Hello there, everyone. It’s that time again to catch up on what’s happened recently in the busy Sinag-tala world or that we can look forward to soon. As you know, there’s never a shortage of news. Here’s what we’ve rounded up for this edition:
1. HEARTFELT THANKS TO KAISER AND STATE EMPLOYEES. The SFTPAA is very blessed to continue to receive very generous support from Kaiser-Permanente and California State Government employees who participate in their respective ongoing worksite payroll deduction programs. Some of them prefer not to be publicly acknowledged. So to play it safe, we haven’t mentioned names so far. But if you’re one of these donors and won’t mind us releasing your names, kindly let us know. We must add that some of these supporters have been quietly donating for years with little or no recognition in return, and are therefore very dear to us. Thank you, esteemed friends. If you’re a Kaiser or State employee but haven’t signed up yet for your worksite giving program, or if you work for another employer with a similar program, we encourage you to consider participating. It’s easy, safe and convenient – and any amount, no matter how small, can be pledged.
2. WE OWE RICHARD PASALO. A couple of bulletins ago, we thanked various Sinag-tala alumni who are now associated with youth-oriented performing groups such as Press P.L.A.Y. for proudly citing their Sinag-tala experience in the bios they submit for souvenir programs. One alumnus we regrettably overlooked was Richard Pasalo, who is a key artistic leader in Press P.L.A.Y. and who devotes himself to a string of community service projects. He attributes his onstage and leadership confidence to his Sinag-tala learning days and thoughtfully points it out in his list of credits. Thanks for mentioning us, Richard, and for continuing to extend your choreographic and dancing gifts to other youths. Keep up the great work.
3. WHEN HOLDING ON TO CASH IS LITERALLY HARD. Some still-unclaimed cash was found at the Studio recently after a recent rehearsal. If you think it belongs to you, please e-mail me some details that will help us verify that it was yours. Otherwise, it will be gladly added as an anonymous donation to the SFTPAA general fund.
4. A SENSATION AT THE SHERATON HOTEL. Congratulations go to the Sinag-tala Theater Ensemble for the wonderful program it put on for its first major booking of the year at the Justo wedding reception last May 3 at the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Sacramento. Under the artistic oversight of Booking Manager/Stage Manager/Emcee Sandi Corpuz, Assistant Director/Choreographer Krystle Jong and Choreographer Gladys Imperio-Acosta, the company performing that evening included Febelyn Acosta-Green, Dio Agustin, Cesar Atalig, Ashley Bates, Bryan Briones, Amanda Corpuz, Jennifer Domingo, Josie Domingo, Edison Dominguez, Heile Gantan, Elizabeth Green, Jasmine Henderson, Shawn Henderson, Krystle Jong, Kenny Kaulupali, Alaia Lacerna, Dick Mazon, Martin Sinlao, Alexia Sanchez, Nicole Sanchez, Aljohn Tabion, Ariana Taraya and Cece Torralba. Congratulations also go to parents Febelyn Acosta-Green, Josie Domingo, Leonard Nisay, Jackie Sanchez, Frank Sanchez and Dagma Taraya for running the backstage operations besides hauling costumes and props. Remember – the touring artists work hard all year to raise funds for and increase awareness about the SFTPAA – be sure to thank them personally when you see them.
4. NECKS CRANED TO SEE JASMINE AND SANDI. Because the audience seats were level, many attendees at the 2008 Local Hero Awards held on May 6 at the KVIE Public Television studio either stood up or peered between the heads in front of them during the InterACT staged adaptation of excerpts from the true story, Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes. Among others, the cast featured our own Jasmine Henderson and real-life mom Sandi Corpuz in inspiring portrayals of the famous ill-fated Japanese youngster and her mother. As a toddler, Sadako Sasaki developed leukemia after the Word War II atomic bombing of Hiroshima and is celebrated for her pursuit of a Japanese belief that if one were able to fold a thousand origami cranes, his or her wish would come true. Her wish as she slowly died was for world peace. Directed by Dennis Yep and co-starring Heddy Chiang, the performance was part of the entertainment featured during the award ceremonies. By the way, Jasmine has toured local schools and other venues for a couple of years now in the role of Sadako and really deserves our applause.
5. MORE TOURING ENSEMBLE DATES. We weren’t kidding when we warned that they would be busy this year. As goodwill ambassadors and – when fortune comes along – fundraising foot soldiers, our Sinag-tala Theater Ensemble performers face a hectic itinerary. The company’s next engagement will be at 11:45 AM on Sunday, May 18 during the Pacific Rim Street Fest. We will perform on the River Front Stage, near the Yellow Schoolhouse and the Tower Bridge in Old Sacramento. The event is free to the public, so we hope to see a lot of you there. Following that will be the 4th International Kids Day at Fair Oaks Park on Saturday, May 31. Then there will be the Asian Community Fortune Festival on June 7 in the Sears Parking Lot on Florin Road and 65th Street in Sacramento, followed by the Filipino Fiesta on June 8 at the Rizal Community Center. At 6:00PM on Sunday, June 29, the ensemble will entertain the congregation at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Elk Grove. Those who wish to perform with the touring ensemble must attend the training and rehearsal sessions. If you’re interested but have not received the rehearsal schedule for the May 18 Pacific Rim booking, please let me know. Rehearsals for Ito Ang Gusto Ko start tonight. The schedules for the other bookings will be announced soon. Those who have not auditioned yet but would like to be in the touring ensemble should contact me ASAP to arrange for auditions.
6. ANGELA-DEE ALFORQUE ANNOUNCES FREE CITY COLLEGE EVENTS. Having connections to what seems to be the only community college ethnic theater program hereabouts is nice because we get to learn about rare theater events that genuinely delve into less-explored aspects of cultural diversity in theater and film. Sinag-tala Associate Director/Choreographer and Sacramento City College ethnic theater professor Angela-Dee Alforque has helped arrange for three upcoming events that we encourage everyone to support. The first is a student-produced and -directed play that will be presented by one of her students, Jamellah Kiswani, at 6:00PM on Sunday, May 11 in the Little Theater (aka Room A-6) in the Humanities Division Building at City College. Admission is free. The second is a free lecture by celebrated Pakistani-American playwright Bina Sharif on Monday, May 12 at 3:00PM in the Sacramento City College Main Auditorium. On Tuesday, May 13, at 1:00PM Ms. Sharif will appear in her own one-woman play, Afghan Woman, in the SCC Art Court Theatre. Admission will also be free. Afghan Woman offers a forceful and moving perspective on the impact that the bombing of Afghanistan after 9/11 had on the Middle Easter community. Given that we who are Filipino shake our heads when others seem to misunderstand our heritage and history, these events are all very much worth our checking out.
7. FEBELYN ACOSTA-GREEN’S MUSIC VIDEO APPEARANCE. This is technically belated news, but it was a pleasant surprise to see Febelyn Acosta-Green’s familiar face in I-Hotel, a music video produced in 2005 by the Bay Area-based band The Autonomous Region in conjunction with the Little Manila Heritage Foundation. The video included Rise of the I-Hotel, a documentary on the 28-year struggle for fair and affordable housing that was punctuated by the dramatic 1977 eviction of the residents of San Francisco’s International Hotel, many of them elderly Filipinos. The song I-Hotel won the 2008 DIY Festival Award for best video music. But back to Febelyn – she played various roles, although the film credits list her as one of the evicted tenants. Congratulations to Febelyn and her son Chris, who also appears onscreen, for helping to preserve the memory of the I-Hotel saga – a part of Filipino American history everyone should study.
8. ST 2008 PRODUCTION MEETING. The next ST 2008 Production Meeting will be held at 7:00PM on Sunday, May 25 at the Sinag-tala Studio, 8275 Florin Road. Among the agenda topics will be plans for a food booth at the Filipino Fiesta on June 8 as well as plans for the big July 26 Reunion and Kick-off Picnic.
Both activities are going to be really BIG deals, and Aida Encarnado and Raul Bernaldez, who are key workers behind them, will need a LOT of input and a lot of volunteer help. Please come to the meeting because we need you. We don’t mind people bringing food
9. FUNDRAISING IS A COMMUNITY EFFORT. This isn’t to say that we are financially unstable, but as most of us know, our enthusiasm level outstretches our treasury. Some may wonder why, even as we talk about our generous supporters and donors, we continue to look for financial support. The reason is simple: it costs a lot of money to run and maintain our programs. Studio space, performance venues, sound and light system rentals, insurance, printing, advertising, costumes, sets, storage and transportation comprise just a portion of operational costs, and these costs only tend to rise with inflation. Thanks to volunteer labor and in-kind assistance, we are able to get by with what we gratefully receive through grants, corporate help, ticket sales, touring ensemble fees and donations from the general public. But extremely kind as all these givers have been, it takes a lot of hard, year-round work to cultivate donors and to sustain the giving process, especially in hard times. And even then, we still have to skimp in certain areas in order to do affordable work of reasonable quality. We always wish we could do more. The key is to remember that we offer free and unique training and learning to community members who are otherwise not reached by many mainstream, larger-budget arts programs or even by schools. We could charge large participant fees as mainstream community arts organizations typically do, but our mission is to reach the broadest numbers of underserved people who do not readily pursue the arts due to different barriers, including economic and ethnic barriers. With your help, we can continue to fill the theater and performing arts training void in the Filipino and similar communities in ways that since 1990 no other programs have done. Please donate generously to the SFTPAA.
That’s it for now. Thanks for supporting the SFTPAA. Remember – if you didn’t see any typos in this bulletin you may not have read everything. Take care!
CEO and Artistic Director