What's the New Voice Company up to these days, I asked her. It seemed on hiatus last year (with only one show--The Vagina Monologues back to back with A Memory, a Monologue, a Rant and a Prayer).
Monique's candid reply: “Nakakasawa na mag-musical. After 13 years, we'd like to do something different, something original naman, but still in line with our advocacy.”
Such as? “Rito [Asilo] and Jamie [Wilson] are preparing sort of a male version of The Vagina Monologues in the Filipino context, based on stories and interviews we've gathered from real people. It'll be our first original material,” she explained, clearly excited--“and something closer to our experience.”
Last Saturday's Inquirer had Rito, NVC assistant artistic director, announcing that the show, a devised play now called The Male Voice, will have a limited run on May 22, 23 and 31 at the RCBC Theater at 8 p.m.
More details: “Tommy Abuel, Michael Williams, Jamie Wilson and Joaqui Valdes, last seen together in NVC’s acclaimed restaging of Stephen Sondheim’s 'Into The Woods,' reunite to breathe life into the play’s dramatic and hilarious true-to-life stories, culled from interviews that aim to examine gender issues and the roots of violence as seen from the male perspective...
“The concept of 'TMV' was born in 2003, when Eve Ensler decided to include men in her annual 'VDay' benefit shows. The new development in the feisty feminist’s controversial advocacy immediately made sense to Monique’s theater group: After all, how do you address the problem of violence against women if you don’t include an indispensable element--men--in that contentious equation?
“Next month, New Voice expounds further on that theme by bringing onstage touching, rib-tickling and eye-opening stories of men from all walks of life: Artists, students, priests, gay and straight men, illegal Filipino workers abroad, macho dancers, businessmen, male prostitutes, military men, abused children, doctors, etc. Interestingly, it was easier for some of them to share their colorful stories or discuss their sexuality than answer questions like: 'What does it take to be a man?'”
[For tickets/inquiries, call 8965497 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org]