Belated Happy New Year, Three Kings Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Presidential Inauguration, Ati-atihan, Super Bowl, Chinese New Year and Lincoln’s Birthday greetings to everyone! And a Happy Valentine’s and President’s (Washington’s) Day in advance, too! Despite the bleak economic situation, what an auspicious way to roll out the carpet for the Sinag-tala Theatrical Revue’s 20th anninversary (ST2009) the first Sinag-tala Bulletin for the year! We’ve fortunately kept in touch by way of action alerts related to arts funding, SFTPAA board elections and other on-the-spot announcements but obviously other things have happened since the last bulletin. So let’s catch up:
1. GRRREAT 2008. The audience surveys validated what everyone felt – the 2008 Sinag-tala Theatrical Revue was a great show. Despite the competition from Manny Pacquiao on Gala Nite, our total gross receipts for the 3-day run were positive and our attendance overall was hardly affected if at all. But what mattered most was what most people didn’t see onstage – the off-stage hard work and passion that so many people had put into the production for months – from the contributing artists and teachers to the cast and their families, to the tireless production volunteers and to our many wonderful financial and in-kind supporters. The Sinag-tala company party, coordinated by Dagma Taraya and other volunteers, that followed a few days later at always-gracious Josie Domingo’s home was equally successful and enjoyable. As always, the party was highlighted by the hilarious impromptu spoofing of all the numbers from the show. Then there was the Christmas caroling campaign, which raised a good chunk of dollars through the kindness of care home owners and private families who warmly opened their homes and holiday parties to our singers. Our selfless Ninong and Ninang, Ernie and Mila Santos – with the help of their daughter Lynn Mitchell, who not only meticulously plotted the itineraries but also gave Ernie a GPS device as an early Christmas present – and other parents who solicited hosts or offered their own invitations deserve a lot of credit for the success of the campaign. We sang, strummed and drove all over two cities but also ate and ate and ate. Without us even knowing it or properly preparing for it, our singing ensemble was entered, and even placed third ($300 cash), in the Christmas Chorus Competition sponsored by the Seafood City/Kapitbahay Activities Center. But wait – there’s more! Despite the already hectic season, our untiring Touring Ensemble entertained the guests at the 50th wedding anniversary celebration thrown after Christmas by past board member Carmela Encina for her parents at the Holiday Inn Express. It was definitely a pleasure to be in Carmela’s family’s company again and we’re glad they enjoyed our Tinikling and Zamboanguena performances. We can’t thank everyone enough for that great, inspiring December. We especially hope that in keeping with our mission as a training company, everyone ended the year having learned new things – about the theater and performing arts, the realities of theater production, life as a nonprofit group and the Filipino heritage.
2. LET IT SHINE IN 2009. It’s a good thing it’s the year of the Ox because given what’s been happening lately it’s definitely time now for tenacity, determination and patience. We naturally want to treat 2009 in a very special way because we’re observing the 20th season of the Theatrical Revue. That will of course require that we work diligently to harness all the resources we can muster under challenging economic circumstances so that we can continue our present level of service to the community AND celebrate the anniversary in a fitting way as well. We’re preparing grant proposals and corporate solicitation materials as this bulletin is being written. But we will also need, more than ever, the support of young and mature community member alike in efforts to tap other funding sources. Please be prepared to share not only ideas but your time and effort. Some key local arts organizations, with operations many times larger than ours, are facing closure or drastic downscaling. The survival of quality arts programming in Sacramento faces a big threat. Fortunately, however, the SFTPAA is in relatively sound financial health – so far. But because all arts organizations will now be working much harder than ever to raise money from the same philanthropic well, we’ll have to double our efforts and fundraising creativity as well. Please watch out for our fundraising plans – better yet, please participate in the efforts that will be coming up. Let’s make sure that even in these hard times, things will be fine in 2009.
3. SFTPAA BY-LAWS AND BOARD ELECTIONS. Thanks to those who attended the SFTPAA General Membership meeting held at Kapitbahay on February 8, our By-laws have been updated and a 2009 Board of Directors was elected. Although the current Board still has to serve out its term through June 22, the new set of Board Directors was elected early in order to ensure a smooth transition between administrations. We welcome and congratulate the following returning and new Board members to the SFTPAA leadership: Dick Mazon, Sandi Corpuz, Gladys Imperio-Acosta, Cristine Lacerna, Marcy Basila and yours truly. Under the revised By-laws, the new Board will elect the SFTPAA officers from among themselves and will being serving staggered terms beginning on June 23. Until then, we mustn’t forget and be thankful for the 2 years of steadfast and great hands-on work invested in minding the Sinag-tala store by incumbents Dick Mazon, Raul Bernaldez, Kathy Kaulupali, Helena Piamonte, Sandi Corpuz, Andriana Castellano and yours truly. We must also remember that it’s not simple work, running a nonprofit arts organization. As members of the Sinag-tala Family, keep in mind that your active interest and involvement will continue to be the SFTPAA Board’s lifeline. The Board needs you. By the way, thanks to everyone who brought food to the meeting. There were definitely no complaints.
4. REYNA ON THE ANTHEM CIRCUIT. We’re so proud of the fact that over the years, various Sinag-tala performers have been sought by event organizers, sports franchises and community organizations to open their events with the Star Spangled Banner and the Pambansang Awit. The youngest Sinag-tala artist on record to join the ranks of frequently requested singers is 11-year-old Reyna Armour. Her recent appearances included this year’s massive Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration in front of the Sacramento Convention Center, plus repeat startups for Stockton Thunder and Sacramento Kings games. We know this is just the tip of the iceberg and that the gigs just keep rolling in. So keep breaking that proverbial leg, Reyna.
5. LORRAINE STARS IN FLOWER DRUM SONG. Undoubtedly one of our busiest musical theater artists, Lorraine De Arco is not only literally uphill these days in Nevada City but up there, too, in published reviews. She plays Linda Low in the Community Asian Theatre of the Sierra production of Henry David Hwang’s update of the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic, Flower Drum Song. And not surprisingly, the theater critics like her a lot. Lucky for everyone, the show’s run has been extended through February 21. Fill up the gas tank and carpool to the Nevada Theatre in Nevada City. Lorraine is always worth the drive. Break a leg, Lorraine! After all, it’s been a few years since a Sinag-tala artist (Brian Rivera) has been featured in one of CATS’ professional-quality productions. For details about the show and the reviews, visit:
6. ALAIA PERFORMS THIS WEEKEND. Fresh from her admirable choreographer’s apprenticeship (Kapayapaan) in Sinag-tala 2008, Alaia Lacerna is proving she hasn’t just been sitting pretty lately. She’s been warming up the floorboards with the Sheldon High School Universal Rhythm Dance Company, which will offering its annual Main Stage concert on February 12, 13 and 14 at the Sheldon High School Performing Arts Center. Alaia, who first joined the Sinag-tala company when she was only 11 and didn’t have the remotest plans to become a dancer, is one of our favorite “growing up Sinag-tala” stories. Due to limited seating, tickets are specific for each date and therefore not date-exchangeable. Also, tickets are cheaper if purchased in advance. For details, contact Alaia at Sillimonky200@comcast.net . Break a leg, Alaia!
7. DENNIS SERVES UP A VALENTINE CARNIVAL DE L’AMOUR. If you haven’t made Valentine plans yet, there could be a place on your to do list for something going on at the Sterling Hotel in downtown Sacramento under the auspices of Dennis Yep, InterAct’s Artistic Director. It’s the return of Carnival de L’amour, a cabaret-style dinner and theatre show that features original music built around a romantic story, in combination with 4-star fine dining. Last year, the show featured our own Meb Bajar with Dee Pizarro, Loui Paman and the TAAL Band and other performers. For details, contact Dennis Yep at 916-267-2780. Break a leg, Dennis and company!
8. “IMAJOENATION/PUNKY” LAROT AND THE JABBOWAKEEZ AT ARCO ARENA. Dick Mazon, SFTPAA Board President and Advisory Board Member for the Seafood City/Kapitbahay consortium, recently announced the confirmation of Filipino Heritage Nite at the Sacramento Kings-San Diego Clippers game on February 21. The main halftime entertainment feature will be the JabbaWokeeZ, named last year as MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew. As many know, JabbaWokeeZ was co-founded by Sinag-tala alumnus Joe “Imajoenation” Larot, also known as Punky Larot, in 2003. Other Fil-Am entertainers will also be performing. The event will partially benefit the nonprofit Philippine Heritage Foundation, which has been raising funds for a Filipino Community Center. There is a special package deal that includes admission, special seating, t-shirts and other perks. For information, contact Dick at 916-835-8387 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
9. EDITH GOES WHOLE-HEARTED. Typical of those soccer jocks who sign up with Sinag-tala not realizing the dancers within themselves, graceful Edith Montemayor, who also cut her apprentice choreographer’s teeth in ST2008 (Sayaw Sa Bangketa), is of course now a featured artist of the Fusion Dance Company, which will hold its Whole-hearted concert on February 27 at the Cosumnes Oaks High School. Among other things, the program includes Edith’s original tinikling choreography. Now a high school senior, Edith is another favorite growing up story. Also, she’ll be one of the instructors in the upcoming Sinag-tala Dance Academy. For details about Edith’s show, contact her at email@example.com . Break a leg, Edith!
10. ELIZABETH IN ELITE PRODUCTION COMPANY SHOWCASE. If you’re still reading, you’ll notice how magical the age of 11 has been for some Sinag-tala youths. That applies to Elizabeth Green, who’s that age if not just past it. She will be tapping, jazz-ing, ballet-ing, modern-ing, hip-hopping, Polynesian-ing and who knows what else on February 28 with the Elite Production Company at its annual Showcase and Pasta Dinner fundraiser at the Toby Johnson Middle School. You know how important it is to support young artists, so we hope you’ll save a little room for pasta and mentally work off the carbs as you watch Elizabeth dance. For details, send an e-mail to Febelyn Acosta-Green at Febelyn@aol.com . Break a leg, Elizabeth!
11. ANGELA PUT SOME STEPS IN VENUS. Belated congratulations to Angela-Dee Alforque, who choreographed dance sequences for Venus, the Suzan Lori Parks play produced last month by City Theatre, the mainstage company of Sacramento City College’s theatre department. The show was directed by Kim McCann-Lawson.
12. RALEY’S FIELD AND OTHER TOURING ENSEMBLE BOOKINGS. The Sinag-tala Theater Ensemble has been booked to perform on May 4 at the Raley’s Field Concourse for the Filipino Heritage Day game between the Sacramento Rivercats and the Reno Aces. There may be other bookings before that. Other expected bookings are the Pacific Rim Street Fest on May 17, the Filipino Fiesta on June 7, the Sacramento Zoo sometime in June, and the California State Fair sometime in August. All 2008 ensemble performers are encouraged to e-mail us ASAP about their availability in 2009. Auditions for newcomers will be announced soon, and so will forthcoming training sessions and rehearsals. Meanwhile, if you know others who are interested in booking the ensemble, please let them know we prefer a couple months’ notice if not more because of our unusual repertoire and preparations. Also, while we occasionally perform gratis under exceptional circumstances, we urge organizers to consider budgeting for performers’ fees because we, too, incur operating expenses. Agents may contact SFTPAA’s booking manager, Sandi Corpuz, at firstname.lastname@example.org .
13. JOIN THE ALUMNI ANNIVERSARY ADVISORY TEAM. We’re slightly behind schedule in launching this, but it’s not too late to gather as many interested Sinag-ala alumni as we can find to discuss ideas with us about how we can make the 20th anniversary the most meaningful milestone possible. To us, an alumnus is defined as anyone who has been involved with the Theatrical Revue at any time, in any capacity, during the period of 1999 through 2008. This includes resident artists, training participants, performers, production staff and volunteers, donors and supporters. It’s very important that each of the years of the Revue’s existence is represented in the discussions. We are especially interested in individuals who have not provided us with current contact information prior to 2008. Many were minors when we last had contact with them and have since changed names, postal/e-mail addresses, and phone numbers. We encourage everyone to think not only of this year’s production itself but other activities or projects and events that could happen prior to or after the first weekend of December. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you’re interested. The more the merrier and the more historically comprehensive our efforts will be. We’ll be announcing a meeting soon.
14. GOT YOUR COPY OF FILIPINAS MAGAZINE? Remember: good publicity means EVERYTHING. The December 2008 issue of the internationally-circulated Filipinas Magazine featured a nice article by Alex Paman about the Sinag-tala Theatrical Revue and the SFTPAA. It’s not often that a feature article about us reaches that many people, so from a marketing point of view consider it a very fortunate thing for us that the magazine chose us as a story subject. We must do all we can to draw a lot of attention to both the Theatrical Revue’s 20th anniversary and the need for monetary and volunteer support for our work. If you haven’t seen the article yet, visit www.filipinasmag.com and look up the archives listings for December 2008. Photocopies will also be made available at the Sinag-tala Studio. Share the article with as many people as possible. Keep a copy or two in your briefcase, binder and glove compartment. Upload it to your computer so you can show it to potential grantors, VIP Sponsors, corporate donors and private contributors. Use it also to get alumni to come out of the woodwork to help plan our anniversary observance. Use it to validate your pitch to potential resident artists, company members and families who should be enjoying the cultural, educational and artistic benefits of our free training program, if not contributing to it. If you’re already doing any of these, thank you so much.
15. EARLY PREPARATIONS FOR ST2009. Another premise we go by is that the earlier we plan for the Revue, the better. We will be releasing a proposed ST2009 production schedule soon. Expect this year to be busier than past years because of the combined demands of keeping afloat and planning an anniversary during this economic period. Please consider keeping your calendars are open as possible and planning your commitments early. Try your best to avoid scheduling extended vacations or major projects during the Fall. Support and be part of as many SFTPAA fundraisers, meetings, work activities and social gatherings as you can. Meanwhile, give us your artistic suggestions for the show. Musical recordings, literary material, scripts, scores, dance concepts, training curricula, set design sketches, costume designs and anything else that will help us shape the content and quality of the revue are all welcome. We welcome suggestions for individual pieces, but we prefer that thought be given to assembling pieces that are thematically related into segments. We also welcome original creative material developed by members of the Sinag-tala Family themselves. This can include original musical compositions or lyrics, original literary or theatrical pieces and original dance choreography. If we go according to plan, we should have a solid program by May or June. Also, please don’t wait until August to begin helping us find potential donors and sponsors for the show. We’ll be developing solicitation materials soon, but if you need letters or other materials before then, let us know. By the way, volunteers with strong written and oral communications experience are very much needed.
We’ll leave things at that for the moment. Until the next bulletin, thanks for your support. Keep warm and stay in touch.
CEO & Artistic Director
Sinag-tala Filipino Theater and Performing Arts Association
A Tax-exempt 501(c)(3) Non-profit Organization