The Vagina Monologues in Filipino premiered on Aug. 31, 9 p.m., at the Music Museum in Greenhills. Performances will run until Sept. 15. For inquiries and ticket reservations, call New Voice Company at 896-54-97, 896-66-95, telefax 899-06-30 or e-mail nvcpost@hotmail.com.

Three outstanding actresses!

"If you need personality and talent you can't go any further than Pinky."

Pinky speaks about her controversial role.

"Ulirang Ina" Awardee records her first solo album!

Philippine Daily Inquirer (4 Aug 01):

Three outstanding actresses in 'The Vagina Monologues'

(From http://www.inq7.net/lif/2001/aug/04/text/lif_1-1-p.htm)

ONE of the world's most acclaimed plays, "The Vagina Monologues", has attracted actresses from the world of theater, film, television as well as international singers in the US and London.

During its acclaimed runs abroad, actresses such as Susan Sarandon, Brooke Shields, Jerry Hall, Calista Flockhart, Marisa Tomei, Rosie Perez, Winona Ryder, Whoopi Goldberg, Glenn Close, Jane Fonda, Claire Danes and Ricki Lake, have either done performance runs or benefit performances of the play.

In the Philippines, women artists from TV, stage, film, theater and recording have also been part of the New Voice Company's productions and benefit performances of "The Vagina Monologues."

"The Vagina Monologues" will rock Manila once again, this time in its Filipino version. A new set of acclaimed, exciting and award-winning actresses from theater, TV, film and recording will be premiering the Filipino translation run which opens at the Music Museum on Aug. 31.

In the Filipino cast is acclaimed theater actress Arlene Borja, who has done numerous lead and character roles in theater shows such as "Magsimula Ka," "Katy!" "El Fili," "Kenkoy At Rosing," "Sino Ka Ba, Jose Rizal?," "Magnificat," "Nasaan Si Hesus?," "Walang Sugat," and "Rama At Sita," among others. She has also done numerous films and TV drama and comedy shows, as well as telemovies.

Pinky Marquez is no stranger to theater, film, concert and TV audiences. She has starred in many theater productions, most notably in "Katy!," "Diary of Anne Frank," "Magnificat," "Rama At Sita," "The Sound of Music," "Lapu-Lapu," "Perfect Days" and "Alikabok." She is also a member of the popular singing group AngFOURgettables. With the group, Pinky has toured the world and done numerous concerts abroad and in the Philippines.

She also twice represented the country in the Asean Music Festival, has endorsed products for TV and print, and has appeared in TV shows and films.

Harlene Bautista-Sarmenta is best known for her dramatic portrayals on television and films. She has received the Best Supporting Actress award from the Film Academy of the Philippines, and the Best Actress Award for Star Awards-TV. She was recently seen in the films "Bagong Bayani," "Paraiso Ni Efren" and "Live Show." Aside from her TV and film credits, Harlene also took up Theater Arts in UP Diliman. Like with her TV and film roles, Harlene has consistently received critical acclaim for her performances in theater productions.

"The Vagina Monologues" features outrageous, moving, funny and poignant stories on women with all its wonder, pain, joy and mystery.

The play is written by Eve Ensler and translated by award-winning Filipina playwrights Glecy Atienza, Joi Barrios and Luna Sicat. "The Vagina Monologues" in Filipino is directed by New Voice Company co-associate artistic director Rito Asilo.

Philippine Daily Inquirer (28 Jul 01):

"If you need personality and talent you can't go any further than Pinky."

Translating and casting one of year's most anticipated plays

By Rito Asilo

(From http://www.inq7.net/lif/2001/jul/28/lif_1-2.htm)

Poetic and moving

As the deadline for the translations drew nearer, I started having sleepless nights. I couldn't wait to read the first draft, so when I finally did, I couldn't contain my excitement. I immediately e-mailed them to Monique in London.

What the Filipino translation brings to the fore is the beauty of the Filipino language. Yes, it can be graphic but it brings the material closer to home. It makes the emotions raw, more potent. It is also very poetic and moving.

But who would give life to the monologues? The audition process took a long time. There were a number of actresses we considered, but a good combination is essential to the monologues.

Harlene Bautista-Sarmenta, who has stacked an impressive and considerable number of theatrical roles at UP and has won acting awards for her film and TV performances, came to read--and blew me away! Inside that calm and collected veneer is a woman of strength and substance. She is as strong an actress as she is a great mother. At all of our rehearsals and pictorials, she always had her children in tow. Sometimes, her husband would patiently wait for her during rehearsals at the NVC Actors Studio.

Then Arlene Borja came on board. I have worked with her in most of the plays that I did, as an actor. She moved us when she read the Bosnia piece and made us cry. An actress who can be as good in drama as she is in comedy is hard to come by.

Which brings us to our third actress. Pinky Marquez drove all of us crazy with laughter as well as moving us immensely with her interpretation of the monologues. If you need personality and talent you can't go any further than Pinky.

Pinky, who is a member of Ang4 and has done high-profile musicals, is also no stranger to me because I have worked with her in a number of musicals in the past, including "Bakhita," "Magnificat" and "Alikabok," my very first play.

On Aug. 31, these women--from playwright Eve Ensler, artistic director Monique Wilson, executive producers Rossana Abueva and Terry Wilson, translators Glecy Atienza, Joi Barrios and Luna Sicat, and actresses Pinky Marquez, Arlene Borja and Harlene Bautista-Sarmenta--will celebrate the joy, pain, mystery and power of womanhood when "The Vagina Monologues in Filipino" premieres at the Music Museum. And we will be there to proudly welcome you when the lights go up.

(Rito Asilo is co-associate artistic director of the New Voice Company. "The

Vagina Monologues in Filipino" opens at the Music Museum on Aug. 31.)

Philippine Star (20 Aug 2001):

Pinky speaks about her controversial role.

'The Vagina Monologues' goes Pinoy

By Joseph O. Cortes

(from http://www.philstar.com/htmtest/search_content.asp?article=47804)

It just had to happen. After a trial run of three scenes in January's V-Day celebration, Purple Rose. An Evening with The Vagina Monologues, the highly successful run of Eve Ensler's groundbreaking The Vagina Monologues will be performed in Filipino.

Now titled The Vagina Monologues in Filipino, the entire play has been translated, and in some cases adapted, by award-winning playwrights Dr. Glecy Atienza, Dr. Joi Barrios and Luna Sicat. To perform the play's different sketches are Arlene Borja, Pinky Marquez and Harlene Bautista-Sarmenta, with newcomer Missy Maramara understudying all the parts.

It was playwright Eve Ensler who suggested that New Voice Company translate the play into Filipino further bringing the production to women at the grassroots level and the youth.

"We only have to pay Eve Ensler $10 for each performance of the play in translation," said NVC executive director Terry Wilson.

NVC associate artistic director Rito Asilo, who is directing the Filipino version of the show, said TVM in Filipino has not only showed how beautiful the Filipino language is, but also bring the thoughts behind the play to a bigger audience.

"We cannot deny that some people get offended by this play," Asilo said. "In fact, some people who are close to us have been offended by this play. But we can never show a play where no one has been offended."

Wilson says NVC is inviting Ensler to come to Manila to celebrate the first anniversary of TVM in the country. If they're lucky, she says they hope to convince Ensler to join the performance and perform some of the sketches herself.

Sicat says that in translating the play into Filipino, she allowed the

play's inherent poetry inform her work.

"I liked the poetry of the play," Sicat says. "I did not want to miss that quality in my own work."

Atienza says the process wasn't just an artistic experience but also a personal one. She says she had difficulty sorting out the nuances between the regional words for vagina, likening the process to an "undressing." In Tagalog alone, the colloquial words for the female sex organ acquire a different meaning with a different inflection, she adds.

"Much of our discomfort with the word 'vagina' comes from the inhibition that is imposed on us by society, when it's just an ordinary part of the body," Atienza adds.

The actresses assuming the roles in the Filipino version also went through a process of realization to learn their roles.

Marquez says she has to first understand her lines in Filipino before she can memorize her lines, since Tagalog is not her native tongue. The biggest challenge lies in convincing her family that doing the play will not personally affect her.

"I am an actress, and I am simply the vehicle of the playwright," Marquez stresses. "I had to rid myself of all my inhibitions and forget about myself when I'm learning and doing this play."

Borja had a hard time learning her lines, because she has a 5-year-old son at home.

"It was so hard to learn my lines," Borja says. "I had to tell my son that there was nothing wrong with the word vagina, that is was an ordinary body part, and that there was nothing bad with it since he came there. My neighbors have also gotten used to hearing me speaking my lines aloud. We've learned a lot from this play."

Bautista-Sarmenta says theatergoers should keep an open mind when they go and see the play.

"If people will just come to the theater with an open mind, they will learn that there's something more to this play than what they've heard about," Bautista-Sarmenta says.

When NVC took the play to Cebu and Davao, some parts of the drama were unclear, particularly those with American references. In this translation, some of the dialogues have been placed in the context of Filipino experience to help the public understand it better.

In the sketch detailing the different terms for the vagina, the English euphemisms have been retained, while the regional terms have been introduced to enhance the episode. In the sketch involving the Bosnian rape victim, the scene has been set in the context of armed conflict in the southern Philippines.

The NVC production of TVM has already had 50 performances.

"Originally, we thought this would just have a weekend run, or four shows at the most," Wilson explains. "Nobody knew it would become this big."

It has toured Hong Kong twice and Singapore, and has been performed in Cebu and Davao. Even before the run in Davao, there were threats that some groups would picket the play.

"In Hong Kong, we had five walkouts," adds Wilson. "One woman was even shouting that the play was obscene as she was leaving the theater. But the surprise was, her husband stayed to finish it."

This early, NVC is planning to premiere the Filipino translation in London this December for the benefit of Filipino workers. It will be presented in cooperation with Gabriela. * * *

The Vagina Monologues in Filipino premieres on Aug. 31, 9 p.m., at the Music Museum. Performances will run until Sept. 15. It is produced by New Voice Company. For inquiries and ticket reservations, call 896-54-97, 896-66-95, telefax 899-06-30 or e-mail nvcpost@hotmail.com.

Manila Bulletin (19 Aug 01):

"Ulirang Ina" Awardee, Pinky Marquez, records her first solo album!

'Vagina Monologues' in Filipino

by Crispina Martinez Belen

(from http://www.mb.com.ph/entr/cworld/2001/cw010819.asp )

The controversial ''Vagina Monologues'' will soon be performed in Filipino and we've been wondering how they'll call vagina in the Filipino translation. The translation was done by award-winning Filipina playwrights Glecy Atieza, Joi Barrios and Luna Sicat.

Anyway, new actresses have also been tapped for the Filipino version of "Vagina Monologues," to be staged starting on Aug. 31 at the Music Museum.

The new cast will consist of acclaimed theater actress Arlene Borja, Pinky Marquez and Harlene Bautista-Sarmenta.

Arlene has played numerous lead and character roles in such theater presentations as "Magsimula Ka," "Katy!" "El Fili," "Kenkoy at Rosing," "Sino Ka Ba, Jose Rizal," "Magnificat," "Nasaan si Hesus," "Walang Sugat" and "Rama at Sita" among others. She has also done numerous films and TV drama and comedy shows, as well as telesines. Arlene was also a featured performer at the benefit performances of New Voice Company's "Purple Rose, An Evening With the Vagina Monologues."

Pinky Marquez is herself no stranger to theater, film, concert and TV audiences. She has starred in many theater productions, most notably in "Katy!" "Diary of Anne Frank," "Magnificat," "Rama at Sita," 'The Sound of Music," "LapuLapu," "Perfect Days," "Alikabok" and others. She is also a member of the popular singing group AngFourgettables. With the group, Pinky has toured the world and done numerous concerts abroad and locally. She also represented the country twice for the ASEAN Music Festival, has endorsed products for TV and print, and has appeared in several TV shows and films.

Pinky also hosts a weekly cooking show entitled "Lutong Bahay" and has been awarded the Ulirang Ina Award. She is currently completing her solo album.

Harlene Bautista-Sarmenta is best known for her dramatic portrayals on TV and the movies. She has received the Best Supporting Actress award from the Film Academy of the Philippines, and Best Actress Award from Star AwardsTV. She was recently seen in the films "Bagong Bayani," "Paraiso ni Efren" and "Live Show." Aside from her TV and film credits, Harlene also took up Theatre Arts in UP Diliman. Like with her TV and film roles, Harlene has consistently received critical acclaim for her performances in theater productions such as "Fili 1 and 2," "The Tempest," "Romeo and Juliet," "Old Times," "Thelma at Jessie," "The Women," "Elias at Salome," "Last Order Sa Penguin," and "Blood Wedding."

"Vagina Monologues," written by Eve Ensler, features outrageous, moving, funny and poignant stories on women with all its wonder, pain, joy and mystery. The play has attracted actresses from the world of theater, film, television and international singers in the US and London as well. Among those who've performed in the play (for regular runs and benefit performances) include Brooke Shields, Susan Sarandon, Calista Flockhart, Jane Fonda, Claire Dane, Ricki Lane, Winona Ryder, Whoopi Goldberg, Glenn Close, Rosie Perez, Marisa Tomei and Jerry Hall.

The "Vagina Monologues" in Filipino will be directed by NVC co-associate artistic director Rito Asilo and is produced by NVC with special assistance from FEDEX, Budweiser, Music Museum, Absolute, Warm Company, Avis Rent-A-Car, Crescent Moon Caf,, Arts Center Phils., Mandy Navasero, Jaime Unson, NVC Actors Studio, NU 107.5 and Joey 92.3.

Back to www.pinkymarquez.homestead.com or www.paulinians.com .

Latest page update: 8/31/01

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