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P.O. Box 31928
San Francisco, CA, 94131-0928

A space to encourage writing of Filipino American literature and the arts




Philippine American Writers and Artists blog for lit/arts events, reviews, news, and opportunities.

Filtering by Tag: Bindlestiff Studio

09/29/2012: PAWA Night at Luis Francia's The Strange Case of Citizen de la Cruz


Saturday, September 29, 2012 at 8:00pm


Bindlestiff Studio presents the World Premiere of

Luis Francia's "The Strange Case of Citizen de la Cruz"

Directed by Jeffrey Lo With Tasi Alabastro, Rose Almario, Percival Arcibal, C. Jugueta, Ryan Morales, Jed Parsario, Lee Robin Salazar, and Patrick Silvestre

Luis Francia's "The Strange Case of Citizen de la Cruz" is a two-act political thriller that follows the evolution of the eponymous protagonist from mild-mannered husband with a sexual dysfunction to a risk-taking government agent whose virility is awakened by his missions. With measured amounts of satire, Luis Francia's play speaks on issues of radical nationalism--its effects and its outcome--with characters and situations that take aim at the manners and mores of Philippine politics. For mature audiences only. NOT FOR CHILDREN.

Runs through October 13th, 800PM Thu-Sat, 800PM curtain Sun, October 7th only, 200PM

TICKETS: $20 Support-the-Artists (The extra $5 goes a long way in helping keep the lights on!) $15 General $10 Students/Seniors (Valid Student IDs will be required at the box office)

Bindlestiff Studio is located at 185 Sixth @Howard in San Francisco's South of Market District.

WEBSITE: PHONE: 415-255-0440

ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT Luis Francia is a celebrated poet, journalist, and creative nonfiction writer. His semiautobiographical account of growing up in the Philippines, Eye of the Fish: A Personal Archipelago, won both the 2002 PEN American Open Book and the 2002 Asian American Writers literary awards. His poetry books include The Arctic Archipelago and Museum of Absences. He is the author of Memories of Overdevelopment: Reviews and Essays of Two Decades; the editor of Brown River, White Ocean: An Anthology of Twentieth Century Philippine Literature in English; and co-editor of Flippin': Filipinos on America, and of Vestiges of War: The Philippine-American War and the Aftermath of an Imperial Dream, 1899-1999. He is included in numerous anthologies, the latest being the Library of America's Four Centuries of Immigrant Writing (2009). Two books were released in 2010: Beauty of Ghosts (Quezon city: Ateneo de Manila University Press), a chapbook, and From Indio to Filipino: A Brief History of the Philippines (New York: Overlook Press). He has written for a number of publications, including the Village Voice, the Nation, Asiaweek, and the Far Eastern Economic Review. Francia teaches at New York University and Hunter College.

FB event page is here.

02/11/2012: A special Valentine Weekend staged reading of South Bay playwright Jeffrey Lo’s "A Kind Of Sad Love Story"


When: Feb 11 at 7:30pm Location: Bindlestiff Studio Cost: Suggested donation of $5 or more

Directed by Michelle Talgarow Featuring Bentz Valliao, Mary Ann Lumba, Nico Formalejo, Percival Arcibal, and Andrea Mapili. With Byron Abalos.

A twentysomething couple try to make sense of what could have led a seemingly perfect relationship to break down the night all he wanted to do was cook spaghetti.

ANDREW: This… is a sad love story. EMILY: It’s not sad. ANDREW: A very sad love story. EMILY: It’s kind of happy really.

02/01 - 02/23/2012: STANDUP STIFFIES "Tight Five" COMEDY WORKSHOP (Bindlestiff, SF)


Course Length: 7 classes – 2 to 3 hours each (16 hours total) & Grad Show! Location: Bindlestiff Studio Instructor: Comic - Allan Manalo Cost: $160 [Early Bird Special $99]

DATES: Wed. Feb 1 from 7p - 9p (2 hrs) Fri. Feb. 3 from 7p - 9p (2 hrs) Thurs. Feb. 9 from 7p - 9p (2 hrs) Fri. Feb. 10 from 7p - 9p (2 hrs) Sat. Feb. 11 from 12p - 3p (3 hrs) Optional Wed. Feb. 15 from 7 - 9p (2 hrs) Sat. Feb. 18 from 12p - 3p (3 hrs) Wed. Feb. 22 at 7pm Wordy Word Open Mic Thurs. Feb. 23 at 8pm Graduation Show!

So you heard the magic words from friends and relatives – “You’re so funny.. YOU SHOULD BE A COMEDIAN!” Now you think you’re the next Dave Chappelle, Louis CK, or Margaret Cho? Then this class is NOT for you.... But, if you’re a true masochist and don’t mind feeling inches tall as drunk patrons heckle your every word, then welcome to the true world of standup comedy. This class will teach you the basics of standup comedy and will prepare you for a 3 to 5 minute set you will perform in a live graduation show at Bindlestiff Studio

This 16-HOUR workshop will cover the basics in classic standup comedy including: - Comfort on Stage - Microphone Technique - How to Find Material - How to Write a Joke: Setting up + Punchlines - Comic Timing - Stage Persona, Characterization and Point-Of-View - Various Standup Styles (video and audio examples of today’s hottest comics) - The “Tight Five” - Open Mics - Crowd Control: Reading an audience and handling hecklers - The Comedy Ladder - Other Gigs: Comedy Writer’s Life

The class will culminate in a special STANDUP STIFFIES [GRADUATION] COMEDY SHOW for grads of this class. The show will be in front of a live audience at Bindlestiff Studio

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR: Allan S. Manalo began his standup comedy career in San Francisco when the Internet was were you placed your raw chicken bait when crabbing. He has performed at various comedy clubs and college campuses through out 46-States, 2 continents, and 23 steak houses. He has a college degree in Theatre Arts, a B.S. in BS and has taught standup comedy in 2 countries.

12/01 - 12/17/2011: Bindlestiff Studio and Guerrilla Rep present Kat Evasco's "Mommy Queerest"


Bindlestiff Studio and Guerrilla Rep present the first run of a developing new work "Mommy Queerest"

When: Dec 1 to Dec 17; 8 pm

Tickets: sliding scale $15 – $25 | available online at Brown Paper Tickets or by calling 800.838.3006

Can a mother and daughter really share the closet?

Bindlestiff Studio and Guerrilla Rep are proud to present Kat Evasco in Mommy Queerest, written by Kat Evasco & John Caldon and directed by John Caldon. If Margaret Cho and Ellen Degeneres conceived a lesbian love baby, she would have nothing on this hilarious Bay Area actor and stand-up comic. Don’t miss Kat’s hard-earned lessons on staying classy while ho'ing around, reverse-colonizing America, and figuring out how to get your mom to come out of the closet.

Mommy Queerest begins with Kat having the earth-shattering realization that she and her mother are both lesbian. Too bad her mom hasn’t figured it out yet—despite the fact she’s been living with her partner since Kat was six years old! After a spectacularly failed attempt to share this epiphany with her mom, Kat lurches through her own teenage sexploration with guys and girls, trying to figure out how she fits in with her family, community, and self. After a decade of attempting to educate this wayward parent about what it means to be lesbian, she discovers there is still a thing or two she can learn from her mom.

Drawing on her experience as a stand-up comic and comedic actress, Kat narrates this unconventional coming out tale with sharp wit and unflinchingly honest self-revelation. She tackles conflict with humorous insight while illustrating the experience of being a Filipina lesbian, gay Christian, survivor of sexual abuse, and young American who is just trying to get some. "This show is half payback to my mom for making me come out for both of us and half love letter to her for making me who I am," Kat says, "She's terrified I'm exposing every skeleton in our family closet--and she should be. I might be Filipina American, but cultural silence is non-existent in my world, so like an eager exhibitionist I'm letting it all hang out. "

"Kat Evasco seems confident in everything she does; certainly not a bad thing, far from it!" — EDGE Publications

11/10 - 11/19/2011: Bindlestiff Studio presents Forgetting the Details

bjanepr Forgetting the Details A One-Woman Show by Nicole Maxali Directed by Paul Stein

Show dates: Nov 10, 11, 12 at 8pm Nov 13 at 3pm Nov 17, 18, 19 at 8pm

Tickets: Available via Brown Paper Tickets

Things aren't right at home. Nicole’s lola (Tagalog for grandmother) is starting to forget more and more details. But now it's more than misplaced keys. In a span of three months she changes the locks on all the doors, starts driving on the wrong side of the street and shoplifts Rocawear and Sean John outfits from Serramonte Mall. As the family struggles through her grandmother's descent into dementia, Nicole faces the conflict between being a respectful Filipina apo (Tagalog for granddaughter) or pursuing her American dream of being the first Filipina-American actress to win an Oscar. What's a Fil-Am girl to do?

Described by Comedian Dave Chappelle as “funny, heartwarming and funny again,” Forgetting the Details is an endearing performance piece that captures the unwavering love between a lola and apo. Nicole Maxali's one-woman show will make you laugh, cry and remind you that in the end, it's not the details that matter.

10/27 - 10/29/2011: Final Performances of Death of a Player (Bindlestiff Studio)


Bindlestiff Studio and PMSTA presents DEATH OF A PLAYER

Bindlestiff Studio San Francisco, CA

After a 3 year break and with a few new cast mates, Filipina American Women's theater group, PMSTA (Pinays Maintaining Sisterhood Through Art) is coming back in full force with a new show, "DEATH OF A PLAYER." Written by Aureen Almario, Andrea Almario, Shannon Pacaoan, Ava Tong, and Christina Ying, "DEATH OF A PLAYER" pushes the idea that in living life to the fullest, one must die to fully live. Initially conceived as a show that lamented loss of youth and innocence, it has since then evolved into a thoughtful, provocative look into the phases of womanhood, decisions made at each intersection, and living and dying with chosen life paths. With a live band incorporating indie, hip-hop, show tunes, and everything in between, the show is sure to provoke with the absurd truths of larger than life theater. Stories include a mail-order-bride game show that shouldn't be so funny, but is; a murder mystery of a cheating lover, where there is no mystery as to who done it; a look at dying early - or wishing one could to hear heartfelt eulogies of one's greatness; the undoing of a family when someone discovers a hole and an electronic eye in the bathroom; a woman's search in finding herself, but is sidetracked by an old lover that returns; and finally three different women are trapped in a apocalyptic zombie era, to find out that one holds a deep secret; how will they survive and will they survive? Directed by A. Fajilan; writing facilitation by Gayle Romasanta; and produced by Maggie Suarez-Calixton. This production is not to be missed! "DEATH OF A PLAYER" will be presented in October 2011 at the newly reconstructed Bindlestiff Studio, 185 Sixth Street in the South of Market Area, SF.

WHEN:             October 13-16, 20-22 and 27-29 Thursdays through Saturdays, 800PM Matinees (October 15-16, 22, and 29), 200PM

WHERE:          Bindlestiff Studio 185 Sixth Street, San Francisco, CA  94103

More info:

Review: Bindlestiff Studio and PMSTA’s “Death of a Player”


Bindlestiff Studio and PMSTA’s “Death of a Player,” reviewed by Bruce Reyes-Chow: The main reason that I took my daughter to see the show was not only because it was a production by PMSTA, but because I want to support the work and mission of The Bindlestiff Studio especially upon their return to operation.

From the Bindlestiff Website:

Originally opened in 1989, Bindlestiff Studio became the only permanent, community-based performing arts venue in the nation dedicated to showcasing emerging Filipino American and Pilipino artists.

Bindlestiff Studio provides the often under-served Filipino American community access to diverse offerings in theatrical productions, music and film festivals, workshops in directing, production, acting, stand-up comedy, and writing, as well as a children and youth theater program.

Bindlestiff Studio cultivates artists, who reflect and celebrate the diverse values, traditions, and histories of Pilipino and Filipino American cultures, through bold artistic expression and community engagement.

It is so important for small, focused venues like this to exist in order to provide exposure and opportunity: exposure to a larger audience of a community’s complex history, struggles and accomplishments and an opportunity for those from that community to have a venue to express those stories in creative and unique ways.  I am glad to see that Bindlestiff Studio is back in business and ready to lift up and share the voices and expressions of the Filipino American experience.


overall this was a wonderful production for its context, passion and moments of solid acting.  Knowing that any “review” is a matter of perspective and opinion, I am not going to call anyone out in particular, but rather I want to lift up the performances that really touched me.

In no particular order, my three favorite performances were:

Pretty Little Girls – This was by far the most fun of the plays . . . if you like guns, zombies and blood that is. Great timing and acting by all three performers. The plot moved quickly and the dialogue was easy to track as the three characters transformed numerous times. The most physical and campy of the plays, they did a great job selling the physical movement and the ending was awesome. The final play, it closed out the entire night on a high note.

Word of Oprah – Aureen Amario delivered one of the best performances of the night as a cheated-on women who does stuff – you’ll have to see it to find out what – to her significant other and lands in prison.  Her dead on impersonation of the man in her life combined with her ability to move back and forth between “normal” and “crazy” was more than a little disconcerting . . . in a good way.

Circadian Suites - There were many strong performances throughout the production, but the one that stood out for me was Tonilyn Sideco as Ophelia. Overall this was one of the strongest acted plays by all of the actors, but Tonilyn really brought it. Her ability to express genuine longing for and struggle about the love of her life was profound. Dotted with some great prop gag timing as well as deep emotional despair there was an intimacy that was truly moving.

Read more.

For more info:

  • Bindlestiff Studio: Website | Twitter | Facebook
  • PMSTA:  Website | Facebook
  • Remaining Showtimes: October 27 and 28 at 8:00pm and October 29, 2:00 and 8:00pm.
  • Tickets: $20 and can be ordered through Brown Paper Tickets. $25 at the door.
  • Location: Bindlestiff Studio 165 6th Street, btw Howard and Mission

09/15 - 10/01/2011: Bindlestiff Studio presents STORIES HIGH XII

bjanepr ***DUE TO CONSTRUCTION DELAYS, OPENING NIGHT FOR STORIES HIGH XII HAS BEEN MOVED TO SEPTEMBER 15TH*** If you have purchased tickets to performances that fall between September 8 and September 10, we will honor those tickets at any night during the run.


Bindlestiff Studio presents STORIES HIGH XII

An annual production showcasing original works from Bindlestiff Studio’s Stories High XII workshop series

WHEN: September 15 through October 1 Thursdays through Saturdays, 8pm

WHERE: Bindlestiff Studio 185 Sixth Street, San Francisco, CA 94103

TICKETS: $20 advanced; $25 door Advanced tickets available via Brown Paper Tickets Brown Paper Tickets

Bindlestiff Studio presents STORIES HIGH XII, its annual showcase of original works for the stage written, acted, and directed by Pilipino/Filipino American artists. This show will be the inaugural production Bindlestiff Studio’s new home at 185 Sixth St. (at Howard) in San Francisco. Performances begin Thursday, September 8th, at 8:00 pm and runs Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings through September 24th. Tickets are $20 advanced and $25 at the door; advanced tickets can be purchased online at Brown Paper Tickets.

Bloodthirsty Spaniards and fearless revolutionaries! Angry young men and passionate women! The powerful forces of love, freedom, and loss. STORIES HIGH XII, the twelfth installment of Bindlestiff Studio's annual freshmen playwrights showcase throws the doors of Bindlestiff Studio's new home at Sixth and Howard wide open with adaptations of short fiction by Pilipino and Filipino American writers. This year's exciting anthology features:

*THICKER THAN WINE Conrad Panganiban, playwright. The Jacinto-Basa brothers, spoiled by their aristocratic upbringing, meet resistance from their strong-willed maid. Set in 1870, the adaptation of Tess Uriza Holthe's "Portrait of an Aristocrat" deals with a sixteenth-century curse, corruption in the church, and racism. Directed by Arianna Caramat and Melissa Diaz-Infante. *TIP JAR Patrick Silvestre, playwright. Based on Oscar Penaranda's "Prelude to a Gig". A young upstart challenges a jazz musician to a game of pool. Directed by Alan S. Quismorio. Choreography by Brian Batugo. *GABRIELA'S MONOLOGUE Jocelyn Deona de Leon, playwright. In A woman, in the wake of her infant's death, is caught in a love triangle involving her husband and a 19-year-old man. Based on the short story by Cecilia Marguerra Brainard. Directed by Melinda Lopez. *BABY LUST Manny Cabrera, playwright. M. Evelina Galang’s short story inspires this piece about a miscarriage that tests the relationship between young lovers. Directed by Jocelyn Deona de Leon. *RIZAL ON ANGEL ISLAND Ignacio Zulueta, playwright. A feverish imagining of the Philippine national hero's detainment by the U.S. while en route to China. Directed by Larry Robinson and Wernher Goff.

CAST: Melvign Badiola, Joe Cascasan, Jackie Castillejo-Guingona, George Coker, Reg Clay, Michael Dorado, Roczane Enriquez, Kat Evasco, Emily Fernandez, Melanie Galang, Lorenz Gonzalez, Chuck Lacson, Norman Munoz, Allen Ocampo, Nino Palay, Jed Pasario, Percival Arcibal, Sunshine Roque, RJ San Jose, Paolo Salazar, Sabrina Sandalo, & Mallory Somera.

Stories High is a series of theatrical workshops culminating into a fully-mounted, professional theatrical production. These workshops are open to anyone, novice or intermediate, interested in getting involved with community arts through our workshops. Stories High hopes to discover, cultivate, and nurture new and emerging artists. This will be Bindlestiff's 12th Stories High production.

Stories High 12 is made possible by generous funding from the Zellerbach Family Foundation, the W & F Hewlett Foundation, and the W A Gerbode Foundation.

07/21/2011: Bindlestiff Meeting and Other Ways to Support the 'Stiff!


Emergency BINDLEHALL Meeting 07/21/2011 - 6:00pm - 9:00pm Rancho Parnassus, 505 Minna Alley at Sixth St. SoMa SF

Emergency BindleHall Meeting

Thursday, July 21th Doors open at 6pm Rancho Parnassus corner of Minna & Sixth Street, SF FREE ADMISSION

Is it for real this time? Is Bindlestiff Studio finally opening?!!! It's FOR REAL!!! It is the most exciting time in Bindlestiff Studio history! After 8 years since the closing of the original space in 2003, we are proud to announce the historical grand opening of our brand new theater. And what better way to kick open the new space than with 3-Day Family Reunion Festival on August 25th - August 27th.

As part of our community, we invite you to our first BindleHall meeting of the 2011! This is a great opportunity to find out who's who, and talk to Bindlestiff Studio's leadership team in an intimate setting at Rancho Parnassus. The organization will be unveiling the 2011-2013 Strategic Plan and discuss Bindlestiff Studio new and exciting future.

Dear Friends of Bindlestiff Studio,

After 8 years since the closure of our original theater, Bindlestiff Studio is on the verge of finally opening it's brand new venue in the South-of-Market Area... but we really need your help. Due to funding shortfalls and delays in construction that has constrained our programming income, Bindlestiff needs to raise $25K in the next few weeks to complete the purchase of seating and lighting equipment for the new space.


1. Click on "SUPPORT THE STIFF" to make a donation through PayPal

2. Enroll in our Adopt-a-Theater program

3. Purchase a BINDLESTIFF DEBUT MEMBERSHIP and receive special benefits and a commemorative Debut Membership card.

Due to the urgency of purchasing the seating and lighting equipment, we need your help TODAY! For more information and to meet your friends from Bindlestiff Studio, attend our Emergency BindleHall Meeting this coming Thursday, July 21. It will be great to see you! Details here.

Maraming Salamat!