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This Local Play Has Themes Of Acceptance, Family, + Fanboying Over BLACKPINK

The play is part of the 2020 Virgin Labfest's roster.
IMAGE FACEBOOK/culturalcenterofthephilippines, INSTAGRAM/sooyaaa__

From June 10 to 28, 2020, The Virgin Labfest will virtually host its 2020 edition called “VLF 2020 KAPIT: Lab in the Time of Covid (A Virtual Labfest Edition).” Ten new works, three revisited works, and five staged readings from the VLF Writing Fellowship Program will be available for viewing through paid packages on video streaming platform Vimeo.

One of the featured works is a play called BLACKPINK which will instantly grab the attention of any K-pop fan. One of the characters is a male student who is an avid BLINK (aka what BLACKPINK fans are called). Written by Tyron Casumpang and directed by Jethro Tenorio, the play was actually based on Casumpang’s fifth-grade nephew. “Boy siya na mahilig sa BLACKPINK,” shares Tyron Casumpang over Facebook Messenger. “So doon ko kinuha ang idea na, ‘what if may isang batang lalaki na mahilig sumayaw ng BLACKPINK pero lalaki talaga siya?’”

There’s more to the theatrical work than K-pop though! The play mainly tackles themes of acceptance, especially within the family. “Countless stories have been written about parents trying to accept that their child is gay. What if I write about the opposite?” Casumpang further shares. “BLACKPINK is a family sitcom about a father and his journey towards accepting that his youngest son, whom he assumed and gladly accepted as gay, is not gay, and that the categories ‘gay’ and ‘male’ are much more complicated than what we perceive them to be.”

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BLACKPINK also revolves around the story of a father, a loyal ally of the LGBTQ+ community, who learns that his youngest son, an avid BLACKPINK fan, was banned from dancing to the K-pop group’s song “Kill This Love” during their Family Day talent contest. The only way for bunso to participate is to other male students to perform with him. After being rejected by classmates, the bunso recruits his Tatay and brothers to form an all-male group with him and dance to the Blackpink bop. “This play is my attempt at pushing for SOGIE education in a playful manner and my commentary on our society’s seemingly accepting yet simplistic stance on LGBT people today,” Casumpang adds.

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BLACKPINK will feature performances by Noel Comia, Jr., Jonathan Tadioan, CJ Barinaga, and Gio Gahol. It will be streamed live on June 11, 5 p.m., and June 28, 8 p.m. on CCP’s Facebook and Vimeo platforms.

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Mylene Mendoza
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