Tuesday, September 20, 2016
YES! Magazine: In 1980, Ralph Pena and his friends were young activists, doing political theater on the streets of Manila to protest the corruption and violence of the Ferdinand Marcos dictatorship. Pena’s university theater troupe, Bodabil (“vaudeville,” later renamed Peryante, or “carnival worker”), created props and costumes out of whatever objects they could find, and from police hid their faces with masks they could throw away. With song, mime, and imagery that ranged from the nightmarish to the mythological, they created vivid dystopian satire that gave audiences new tools to understand the country’s increasingly hellish martial law landscape of poverty and censorship.