To cap Sining Banwa’s fourth year of creative and cultural work in the Bicol Region, and to open its fifth theatre season, the group proudly lifts curtain for their original one-act play ‘Gymgurls’. This will also mark the launching of ‘Sining Banwa EQUALove Project: Equal Rights, Equal Love’ which is a cultural campaign on HIV & AIDS awareness and prevention, an advocacy supported by the Department of Health – Region V (DOH-V) and Albay AIDS Council.

For quite a while, Sining Banwa was able to produce and perform plays on different issues and advocacies. During performances in schools, churches, communities, and other public spaces, they saw the power of theatre in touching the heart and enlightening the mind. Same methodology to inform, educate and mobilize communities will be used on this cause.

‘Gymgurls’ discourses both issues surrounding HIV & AIDS and the LGBT community. It strongly supports the call for understanding the condition and eliminating condemnation of people living with HIV. Likewise, it is an appeal for equality and inclusivity amid diverse gender or sexual preference.

The play is set in a fictional fitness center called “The Gym” specifically intended for people living with HIV who are enrolled in a six-month recuperation program. Lights open one morning when characters are compelled to make decision of leaving or staying at The Gym. JK is the fitness instructor tasked of maintaining fitness and ‘peace’ at the gym while the four clients’ colorful lives and challenging personalities unfold. Max is a straight male who was supposed to finish his engineering degree when diagnosed with HIV. Teri experienced the worst odds in life before making decision of enrolling at The Gym to accept fate but to no avail. Sherry is the laughing stock who is also excellent at cracking jokes to hide inner fear, while Noel is a religious person who knows almost all the saints in the world. ‘Gymgurls’ is a one-hour play that is treated with minimalist production design but requires complicated acting skills. In a bell sound which signals shift of realities, actors will also be shifting from one character to another which makes acting tasks denser and more challenging.

Before going on tour to different communities,  ‘Gymgurls’ will have the initial run at the BUCAL Amphitheater, Bicol University, Legazpi City on the following dates:

Thursday, August 13 – 2:30pm, 6:00pm
Friday, August 14 – 10:00am, 2:00pm; Gala Show: 6:00pm
Saturday, August 15 – 10:00am

Admission tickets are sold at P50.00 for regular audience and P25.00 for students. Ticket sales and reservation at 0946-541-1883 (Kath).

‘Gymgurls’ and ‘Sining Banwa EQUALove Project’ are also supported by the City Government of Legazpi, Kaboronyogan Cultural Network, Bicol University College of Arts and Letters, BU University Student Council, BU Magenta, and Bicolana Gabriela Youth, and is endorsed by the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) and the National Youth Commission.