Filipino play “13th of September”–a reimagination of Lanie Robertson’s one-act play “The Insanity of Mary Girard”–is now in Quebec, Canada to represent the Philippines for the 9th Festival International de Theatre de Mont-Laurier which is being held from September 5 to 11.
Be Our Guest Theatricals’ first production is helmed by Riki Benedicto. Three actors will be bringing life to the “furies” on the last night of Mary Girard: Adore Dominguez, Marco Edward Calilao and Paolo “Lao” Rodriguez.
Only 25 companies from over 20 countries were selected to join and present their plays for this prestigious biennial theater festival. Moreover, the Philippines is the only country from Southeast Asia annually selected to join the festival since its launch in 2003.
Any play can practically “based on true story” but The Insanity of Mary Girard is one of the few that took real-life events into a haunting and highly theatrical piece. Mary Girard (1758–1815) was committed to an asylum in 1790 where her husband declared her legally insane. During her confinement, she gave birth to a baby girl – unsure who the father was – who died five months later. After residing in the insanity ward for 25 years, she was laid to rest somewhere on hospital grounds, her grave unmarked.
The play begins on a Sunday evening when Mary Girard is preparing for her last night in Pennsylvania Asylum. Now, 56, her age is visible after more than two decades of re-living her life inside the asylum. While doing her daily routine and preparation with other patients, her past is dawns anew in her heart and mind–the memories of her mother, husband and her dear daughter are right in front of her and it seems like she’s “sane” once again. As for her last night with the tranquilizing chair, she will fight and re-live the moments of lies and betrayal that have never been proven.