Photo by Darryl Palapuz | Filipino Journal

In “Everything Has Disappeared,” Hazel Venzon, employs illusion, digital art, and community engagement to explore the hypothetical absence of Filipinos worldwide. This world premiere at Prairie Theatre Exchange, delves into the Filipino diaspora’s vital role in maintaining global harmony amidst chaos. Vemzon, pictured in the middle with flowers is accompanied by the choir from St. Edward the Confessor Church.

Mesmerizingly “tour de force play” aided by electronic wizardly and by an electrifying performance of Hazel Venzon

At the beginning of the play, “Everything Has Disappeared”, an insatiable expectation I had as I looked at the set on the stage. In my mind, “We will be on an exciting joy ride with this play.” I noticed the electronic gadgetry etched prominently on the board.

As I settled, my mind was preoccupied with a highlighted narrative: “What would happen if every Filipino person in the world…disappeared?” Seems apocalyptic for the Filipino Diaspora (the dispersion or spread of people from their original homeland), an Armageddon for the Filipinos in every sector of human endeavors in the world, leading to the vast stoppage of human activities which will result in unprecedented universal economic disaster!

This emerging fear was conceived and directed by Hazel Venzon and Darren O’Donnell. Two minds created this distinctively “tour de force” play staged in Winnipeg! And as such it is an inspiring theatre experience to be reckoned with.

In her one-woman show, Venzon touched on two Filipino (Tagalog) words, “Pakiramdam” (inner perception or feeling). and “kapwa” (being one with the other, merging the “you” and I to “we”, and she glossy demonstrated the two words in an interactive moment with the audience, thereby, creating connecting dots between the two vernacular words to the audience.

As Venzon pointed out the Philippines is still a poor country, and millions of Filipino overseas workers are everywhere, in every skill and profession. Finding more financial rewards abroad, the Filipinos are dispersed to the North to South and West to East of the world, working hard to help their loved ones in the Philippines to survive the severity of its dysfunctional governance.

The St. Edward Catholic Church’s choir supplemented the nationalistic fervor for the play, giving us that pride of being a Filipino in Winnipeg, part and parcel of the Filipino diaspora.

This “touchy play” was the recipient of the National Art Centre’s prestigious National Creation Fund and was fully developed with the support of the artists at Kampnagel (Humburg, Germany) and Theatre Rosendal (Trondheim, Norway).

And the artists who helped make this play memorable, and include David Oro, illustrator; Erik Mana, mentalist/illusionist; potatoCakes_digital; Simon Campana, sound composer; Dasha Plett, sound designer; Brenda Mclean, costume designer; Wei Qing Tan, stage manager, Nera Nalam, assistant director; Isabel Ahat and Ryan Lewis, producers, and James Thurmeier, production manager and technical director.

Way to go for another “delectable play”, Hazel Venzon and Darren O’Donnell!

PKF Lawyers are the proud to support this production at the Prairie Theatre Exchange.

Photos by Darryl Palapuz | Filipino Journal