“Family” is a pot where people are dumped in unasked, some of them related through blood and some not. Each of them has an identity prior to the cauldron stew that they fight to hang on to and others develop into a blend of everything that has been mixed together, the good, the bad, the past and the present.
Family questions are asked and some answered in A. Rey Pamatmat’s new play House Rules.
Ma Yi Theater Company production of House Rules is about everything that makes up family: sons and fathers, daughters and mothers, lovers, neighbors and friends. It is two Filipino families living in the same apartment building filled with witty, clever, fast paced dialogue and the timeless conundrum of what makes you part of the place where you live; exploring self-identity through citizenship, birth and personal history.
Ralph B Pena direction is sharp, swift and fun, and along with Reid Thompson’s set they have created a sprawling maze of rooms that allow for the rat-a-tat-tat rhythmic pacing from scene to scene that moves this play along. The cast is fierce and unstoppable.
A. Rey Pamatmat play is a web of love and conflict between cultures, and parents and children, that is never sentimental or schmaltzy, but funny and unapologetic. The play’s arguments are at times repetitive and the fights and feelings the characters have towards one another are sometimes clunky, unclear and occasionally incomplete, but I’ve found that is often the case in true family dynamics. What we perceive to be injustices are simply personal shortcomings that get in the way, including our own irrational thinking.
The parents moved to the U.S. from the Philippines in order to create a better life for themselves and their children. They adopted their new country’s ways and assumed in doing so their children would assimilate and do better than them. But the first generation born do not feel as if they are true Americans, nor do they feel themselves to be true Filipinos. They live in a place of in between. And as one parent lies dying, the sense of self and what is to be carried forward has to be confronted as well as the feelings of control we can and cannot have over our lives.
Ma Yi Theatre presents HOUSE RULES,
This production is a part of SubletSeries@HERE: Co-op, HERE curated rental program, which provides artists with subsidized space and equipment, as well as technical support.
Running Time: 120 Minutes with no intermission
145 Ave of the Americas, New York, NY 10013
March 25 – April 16, 2016
Tuesday – Saturday @ 8:30pm | Saturday & Sunday @ 4pm http://www.here.org
: Tina Chilip, Jojo Gonzalez, Mia Katigbak, Jeffrey Omura
Conrad Schott, Tiffany Villarin, James Yaegashi
Scenic Design: Reid Thompson
Costume Design: Martin Schnellinger
Lighting Design: Oliver Wason
Sound Design: Fabian Obispo
Production Stage Manager: Jennifer Delac
Public Relations: Sam Rudy Media Relations
Producer: John Kurzynowski