Chelle Turingan as Alex in Reese Baguio's, Touch

Reese Baguio's Touch Charms the Flipside Festival

This weekend, the Carlos Bulosan Theatre (167 Augusta Ave) presents, Tales from the Flipside 2008: Claim Your Baggage. The two-day Flipside Festival features four plays written by members of the theatre's play creation group.

Touch, by Reese Baguio is one of the featured plays taking the stage both Friday and Saturday night. I spoke with Reese earlier this week about the show...

Q: "Girl meets girl. Girl loses girl. Drag queen gets her a stripper... chaos ensues." With a tag line like that, I'm already sold, but tell me a little more about the storyline here.

A: Touch is about a young woman named Alex, the proverbial girl next door, who is secretly attracted to the girl next door. Very much hindered by her conservative upbringing, she struggles to navigate the world as a new lesbian. With the help of her misguided mentor and friend, Richmond (a flamboyently filipino drag queen), she tries to find love, and more importantly, learn how to... breathe.

Q: Looking back, what inspired you to write this play and how much of it is, perhaps, somewhat autobiographical?

A: After talking with a lot of different people in the queer community, I wanted to help others by telling a story that shows the joy in discovering your identity... and after years of telling my own unfortunately comedic coming out story, I really wanted to put together a fictional piece that made coming out relatable to a mainstream audience.

As the audience laughs, cries, and experiences all the emotions that Alex does on her journey, hopefully in the end they'll understand a little bit more about what it means to be gay. Fighting homophobia -- both from within ourselves and externally -- starts with that first little bit of understanding... and besides, any play with girl on girl action, strippers, and a wonderful drag queen is always a good way to spend a cold winter's night!

No argument there.

Tales from the Flipside hits the stage at 8pm tonight (Friday, March 7th) and tomorrow (Saturday, March 8th). Admission is $15 or PWYC for the entire evening's worth of entertainment.

Photo of Chelle Turingan as Alex, by Rannie Turingan.

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