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Jessica Hagedorn

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  1. 96 pages
  2. English
  3. ePUB (mobile friendly)
  4. Available on iOS & Android
eBook - ePub


Jessica Hagedorn

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About This Book

Jessica Hagedorn has transformed her bestselling novel about the Philippines during the reign of Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos into an equally powerful theatrical piece that is a multi-layered tour de force. As Harold Bloom writes, "Hagedorn expresses the conflicts experienced by Asian immigrants caught between cultures... she takes aim at racism in the U.S. and develops in her dramas the themes of displacement and the search for belonging."

Jessica Hagedorn is a performance artist, poet, novelist and playwright, born and raised in the Philippines. Her novels include Dogeaters (Penguin 1990) which was nominated for a National Book Award and The Gangster of Love (Penguin 1996); a short story collection, Danger and Beauty (City Lights 2002).

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Radios of all shapes and sizes—antique, modern—litter the stage. Lights up on the company—some holding transistor radios, others merely listening. We hear the sound of station-surfing: news bulletins, snatches of Tagalog pop songs, jangly commercials, American disco, etc. These radio fragments are spoken by the company.
President Ferdinand Marcos and First Lady Imelda Marcos have been invited to visit the White House by President Ronald Reagan and First Lady Nancy . . . The second day of the jeepney strike has escalated into . . . Finalists for the Miss Philippines contest include Daisy Avila, daughter of . . . Protests against the U.S. bases continue to . . . Two hundred dead or missing when yesterday’s earthquake . . . The Manila International Film Festival . . . Concerns about rising unemployment, inflation and lawlessness . . . A ribbon-cutting ceremony to inaugurate the First Lady’s spectacular Manila Film Center . . . Twenty-one NPA rebels were reported killed in a skirmish with military troops in the province of . . . The peso continues to fall while the dollar . . . President Marcos has . . . At 6:21 this morning, in the lobby of the Inter-Continental Hotel, Senator Domingo Avila—
(Senator Avila steps out of the “crowd” of actors.
Gunshots. We see Senator Avila collapse. Lights down.)
Fun and Games
TITLE PROJECTION: “Dat’s Entertainment!”
Fanfare and music as lights come up on Nestor Noralez and Barbara Villanueva— flamboyant, eternal stars of radio, stage and screen.
NESTOR: At magandang gabi, ladies and gentlemen! This is your host, the ever-handsome Nestor Noralez—
BARBARA: and your co-host—
NESTOR: the perennial sweetheart of the Philippines, the ever lovely and everlasting—
BARBARA: Barbara Villanueva. Welcome to a tropical fiesta, your “show of shows.”
NESTOR: The longest-running soap opera in the Philippines.
BARBARA: Stories of courage, resistance, resignation and redemption.
NESTOR: Unforgettable characters!
BARBARA: “The Survivor.”
(Disco music. An anonymous room. Lights up on Joey Sands—a partially dressed Afro-Filipino hustler around sixteen years old. He goes through his trick’s belongings, finds a wallet, steals money.)
JOEY (Softly, to offstage trick): Sige, baby. See you later alligator, okay baby? (Blows offstage trick a kiss)
NESTOR: “The Tormented Beauty Queen.”
(Lights up on Daisy Avila, a crown on her head, waving to the audience.)
BARBARA: “The Anguished Exile . . .”
(Lights up on Rio Gonzaga at the airport.)
“The Penitent.”
(Lights up on Leonor Ledesma, wife of General Ledesma, praying.)
NESTOR: So many stories! A vaudeville of doomed love, shameless desire, dreams and longing. Someone always laughs, someone always cries, someone always dies.
(Echo of gunshots.)
BARBARA: “Dat’s Entertainment!” talaga. Ay, dios ko! (Fanning herself) It’s so hot! So stultifying and hot, di ba?
NESTOR: Just like you, Barbara.
BARBARA (Swatting Nestor with her fan): Hoy, Nestor! Bastus ka talaga!
NESTOR: I can’t help myself. Let’s not forget, we must never forget—
BARBARA: we’re in the torrid zone.
(Ambient jungle sounds: birds and crickets chirping, monkeys screeching.)
NESTOR: Ay, Barbara. Our guest tonight is one of the first white men to write about us and make a big, big splash.
BARBARA (Thrilled): President McKinley?
NESTOR: Who’s President McKinley? We never ...

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