I’m excited to reveal that after the past few months of working on this, we are now one week away from my third production with Rainy Day Artistic Collective. This time, I’ve written one of ten plays that will be featured in their Halfway Historical Festival; where all the stories revolve around real-life occurrences.
Much like my previous show with them, the Twisted Tales Festival, it will be separated into two blocks. While Block A will consist of stories based on historical events or people, Block B focuses on honoring and uplifting marginalized voices. My contribution to this festival, “Not in Kansas,” will be one of the ones featured in Block B.
“Not in Kansas” follows two PhD students from the Philippines studying in the United States in the early 1950’s. While making a trip down to New Orleans, they encounter the opposite of Southern hospitality at a rest stop in Mississippi. This story is inspired by a few of many experiences of my great aunt, who actually was confronted by a sheriff in the Jim Crow South, for drinking out of a colored only water fountain.
Following a call I put out on social media back in January for actors and a director, I’m thrilled to reveal Cailin Chang as the director of “Not in Kansas,” with a cast featuring Cynthia San Luis, Mirabel Miscala, and Jim Haines. It’s been quite a trip seeing this piece in particular come together, and I’m so thrilled to dive into it more next week in the accompanying playwright’s commentary.
Catch “Not in Kansas” and the rest of the stories of the Halfway Historical Festival next week, from Friday March 18th-Sunday March 20th on YouTube. Block A will be livestreaming March 18th at 7pm and March 19th at 2pm, while Block B will follow on March 19th at 7pm and March 20th at 2pm (all Pacific Time). It’s best to check out the Facebook event for it for when the streaming links become available. There is a suggested donation of $10.00 to either Rainy Day’s Venmo (@rainydaycollective) or their PayPal (paypal.me/rainydayrevue).
In the meantime, if you want to learn more about the great aunt “Not in Kansas” is inspired by, I would recommend checking out this audio essay I did about her for the podcast, This Filipino American Life, a couple of years ago.
I really hope you take away something from watching these plays. As it goes, not all histories are as well known as others, nor are they told or remembered as accurately as they should be.