Alum Conrad Panganiban's Play 'Welga' Inspired by Labor Leader Larry Itliong

Friday, September 22, 2017

INQUIRER.NET (MANILA, PHILIPPINES) -- A Filipino American teenager living in San Francisco who’d rather play music than go to school is inspired by a union leader to fight for his mother’s rights and their home.

This is the theme of Conrad Panganiban’s 90-minute play Welga, Tagalog for “strike,” which will be premiered by Bindlestiff Studio in October, directed by Artistic Director Aureen Almario.

The labor organizer featured in the play is Larry Itliong, who immigrated in 1929, one of many Filipinos that did so from the 1920-30s, to work in salmon canneries in Alaska and in farms in Washington, Oregon and California.

Panganiban went on to write his first short plays with Bindlestiff and seeing them produced on stage fueled what had become a hobby into seriously being considered as a career. In fact, he event went on to complete a Master’s degree in Creative Writing with a focus on playwriting at San Francisco State University.