Esperanza Catubig plays Barbara Villanueva and Ka Lydia in our upcoming production of Dogeaters, which opens this coming Wednesday, February 10!!!!
What has it been like working with Jessica Hagedorn?
I've been lucky to have had the opportunity to work with Jessica twice before this production several years ago in the Los Angeles premiere of Dogeaters. Jessica is a fearless artist, loves working with actors, and inspires me to write and enjoy working out of my comfort zone. She has a deep understanding of how complicated, ironic, and beautiful people are.
What drew you to participate in this production Dogeaters? I'm a fan of Jessica Hagedorn's work! And I knew I had a chance to play a different role this time around. For her work to be produced in my hometown AND at the Magic Theatre is a big event! It's a Filipino experience that I'm looking forward to sharing with the Bay Area! It's so fun and so rare for me to perform in tagalog and celebrate stories that take place during such a tumultuous time in the Philippines. I was too young to really understand how the Marcos regime affected our relatives in the Philippines during the 80s, but through this production, I am reminded that my parents worked so incredibly hard and sacrificed lost time with loved ones "back home" to create a safe and comfortable place for the family here in the U.S.
What has the rehearsal process been like for you?
Terrifying and exciting! I am playing a role that is against my usual "type" and I've been operating out of my comfort zone. It is a gift—thanks to Loretta! It's an honor and a privilege to be able to work with such a powerhouse group of theatre-makers!
Is there one performance you’ve seen that you’ll never forget?
Sir Ian McKellen in Richard III at the Curran Theatre back in 1995. My mother took me to see it and we sat way up in the balcony. I was concerned we were too far away to see any expressions but I discovered I could see everything. Richard III had just won a battle and it was just McKellen onstage for what seemed like five minutes in silence, no words, after one of his soliloquies. Captivating and honest, Ian McKellen said so much onstage: loss, betrayal, anger, and triumph just by standing center stage...no words! I never knew what "owning center stage meant" until then.
What was your first experience at/with Magic?
My first experience at the Magic was Gum by Karen Hartman directed by Jean Randich about sixteen years ago. It took place in a fictional far away country where girls were punished for chewing gum because it was too provocative. The play was inspired by a news article that Karen had found. At the very end of the play when my character was encouraged by her once-strict Auntie to run away from the place as fast as possible, I got to run to the back of the stage, slam the metal double doors open to the sound of the ocean waves, the seagulls, and finally to freedom.