Yesterday was the press preview for the play, I actually did not know what to expect. I was thinking it was going to be more of a press conference but they apparently had us preview the whole play- sans the full production, staging and all.
There were three stories. Kiriring, Aida and Macaraig.
She was a mail-order bride in the 90s and she ended up with a sadist who abused her in Texas. She was raped by other men and physically abused. It was a monologue and the actress very well carried the entire piece. She talked about how her friends turned their backs on her. She talked about how politicians used her story and then left her to face all the discrimination on her own. She talked about her dreams to have a better life.
This was a heterosexual couple where the husband came home devastated from being rejected for employment abroad after getting tested positive for HIV. It wasn’t until his disclosure that the wife disclosed her HIV status, the husband was angry with her failure to disclose. He was about to hurt her when she said she was pregnant, and the man backed off. She talked about her need for love as she was disowned by family and friends. She tried to convince her husband that they will go see a doctor to seek advice, and try to live normal lives. But the husband was immersed in his own stigma.
Shane was the goodlooking (and hot) MSM who lived with his 4 year (supposedly) hetero-BF. Shane because of unprotected multiple sex partners turned out HIV+ and decided to call the relationship off. In the process of the break up, he disclosed his status to his partner. The partner, Macaraig, was devastated.
From a PLHIV’s point of view
I salute the writers for their brave effort to show the different struggles of people living with HIV. There were issues like disclosures, misconceptions, emotional and psychosocial turmoils, acceptance (& rejection), betrayal, shattered (& battered) dreams. I did not take much technical note of the terms within the script, after all, issues like the term AIDS misused instead of HIV, has long been a real issue in the community especially in the 90s (and even now). There were different populations at risk showcased in the play which gave me a deeper appreciation of the writers’ creativity to include most of those at risk. There were struggles highlighted from the perspective of the PLHIV and those affected by HIV shown in the play.
It was a well written play considering we never really had the balls to mainstream plays such as this. Wit was evident in a lot of the lines and (according to the introduction), they modernized the play as it was written in the 90s.
I also like the way they play did not force to spoonfeed HIV101. Aida was the only one who mentioned some misconceptions and I even felt it was forced– but no, the entirety does not force any information in the hope of educating people.
I was looking for the parts where stigma was blatantly shut down, but then I realized, the play in itself taking such courageous effort to show the lives (and losses) of those living with and affected by HIV is a giant step against stigma and discrimination.
And no, I shall not blog about the staging and acting I witnessed during the preview.
I wish that the cast spent time with real people living with HIV, people who would have more or less fit the profiles of the roles they had in the play. I wish 101 was conducted for the cast so a deeper understanding of what the play was all about would have been inculcated among the actors and the team.
And yes, I wish more plays like this would come out in the future.
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@WYN1221 @Mike_Foxxxx @DvocateHIV , Plays are on Feb 19 (600pesos reserved seating at Teatrino Greenhills, 8PM) and Feb 20 4PM (400pesos free seating, CAP Amorsolo, Makati), Quoted prices are discounted.