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EXPORT QUALITY A Theatrical Exploration Based on True Stories of Mail-Order Brides from the Philippines

Dec 03 Through Dec 17 | Sun |
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Drawn from true stories of mail-order brides from the Philippines, Export Quality will begin its limited run at HERE Arts Center (145 6th Ave, New York, NY 10013) from December 3 through December 17, 2023, opening night will be celebrated on December 7. This production is written by Erica Miguel, Carolyn Antonio, Dorotea Mendoza and directed By Sonoko Kawhara.

When survival means self-sacrifice, the only option for some women is to become a mail-order bride and marry a stranger from a foreign land. Inspired by true stories, Export Quality traces the harrowing journeys of four mail-order brides from the Philippines, as they experience hope and despair, love and loss, death and renewal. The play explores the complex phenomenon of the international mail-order bride industry. Does the business benefit or harm women? How does gender inequality and stereotypes feed the business? For a country like the Philippines, how does colonialism play a role? What are the power dynamics at play? Export Quality also bears witness to women’s courage, their resilience in the face of violence, and the healing power of being in community and of storytelling.

“Writer, political activist Arundhati Roy said, "Our strategy should be not only to confront empire, but to lay siege to it. To deprive it of oxygen. To shame it. To mock it. With our art, our music, our literature, our stubbornness, our joy, our brilliance, our sheer relentlessness – and our ability to tell our own stories. Stories that are different from the ones we’re being brainwashed to believe." This is precisely what we, the writers of Export Quality, aim to do: honor and appreciate the complexity in the stories of mail-order brides from the Philippines and resist the narrative that erases or simplifies their lived experiences. We are grateful to Loose Change Productions, John Breen (Producer) and the production crew, to Jeremy Stoller (Dramaturg), to Sonoko Kawahara (Director) and the entire creative team she has assembled. They have taken Export Quality to unexpected places, creating a theatrical experience that deepens our collective witnessing of suffering and of the joy that finds its way through. In these times of great peril and disinformation, we need truthful, inspiring, and courageous storytelling. Now, more than ever, we need stories that mirror and examine how we engage with the world; stories that compel us to continuously reconnect with our shared humanity. Playwrights Erica Miguel, Carolyn Antonio, Dorotea Mendoza

The cast for Export Quality includes Myka Cue (Regional: Sweeney Todd), Cat Grey (Off-Broadway “The Little Dancer ''), Jill Jose (Film: Birder), and Arianne Recto (Public’s Hercules, As You Like It). The creative team includes set design by Joey Mendoza, costume design by Siena Zoë Allen, lighting design by Reza Behjat, sound design by Nina Field, and projection design by Stefania Bulbarella. Produced by John Breen.

Venue: HERE ARTS CENTER Dorothy B. Williams Theater

145 West Madison Avenue Map