Monday, October 8, 2012

Performances | Taking the New York stage at Nuyorican Poets Café, Oct. 12 and Oct. 13

NEW YORK CITY |  I am raising my voice and performing my own work to my community.

On October 12th and October 13th at 7:00 pm, I will perform a new piece I've written in Tagalogue, a night of original creative works and theatrical pieces about Filipino American identity, at the world-famous Nuyorican Poets Café on Manhattan's Lower East Side.

This two-performance evening belongs to the calendar of official events supported by the Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS)'s Metro New York chapter in commemoration of Filipino American History Month of October 2012.

I will perform a monologue from a new work still-in-progress. It is an original piece of writing, inspired by the research I did in the the FANHS archives  in Seattle and Asian American labor-union archives which reside in the University of Washington. Prior to Tagalogue, I workshopped this new piece while I participated in the 2011 New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) Immigrant Artist Project.

The cast of Tagalogue, Volume 2
Tagalogue will be performed on Friday, October 12 and Saturday, October 13, 2012. Doors open 6:30pm. The show begins at 7pm at the Nuyorican Poets Café (236 East 3rd Street, New York, NY).

Dubbed "Volume 2," this second edition follows a first edition of Tagalogue which was presented this past summer. Both Tagalogue projectd share with the audience the Filipino experience within the United States, through creative original works and the voices of Filipino Americans.

Tagalogue is a platform to unify and strengthen the community through performance art and education.  In celebration of Filipino American History Month, these original works document and write history as these are stories that question being Filipino, American, Filipino American, and more.

Tagalogue brings to the stage, a line from Jose Rizal’s novel El Filibusterismo: “While a people preserves its language; it preserves the marks of liberty…”

Tagalogue is a play on words suggesting a collection of monologues and dialogues speaking of the Filipino identity, which if spoken in their native tongue would be spoken in Tagalog.  Add the “ue” to the end of their language (turning Tagalog into Tagalogue), and you have a colorfully expressive theater piece that tells the stories of recent generations as their culture and identity merges with American culture.  They are defining who they are and rediscovering the commonalities of who we are all striving to become.

Performers/Writers: Jessica Abejar, Joelle, Abejar, Anton Briones, Alfretz Costelo, Andre Dimapilis, Leslie Espinosa, Philippe Garcesto, Randy Gener, Maria Gregorio, Erika Pineda, Julian Pormentilla, Precious Sipin, Lorely Trinidad and Robert Wolf.

Their stories create a snapshot of what it is like to be Filipino American in New York City in 2012.  The performers relive experiences, share ideas, and pose meaningful questions while they celebrate their heritage.

Tagalogue is created and produced by Leslie Espinosa. Other producers are Precious Sipin and Kilusan Bautista. Grant Thomas is the evening's director.

Nuyorican Poets Cafe presents groundbreaking works of literature, music, theater, performance art, poetry slam, hip hop, visual art and champions established as well as rising artists from every background imaginable.

Friday, October 12 and Saturday, October 13, 2012
Doors open 6:30pm and Show begins at 7pm

At the Nuyorican Poets Café
236 East 3rd Street
New York, NY

Tickets are $15
Find tickets online at and also available at the door

For more info go to or email

In performance at Tagalogue, Volume 1, in July 2012 | Photo by  Chauncey Velasco

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