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Davis, California

Friday, September 24, 2021

America is on the Stage

Student organization Filipinos in Liberal Arts and Humanities (FILAH) will be holding its annual event, America is on the Stage (AIOTS), tonight at Veterans Memorial Center Theatre at 6:30 p.m. It will feature four plays that were written, directed and performed by students, along with various open mic musical performances.

FILAH created AIOTS as a creative outlet for students to relieve stress and express their cultural, academic or spiritual struggles through stage performance. The name of the event was inspired by Carlos Bulosan’s book America is in the Heart, a story about the struggles of immigrating to the United States.

President of FILAH and fourth-year biotechnology major Clerissa Marasigan discussed the multi-genre performances featured in tonight’s plays as a balance of romance, drama, tragedy and comedy.

“AIOTS will have four short plays this year along with a number of open mics ranging from different kinds of musical performances: singing, dancing, instrumentals, to spoken word,” Marasigan said. “The plays will be about love that has been lost and found, the profound impact people can have on others, [the] unexpected and often straight-up twisted events in one’s life and … a comedy about peer pressure.”

Kaye Caburnay, FILAH alumni advisor and a UC Davis alumna, discussed the purpose of AIOTS and how the event has changed over time.

“The initial purpose of AIOTS was to give the members of FILAH the space to grow, express and learn about their heritage and what it means to be Filipino-American,” Caburnay said. “However, it’s adapted into much more than that. Each year, we get an even more diverse array of plays ranging from slapstick comedies and mysteries to serious dramas.”

AOITS allows for students to use different mediums in different ways.

“Coupled with musical performances, dance numbers, and spoken word artists, AIOTS has become an all-encompassing outlet in which students on campus can express themselves in any way they need,” Caburnay said.

Taylor Fulwiler, vice president of FILAH and third-year design major, discussed their open call for student performers and script submissions.

“Being a student-run production, we highly welcome any student in the community to become a part of it, as AIOTS is ultimately a showcase for writing, acting, directing and musical talents alike,” Fulwiler said.

CRISTINA FRIES can be reached at arts@theaggie.org.

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