WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Embassy of the Philippines, in partnership with Ms. Regina Aquino, organized a panel discussion entitled Filipino American Theater Makers: A Panel Discussion with Filipinos Who are Moving Theater Forward. It was held in celebration of the Filipino National Arts Month.
The panel discussion, moderated by Ms. Aquino, featured local Filipino-Americans in the DC theater scene and arts namely Justine Moral, Justin Huertas, Raymond Caldwell, Joseph Pinzon, and Sally Imbriano, who discussed their challenges, experiences, and insights on Filipino representation in theater while also sharing how their Filipino heritage influenced their craft.
In his opening remarks, Consul General Iric Cruz Arribas said the Embassy fully supports the promotion of Filipino talent in theater, and that the appreciation of the American society of the talent of the Filipino is a shared task. “It is not only for the Filipino artists themselves to do alone, nor by the Philippine government through our embassy and consulates throughout the US alone but by the whole FIlipino-American community… The success of a Filipino American is a source of pride and inspiration for all Filipinos to embrace.” he said.
The community can support the arts and Filipino culture by watching Filipino-American artists at the Kennedy Center Family Theater as they join the cast, production, and creative team for “The Mortification of Fovea Munson” from March 4 to 19,2023. It is a musical play with music written by a FIlipino American, performed by Filipino Americans, with references to Filipino cultural practices. Further details may be found at https://www.kennedy-center.org/…/mortification-of…/.
Regina Aquino is a Filipino actor, creative, and activist. Born and raised in Maryland, she has performed on many of DC’s stages since 2002. She has been nominated for multiple Helen Hayes Awards and in 2019, was the recipient of the Outstanding Lead Performer in a Play Award for her work in THE EVENTS at Theater Alliance. She is the first Filipino to have earned the distinction. Know more about Regina at https://www.reginaaquino.com/
Raymond O. Caldwell is an award-winning director and producer of Filipino, German, and African-American descent who has been leading Washington, DC’s Theater Alliance as Producing Artistic Director since 2018. Know more about Raymond at https://www.raymondocaldwell.com/about
Justin Huertas is a composer-lyricist of The Mortification of Fovea Munson. His next projects are a world premiere musical at Seattle Rep called Lydia & the Troll and the Off-Broadway premiere of the first musical he ever wrote: Lizard Boy. Know more about Justin through his Instagram account @justinhuertas.
Justine “Icy” Moral has been seen onstage, on television, and heard on the radio across the US and the Philippines! Born in Maryland but often visiting the Philippines, she grew up performing in concerts and theatre productions. As a teen, she released a Pop Album in the Philippines titled Dream Away and has performed with Filipino Artists like Regine Velasquez and Jaya. In college she studied classical voice, and throughout her life has always found joy working in Theatre. Some of her stage credits include Ragtime, The King and I, Beauty and the Beast, Miss Saigon, Sweeney Todd, Into The Woods, and more! Know more about Justine through her Instagram account @justineicymoral.
Joseph Pinzon has over 20 years of performing experience. He holds a BA in Psychology from UCLA and is a graduate of the National Circus School in Montreal, where he specialized in aerial techniques. He has worked internationally with companies such as Cirque Éloize, Compagnia Finzi Pasca, Cirque du Soleil, Les 7 Doigts de la Main, Chämaleon Productions, and Wintergarten Varieté. He just earned a Master of Science in Arts Leadership at the University of Southern California. Know more about Joe at www.josephpinzon.com
A first-generation, Filipino-Australian American, Sally Imbriano grew up in Northern Virginia before traveling abroad for her undergraduate and master’s degrees. Sally studied at the University of New South Wales Australia (Bachelor of Music/Science) and the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama (Master of Musical Theatre). She’s graced stages in Sydney, Cardiff, London, Edinburgh, and even the Baltic Sea, performing on a cruise! She prizes these experiences as well as her time singing with the Burgundian Consort and St James Choir Sydney, two prestigious choral groups in Australia. Now that she’s back in DC, she’s taken her performance knowledge to students and stages alike.
The discussion is available on demand on Ms. Aquino’s youtube page here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vwD03gO2SQY.