U of W’s Alunsina’s Love highlighting Winnipeg migration tales

The University of Winnipeg’s department of theatre and film is welcoming back in-person audiences with a new play that tells the migration stories from Winnipeg’s history.

The play, called ‘Alunsina’s Love,’ was written by playwright and filmmaker Christopher Gozum. The show is aimed at bridging the western and Filipino culture, and connecting theatre, academics and immigrant communities.

Dennis Gupa, assistant professor and director of the play, said the department commissioned the show from Gozum, who is from the Philippines.

“We had to create this production in which we collaborated with community members from [Winnipeg], particularly the Filipino immigrants who came here in the 1970s,” he said in an interview with CTV Morning Live on Wednesday.

The story weaves together a Philippine creation story about the deity Alunsina and the 1970s garment industry in Winnipeg.

“There’s kind of a juxtaposition of the particular history of Winnipeg here. It’s a re-imagination of a Philippine creation story,” Gupa said.

Gupa added that the play gives a lesson on inter-culturalism, noting that theatre is a “wonderful” place to learn about psychology and history.

“The reason behind it is really cultural bonding, cultural abridging,” Gupa said.

“As a Filipino immigrant, it’s my responsibility and my task, I think, to open a particular history of my lived experience and to share it to our students, so that we can have a dialogue and transition to a more welcoming and inviting process of cultural diplomacy and peace building.”

The show marks the first in-person production the department has put on since the winter of 2020.

The show runs from Dec. 1 to Dec. 3 at the Asper Centre for Theatre and Film. Admission is free, but reservations are recommended.

“I hope that our audience will be inspired to reimagine our lived experiences. In this time it’s very challenging,” Gupa said.

“Theatre is a space of love and courage, and this story tells of love and courage that we can all be a community and we can all transition to a world that we can reimagine together.”

– With files from CTV’s Nicole Dube.

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