Who were you, who are you and who will you become? How much of you did you decide for yourself?
Tanghalang Ateneo, the longest-running theater company of the Loyola schools of the Ateneo de Manila University opens its 38th season: De/Constructing Narratives with Boy, a thought-provoking new play by award-winning American playwright Anna Ziegler. This will go onstage at the Ateneo de Manila’s Black Box Theater (Fine Arts Annex) on October 19-November 12.
The play, which just had its world premiere produced by Keen Company in New York City earlier this year, is translated into Filipino by Guelan Varela-Luarca and directed by Ed Lacson, Jr. Tanghalang Ateneo’s production of this play not only serves as its Philippine premiere but is also its first international staging and the first one produced outside of the original New York City production.
Boy is a story of self-realization and gender identity, a journey to find one’s self amidst doubt and confusion. The play follows the life of Adam Turner who, as a new-born baby, had an unfortunate medical accident resulting in his parents deciding to raise him as a girl upon the advice of a renowned psychologist. As Adam grows older, his confusion about who he is and what he wants to become in life becomes more and more apparent that his parents eventually decide to reveal to him his biological gender. The discovery leads Adam to re-create himself, severing all communication with his psychologist.
Cholo Ledesma plays this challenging title role.
Teroy Guzman plays Dr. Wendell Barnes, Adam’s psychologist. Passionate about his work and ideals, Dr. Barnes has trouble looking past his own intentions to see the tragic consequences of his actions.
Camille Abaya plays Jenny, Adam’s love interest. A down-to-earth, single mother, Jenny is confused about Adam’s temperament and his relentless persistence in wanting to pursue a relationship with her.
Mayen Estañero and Wenah Nagales alternate as Trudy, Adam’s mother. Like all mothers, Trudy has always tried to look out for the best interests of her child but is undone by her desperation to find an immediate solution to a life-altering problem.
Juliene Mendoza plays Doug, Adam’s father. Often absent because of work, Doug leaves the responsibility of raising Adam to Dr. Barnes and Trudy, with terrible consequences.
A nominee for the 2016 Outer Critics Circle John Gassner Award, Boy was inspired by a real-life psychological case study conducted in the U.S. from the late ‘60s to the early ‘90s. This study, commonly referred to as the case of “Dr. Money And The Boy With No Penis,” is about a botched circumcision that leads to the child’s parents seeking the help of renowned sexologist Dr. John Money who agrees to the counseling of the child in exchange for conducting the study.