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‘Filipino Hulk Hogan’ play to premiere in St. Paul, Minnesota

/ 12:46 AM June 03, 2016
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The cast of “tot: THE UNTOLD, YET SPECTACULAR STORY OF (a filipino)HULK HOGAN.” MU WEBSITE

ST. PAUL, Minnesota — Mu Performing Arts’ final play in its 2015‐2016 season is the world premiere production of “​tot: THE UNTOLD, YET SPECTACULAR STORY OF ​(a filipino)​ HULK HOGAN​,” on June 17 – 26, at Park Square Theatre’s Boss Thrust Stage.

The play, written by ​Victor Maog ​and directed by ​Randy Reyes, is Mu’s 50th World Premiere of new works by Asian American artists and playwrights.

“I’m proud to build upon the too‐few produced works that explore the Filipino American experience,​” says Maog, whose play was developed with Mu as part of The Jerome Foundation’s New Plays Project.

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The play follows the life of an immigrant boy named tot who travels from the Ferdinand Marcos‐ruled Philippines to the San Francisco Bay Area to meet his long lost parents. He journeys from a country full of strife and under military rule only to find himself in his lonely American bedroom conjuring a pro wrestling fantasy to escape his new life. ​

Randy Reyes​ plays the role of tot, alongside his real‐life sister ​Stephanie Bertumen​ as tot’s sister Kitty. “Victor Maog wrote a play that I connect with in so many ways, it’s scary. It’s as if he wrote it about me. Not literally, but emotionally and spiritually. This is a very rare experience for an actor, at least for me. I think it’s because the play taps into the Filipino side of my psyche, and it’s a side I hardly ever get to exercise in a theatrical setting. I’ve never had that privilege so I’m very thankful, excited and a little scared for the opportunity,”​ says Reyes.

The cast includes ​Randy Reyes*​(​Twelfth Night, FOB​) as tot, ​Mary Ann Prado​as ​Lola/Mother Superior​, ​Hope Nordquist​(Twelfth Night)​as Mo/The Dame, ​Stephanie Bertumen​(​Twelfth Night, The Debutante’s Ball, A Little Night Music)​as Kitty/The American Dream, ​Eric “Pogi” Sumangil* ​(​Twelfth Night, Little Shop of Horrors​)​as Off/The Announcer​,​Torsten Johnson​as The Orbiter, and ​Sarah Schweitzer​and ​Kyle Legacion​as Chorus.

The creative team includes ​Ellen Fenster​(Co‐Director), ​Christian Bardin​(Assistant Director), Sarah Brandner ​(Set Designer), ​Samantha Fromm Haddow​(Costume Designer), ​Karin Olson (Lighting Designer), ​Matthew Vichlach​ (​Sound Designer​), ​Abbee Warmboe​(Props Mistress), Brandon Ewald​(Fight Choreographer), ​Alex Olsen (​Technical Director), ​Katherine Kenfield​* (Stage Manager) and ​Natasha Victa​ (Assistant Stage Manager).

Randy Reyes, artistic director of Mu Performing Arts​, graduated from The Juilliard School Drama Division in 1999 and has worked as a professional actor, director, and theater educator in theaters and educational institutions including The Guthrie, Mixed Blood, Ten Thousand Artists (CAATA) and the Minnesota Theater Alliance. Randy also represents Mu as a member of for Me for You, Purple Cloud, Twelfth Night, FOB, Kung Fu Zombies vs Cannibals, Asiamnesia, Rick Shiomi at Mu Performing Arts in 2006.

Victor Maog was recently named one of American Theatre Magazine’s “20 Theatre Workers You Should Know” (October 2015). He’s also a director and educator with credits including: The Public Theater, Williamstown, Signature, Mabou Mines, Page 73, Working Theatre, Connecticut Rep, Lark, New Dramatists, Yale School of Drama, NYU/Tisch, Brown/Trinity, etc. Received the NEA/TCG Career Development Award, Altvater Fellowship at Cornerstone, Van Lier Directing Fellowship at Second Stage, and the Presidential Award with the Theatre Arts Project, where he served as Artistic Director at age twenty. Currently, he’s Artistic Director of 2g, an inaugural TCG SPARK Leader, and a Show Director for Walt Disney Creative Entertainment. He holds a B.A. in Global Leadership and Performance Studies – NYU/Gallatin. ​tot​is his first full‐length play.

Regular performance adult tickets are available for $20 (students $10) and can be purchased by calling 651‐789‐1012 or by visiting www.muperformingarts.org.

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TAGS: Mu Performing Arts 2015‐2016 season, Randy Reyes, The Jerome Foundation’s New Plays Project, Victor Maog, world premiere Filipino American play St. Paul Minnesota, YET SPECTACULAR STORY OF ​(a filipino)​ HULK HOGAN​”, “​tot: THE UNTOLD
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