and Angela back to self-love and love for each other?"

"Something I adore with what we see in New Voices is new takes on tried and true story formulas." stated curator of artistic programming Daniel J. Eslick. "Nanay's is one of those plays that is not only close to my heart as a Filipinx American. What we have here is a story about two sisters with a literal wall of traumas between them, that they need each other to properly overcome and heal . But what makes this unique isn't just Molly Olis Krost's empowerment of her Filipinx identity in the story. It's the way that culture has been connected to old traditions, filipinx vampires, and motherhood in a way that anyone who has found themselves distanced from a loved one will understand, and hopefully like the characters we can all find tools to reconnect to our loved ones through the journey she's laid out with these two characters."

The New Voices series is a first for Town Hall Theatre. The series was created to give a wider-array of playwrights a chance to expose new and in-process works to an audience that may not otherwise be exposed to their stories. Productions in the series will include a facilitated talkback at each performance allowing the playwrights the chance to receive feedback from audiences in a constructive manner, while also giving audiences an insight into the theatre maker's process.



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