Halo Halo Production Page Header2.png

What does it mean to be adopted—someone who is both intrinsically tied to and distant from a culture? When Jenni’s friend Matt takes her to try Filipino food for the first time, she begins to question her entire identity as an adopted Filipino-American. This semi-autobiographical play follows Jenni’s story, from birth to present, and the story of the Philippines, from pre-colonial islands to American imperialism. In a combination of live action recordings and animation, HALO HALO looks at the many faces of Fil-Am identity and puts them in conversation with one another, all while teaching us a bit of history.

DEDICATION

This play is dedicated to my family.

To my adoptive family, for raising me to always fight for what is right.

To my AAPI family, for teaching me every day what is right and what is wrong.

To my affinity group family, for helping me learn to take up space.

To my Fordham Playwriting family, for supporting me as I am, always.

And to my Halo Halo family.

For creating so much light where there has been so much darkness.

 

- Jennifer Ogasian

director/playwright/producer

 
 

COMMUNITY

“One of the biggest questions I had to ask myself as a producer was, ‘How do you create a digital experience that still feels like theatre?’ And there are many thoughts, essays, theories on what defines the theatre experience for the audience. But what really began to interest me was creating a process that felt like an in person experience, even over Zoom. To me, the biggest defining factor of a theatre experience is finding a sense of community among collaborators. This felt especially important for Halo Halo, a show that focuses on how isolating the Asian American experience can be. I think I speak for a majority of the team when I say that the community we found has been invaluable as the AAPI community faces a surge of violence and racism. Somehow, we were able to look past all that and find community and joy.” 

 

- Jennifer Ogasian

director/playwright/producer


Fighting as Family

 

One platform we used to create a community was forming a Discord server, which led to some ongoing debates about the superior milk and the stupidity (or lack thereof) of Orpheus.


 

Zoom Antics

 

Screenshots from Halo Halo zoom chats. Because we all know the zoom chat box is its best feature.

 

Video: Kai Durkin as Bayani and Aaron Dorelien as Lucban chat in character during a rehearsal break.


 

Memes

 

There were many memes created during this process. Two traditional memes were created by team members Mars Neri and Aaron Dorelien. We also created t-shirts during a team-wide game night. Multiple members bought their very own Curse of Brown Skin shirt.


 

Creating Pokemon

 

With college-aged artists involved, we were bound to talk about Pokemon. Be sure to look out for Polveon, a Pokemon inspired by the Filipino snack polvoron, in our production!


 

Finding a Family


Also included are some visual representations of how the production team sees each other. *Lola means grandmother in Tagalog.*

Filipino Food
1/4
 

DESIGN

Costumes Oopsie

Animation in Halo Halo

1/23
1/10
1/8

Digital Storyboard

Early Scenic Designs

Stage Management Paperwork

1/3

Costume Research

 

CAST & CREATIVE TEAM

1/2
 

CAST AND CREW

Cast:

Jenni - Melissa Bautista

Jennifer - Michelina Smith

Lucban - Aaron Dorelien

Bayani - Kainalu Durkin

Rose - Genesis Yi

Princess Kandarapa - Joy Lynn Pringle-Bato

Written, Produced & Directed by: Jennifer Ogasian

Associate Director & Dramaturg: Matthew Hartman

Scenic/Production Designer: Julia Walker

Assistant Scenic/Production Designer: Scott Yezzi 

Costume Designer: Zoë Lishinsky

Assistant Costume Designer: Alesha Kilayko 

Assistant Production Manager: Will Rossiter

Production Assistant: Lakambini O'Donnell

Movement: Abigail Lo

Animation: Maya Edwards, Anna Fuller & Rory Guajardo 

Composers: Maddie Hilf and Justice! Somerville-Adair

Video Editor: Kana Seiki

Asst. Video Editor: Aurora Winger

BIOS

 

Jennifer Ogasian

Director/Playwright/Producer

is a NYC-based theatre maker and senior playwriting major at Fordham University. Halo Halo marks her third and final production in the Fordham Studio, the other two being Conversations with Stars (Book/Lyrics/Producer) and Electricity (Playwright/Producer). NYC Credits: Bermuda Triangle (Director), Felix Starro (Playwriting Asst., Off-Broadway). In addition to her theatre credits, she is also a founder of the AAPI Theatre Affinity group at Fordham. Jennifer would like to thank Matt and Bini for stepping up when she needed them most; Mars and Nini for finding answers for the many questions she’s had in the process; Abigail for doing the impossible and making Zoom movement cool; the entire cast and production team for their dedication and support of this story; and her parents, John and Diane, for loving and supporting her always. Special thanks to milk, Orpheus, and of course, CorpseHusband. And to the Fil-Am community that has supported her as she explores her identity, maraming salamat.

Melissa Bautista

Jenni

is a freshman Performance Major at Fordham University. Halo Halo is her second production in the Fordham Studio, her first being B.R.E.A.D. (Feuilly). Other credits: The Future (Valentin Tablan), In the Heights (Ensemble). Aside from theatre, Melissa is a member at Fordham's AAPI Theatre Affinity group, as well as a dancer with Kayamanan Ng Lahi, a Filipino dance group based in Los Angeles. She would like to thank Tita Barbs and Ate Tinette for teaching her the Filipino story, her mom and dad for always supporting her, the cast and crew for their friendship and incredible work, and Jenni for trusting Melissa with telling her story. Special thanks to Gobbles, CorpseHusband, and parallel timelines.

Joy Lynn Pringle

Princess Kandarapa

is an actress, singer, dancer, and aspiring director, originating from the Lower Eastside of New York City. A catholic schoolgirl who decided to transition into the arts for middle school at the Professional Performing Arts School. Joy’s passion was enhanced when she trained as a drama major at Fiorello LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts (The “Fame” School). Her onscreen debut on Law & Order: SVU showed that her experience as a performer did not end there. She is currently finishing her BFA in Musical Theatre at Temple University. Some of her memorable roles have been Marcy Park from The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Heather Duke from Heathers, and Maria from Love’s Labour’s Lost. She frequently stars in independent films, music videos, and web series. www.joylynnpringle.com

Aaron Dorelien

Lucban

is a freshman theatre major here at Fordham University. Halo Halo is his first ever show as a Fordham student, having previously taken principal roles throughout his highschool years and at NYU’s Looking For Shakespeare program. Aside from theatre, Aaron is a musician and a member of the AAPI Theatre Affinity group at Fordham. He would like to thank the cast for helping to bring such an important story to the metaphorical stage, and the crew for making zoom theater seem that much more like the real thing. 

Mars Neri

Production Stage Manager

is a sophomore Stage Management major and Gender Studies minor. They are also a chair in Fordham Theatre’s BIPOC Alliance, and a member of the AAPI. Fordham Mainstage: Airline Highway (Crew). Fordham Studio: The Moon and the Wolf (ASM), into me see (PSM), The Wallpaper Project (CD), A Butterfly Dreams... (CD). Signature Theatre DC: 12 Million Footsteps (SM), The Spoken Word (SM). Upcoming: Everybody (ASM). They would like to thank Jenni for writing such a meaningful show and for joining their Filipino family. They’d also like to thank the cast/crew for being so SO cool and funny and an overall joy to work with, regardless of the discord in the Discord, the orpheus and milk debates, and the tatsugotchi struggles. Y’all are such a pog group of people and we’ll absolutely get Filipino food together one day! <3

Julia Walker

Scenic/Production Designer

(she/her) Mainstage: Water by the Spoonful (OBS Operator) Studio: The Nether (Stage Manager and Costume Designer), A Butterfly Dreams... (Assistant Sound Designer), Valor, Agravio y Mujer (ASM), Into Me See (ASM and Costume Designer), Enterprise (Costume Designer) Other: MC Live (producer, director), Ladies of the Jury (SM and Set Designer), Cinderella (SM), David and Lisa (ASM and Set Designer), Superman (ASM and Props Designer). Thank you so much to Jenni for giving me this amazing opportunity! To Scott for being literally the best person in this entire world and to everyone else on this show (cast and crew), you all are amazing and I am so happy that I was able to work with all of you!

Zoë Lishinsky

Costume Designer

is a junior Theater Performance major at Fordham University. This is her first show as a costume designer, but her other technical credits include Wardrobe Head for Airline Highway, Asst. Costume Designer for Dimes, and Costume Crew for Mr. Burns. Her acting credits include Ms. Siena in Electricity, and Star/Mother in Conversations with Stars. Zoë would like to extend her love and gratitude to Alesha, for her unwavering commitment and a wonderfully keen eye for costume design. She would also like to give a tremendous thanks to Jenni, for trusting her and her work for 3 consecutive shows at Fordham University.

Maya Edwards

Animator

is an English Major at Virginia Commonwealth University, and is super grateful to have the opportunity to work on a show at Fordham! Previous show credits include Chicago and Peter and the Starcatcher as Master Carpenter (Wakefield Highschool) and 12 Million Footsteps and The Spoken Word as a member of the properties team (Signature Theater.)

Kana Seiki

Video Editor

(she/her) is a freshman performance major. She is super grateful to be part of this production as a video editor. Credits include: Mainstage: Water By the Spoonful (Orangutan). Studio: The Wallpaper Project, B.R.E.A.D. (Joly), A Butterfly Dreams... (Ensemble). Other: Hear. Eye. Stand. (Kyoko), Freak (Angry Poet Girl) at Round House Theatre. The Little Mermaid (Choreographer) at BCC High School. A huge thank you to the forever amazing Jenni, Mars, Julia, and everyone involved in the show for being patient as I explore Premiere Pro:) So much love!

Nini Tandon

Asst. Stage Manager

is a freshman stage manager here at Fordham. She is thrilled to be a part of this wonderful production and has enjoyed learning more about Filipino history in the process. She thanks the cast and crew for their top tier memes. Cheers to Orpheus and oat milk!

Scott Yezzi

Assistant Set/Production Designer

Scott is currently a freshman stage management concentration. This is his first time working as a designer in the Fordham Studio! Previous productions: Nineveh (ASM/Assistant Producer), All the Answers (PSM), Newsies (Romeo/Dance Captain), 1776 (ASM), The Murder at Ramsbottom Manor (PSM), Spamalot (Fred/Dance Captain). He’d like to give a huge thank you to Julia Walker and Jenni Ogasian for being so amazing and supportive. He wouldn’t have been able to do this without them!

Aurora Winger

Asst. Video Editor

is a freshman stage manager from Utah. She graduated from Idyllwild Arts Academy’s theatre program last year and is excited to be furthering her education at Fordham University. Mainstage: Everybody (crew) Studio: The Nether (PSM), Enterprise (Stage Manager), Into Me See (Set Designer), Louisiana Garbage King (ARG creative team) Other: Honk Jr (Director/Choreographer), A Year With Frog and Toad (Production Stage Manager), Hint! A Devised Masked Mystery (Production Stage Manager). A special thanks to the incredible Kana and to the unbelievably hard-working Director, production team, and cast.

Matt Hartman

Associate Director/Dramaturg

is a senior political science student at Fordham University. This is his first production in the Fordham Studio. Special thanks to Jenni for bringing him into this production, Mars and Nini for doing all of the work, and to the entire cast and production team.

Genesis Eunhye Yi

Rose

is a freshman theatre major at Fordham University. Halo Halo marks her second production in the Fordham Studio, the other being The B.R.E.A.D Series (actor). She would like to give a special thanks to her mother and father who have always been so supportive of her passions and being the family that makes her proud of her own Asian-American story just like Halo Halo. She would also like to thank her cast and crew for being so welcoming and just a wonderful group to create art with. Finally she would like to give a special thanks to the Discord polls and cookie collecting. 

Michelina Smith

Jennifer

is a freshman Theatre Directing major and is so grateful to be a part of this meaningful production! Upcoming studio show: A Butterfly Dreams... (assistant director). Previous credits: Valor, Agravio, y Mujer (assistant director), SONDER: A Cabaret Story (playwright, director), Freaky Friday (Katherine Blake, choreographer), and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Hermia). Huge thanks Jenni and the entire production team/cast for their continual dedication and support. Sending socially-distanced hugs to you all!

Kai Durkin

Bayani

is currently a sophomore performance major at Fordham University. This is his first studio show at Fordham and he is incredibly excited to bring to you this incredible and unique story. Back home in Hawaii, Kai performed in many roles through high school and community theatre such as Newsies (Davey, Diamond Head Theatre) and Into The Woods (Old Man/Narrator, Punahou School). Aside from theater, Kai is also a member at Fordham’s AAPI Theatre Affinity Group. He would like to thank his family for continuing to support him from so far away in these troubling times, his teachers for all their patience and kindness, and all of his amazing friends near and far for their constant support in all of his endeavors.

Abigail Lo

Choreographer

is a sophomore double majoring in Theatre Performance and Humanitarian Studies. Mainstage: Water by the Spoonful (Props Manager), Men on Boats (Props Master). Select studio: A Butterfly Dreams... (Actress/Woman), The Moon & The Wolf (Wolf), Louisiana Garbage Kings (Magda/Dagny), Small Mouth Sounds (Asst. Scenic Design), The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) (Asst. Stage Manager). They would like to thank Jenni for finally (!) having them on one of her shows, Mars and Nandini for being the iconic duo that everyone needs in their life, and everyone on the team for creating the best community that Shaun’s never heard of.

Jayla Pollock

Production Manager

is a junior Directing & Lighting Design major. Mainstage: Water by the Spoonful (AD), Airline Highway (AD), Men On Boats (ALD), Orlando (LBO). Studio: We Are Proud... (Dir.), The Dutchman (AD), Where Does The Light Go? (AD), El desvarío (LD), Up, Up, & Away: A New Comedy Musical (LD), The Wallpaper Project (LD/PM), Dark Play or Stories for Young Boys (ALD), Into Me See (PM). Upcoming: The Science Project (Studio, PM). @jaylapollock

Anna Fuller

Animator

is a Sophomore majoring in Animation at Daemen College. She heavily advocates for fruit flavored milk, and she's overjoyed to have been able to help out with this project. This collaboration with so many talented artists was a great experience, it was lots of fun!

Rory Guajardo

Animator

is an aspiring marine zoologist that is currently taking an extended gap year. They want to thank Mars for inviting them to work on Halo Halo, and are happy to be a part of such a meaningful production with an important message. They also want to say that the Halo Halo team has been nothing but wonderful to work with, and they are fortunate to have had this opportunity to learn about another culture and meet new people, despite the current public health crisis. Previous productions: Peter and the Starcatcher, Chicago (Wakefield High School, Booth Manager); 12 Million Footsteps (Signature Theatre DC, Light Board Operator).

Maddie Hilf

Composer

is a third-year undergraduate student at FCLC, majoring in Music and Film & Television and minoring in Spanish. She is thrilled to be one of the composers for Halo Halo -- it is such an honor to write music for such a beautiful, important piece of art. Thank you and congrats to everyone involved!

Justice! Somerville-Adair

Composer

is a music major graduating in May and would like to thank everyone who was involved with and/or supported this production. Thanks especially to Abigail for the invitation to this project, Maddie for making music together with love, Jenni and Mars for creating this story and sharing it with us, as well as Lakambini for sending out a reminder for bios (thank you again). She hopes you enjoy the show!

Alesha Borbo Kilayko

Asst. Costume Designer

(she/they) is a storytelling arts educator. An alum of the D&P track, she is the Children's Education Specialist at Middle Collegiate Church. In her downtime, she pursues research that explores theatre as an early intervention tool to mental illness in youth; in 2020, her research conferred her as a Semi-Finalist for the Fulbright Study Grant in the United Kingdom. (She chose not to complete this process due to obvious external reasons.) She also plays as a cleric moon elf, a ranger-warlock human, a rogue-paladin tiefling, and the dungeon master of a coastal adventuring academy with her D&D buds. Love to the creative team and the cast for being such g-dd-mn wonderful souls. Gratitude to Zoë for always leading with a fiercely caring, brilliant heart in all that she does. Jenni, for unrelentingly telling the stories that go untold—maraming salamat.

Lakambini O’Donnell

Production Assistant

is a sophomore performance major at Fordham University. Halo Halo is the second studio show she has worked on since transferring to Fordham, the first show being Cowboy and Crow as the dramaturg. She is extremely happy to be a part of a production that has given her the opportunity to celebrate her Filipino heritage in a theatrical space. She would like to thank Jenni for letting her be apart of this special project<3