The José Rizal Intercultural Theatre Project
Phase 1: Research
(April 19th - August 31st, 2021)
Interdisciplinary and intergenerational lectures and discussions on Jose Rizal and the migration histories of Filipinos in British Columbia took place at significant cultural sites around Vancouver. Archival and place-based-research was also conducted on Nuu Chah Nulth Nation and Bowen Island, where the first Filipinos settled in the beginning of the 18th century and late 19th century. CORRESPONDENCE partnered with various indigenous groups to ensure respectful and reconciliatory methods were employed.
Phase 2: Training
(September 4th, 2021 - February 16th, 2022)
Performers underwent weekly training sessions with theatre professionals and Southeast Asian performance practitioners to allow sustained theatrical skills development. Youth Engagement Workshops fostered and encouraged making space for future generations of Southeast Asian-Canadian artists. A national symposium on Southeast Asian theatre practice, CAN ConverSEA, took place at UBC's xʷθəθiqətəm (Place of Many Trees), bringing together professional theatre practitioners, scholars, and aspiring artists of southeast
Phase 3: Realization
(February 28th, 2022 - August 1st, 2022)
Devised theatre creation with local emerging and seasoned artists:
"buto\buto: bones are seeds"
Written, composed, and produced by intercultural, intergenerational, and intersectional diasporic artists
Directed by Dr. Dennis D. GUPA
"Buto-Buta: Bones are Seeds" is a devised theatre piece with songs, choreographic exploration, and videos that weaves migration stories of contemporary Filipinos in British Columbia. It is an incorporation of Philippine Indigenous performance forms like sarswela (music theatre), kundiman (art songs), prusisyon (community processions), and pasyon (epic chant), Western theatre convention (text-based drama), and intercultural theatre devising process through an alternative dramaturgical practice emerging from Philippine Indigenous relational concept of creating (likha), critical empathy and listening (abat, pamati), collective reflection/synthesis (hoà hop), and intersubjective collaboration (bayanihan).
Phase 4: Retrospective
(August 13th, 2022 - August 14th, 2022)
The production and artistic teams consolidate the lessons learned, examine experiences, and harmonize emerging ideas. Using the Filipino word ugnayan (interconnection) and the Vietnamese word hoà hợp (synthesizing) as the organizational framework in this process to envision the next steps for our community.
In partnership with
With special participation of
Generously funded by