Haiyan and Other Plays about the Homeland
This anthology of plays illustrates Taleon-Sonza’s response to events and issues facing the Philippines. Written in a span of over a decade, the book attests to her dedication as a cultural advocate for the Philippines while residing in the United States. This collection is a result of her unceasing affinity to the homeland, yielding reflections that raise compelling questions rather than easy answers. Central to the theme is the question of how a people manage to survive in the midst of harsh and cruel socioeconomic conditions. From a family grappling with the horrors of an impending super typhoon to a young woman caught between her lover and her political ideology, the plays dramatize the tremendous effort of men and women to make improvisational choices. This book is in praise of their heroic resiliency.
About the Author
Jorshinelle Taleon-Sonza is a playwright who writes about the Filipino experience in America, particularly about the lives of domestic helpers, suburban housewives, and hospital workers who confront issues of exile. She has won several awards from the Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature and an award in the script category of the Philippine Centennial Literary Contest. Many of her plays have been performed in New York City (off-Broadway), specifically at the Theatre Row and the Manhattan Repertory Theatre.
Taleon-Sonza’s plays have also received various staged readings sponsored by the Diverse City Theater Company in New York City, which were held at the Cherry Lane Theatre and the Ensemble Studio Theatre. Recently, the Potpourri World Women Works Series selected and featured her play, Haiyan, to be read for the Global Women Playwrights celebration.
She has an MFA degree from the Actors Studio at The New School and a PhD in Postcolonial Literature at Drew University in Madison, New Jersey. Taleon-Sonza formerly taught at the Department of English and Comparative Literature of the University of the Philippines Diliman.