The Philippine United Students Organization (PUSO) is celebrating their 10th annual Philippine Cultural Night (PCN) event with an original play "Bayani", along with colorful traditional dances.
“The students have been practicing for three months,” said Starr Litton, PUSO Club’s staff advisor. “They really look forward to it, even the shiest of kids love performing. They look great up there on stage; they shine. Seeing all of their work while having to go through finals and working at jobs until late at night — it’s amazing.”
When: Friday, May 13 and Saturday, May 14 at 7-10 p.m., and Sunday, May 15 at 2-5 p.m.
Where: Nell J. Redfield Foundation Performing Arts Center, 505 Keystone Ave., in Reno
Tickets: $10 at the door and online at showtix4U.com
Puso means heart in Filipino, and bayani is the word for hero. Club members have written and choreographed the original play "Bayani". The cast will not yet give away any plot details until the performance. It is set in the 1980s, and music from the 1980s will be part of the soundtrack.
Matthew Samples is the show’s producer and also PUSO’s student president. “Bayani” is directed by Justine Paige and Michael Frederick Kierulf.
Dancing, both modern and traditional, will happen between acts of the play. They will be performing the Tinikling, a traditional dance where performers jump rapid patterns above moving bamboo sticks.
“This dance is very difficult, but exciting to watch because they perform it so well,” Litton said.
The annual cultural event is popular with local high school students, TMCC alumni and members of the Filipino community typically attending. Some participate in the dancing, as well.
“There are many TMCC students participating,” Litton said. “Last year, there were more than 60 students staging this event. Most of them are first generation, or the first in their family to have attended college in the U.S.”
She added that club members have sought sponsorships from regional businesses to help support "Bayani".
“Scottie Lockrem and Carolyn Wray have been very helpful to us and a great resource for using the theater,” Litton said.
Philippine United Students Organization encourages cultural exchange
Students do not need to be Filipino to join PUSO, and Litton encourages all interested students to join. Part of the club’s mission is to participate in a harmonious partnership with other cultural groups, Litton said. PUSO also has a Facebook page for members to keep updated with their events.
PUSO meets every Thursday at 6 p.m. in the Red Mountain Building, room 256. For more information about PUSO, please submit a contact form to the Club.