Dear Colleagues,

We want to personally invite you and your students to an historic, once in a lifetime experience that you will never forget. The New York-based cast and crew of the award-winning, incredible smash hit off-Broadway play produced by Ma-Yi Theater Company, based on Carlos Bulosan’s short story, The Romance of Magno Rubio, will come to the Bob Hope Theatre in Stockton 8pm October 4 and 2pm October 5, 2008, and San Bruno’s Skyline College Main Theater Oct. 9-12. We have created an online curriculum unit appropriate for high school and college students to accompany the play that includes the short story, play, timeline of the Filipina/o American experience, additional readings, and lesson plans. We hope that you consider bringing the short story and play, and Magno-related curriculum about the Filipina/o American experience into your classrooms. Ultimately, we hope that educators will also bring their students to the play! This is a rare opportunity with your students to read a classic short story, the play based on the classic, and then watch an award-winning performance of it in the same semester.For the curriculum unit, please click here:

An off-Broadway smash that garnered eight Obies (awards for Off-Broadway Theater Excellence), The Romance of Magno Rubio, a Ma-Yi Theater Company production, was written by Lonnie Carter with additional text by Ralph Peña, directed by Loy Arcenas, and based on a short story by acclaimed author, Carlos Bulosan. Emily Lawsin, who has taught the play in her Filipino American Lit courses at UMich, calls the play and short story a powerful teaching tool, especially when, in your Asian American studies courses, you are teaching about local history, anti-miscegenation laws, immigration, family, Filipino American history, agricultural labor, and more, and of course, it works well in all of your Asian American survey, intro, lit and culture courses. In Stockton, we will also be offering special student-oriented tours of the Little Manila Historic Site during that weekend (Oct. 4/5). Set in the 1930s San Joaquin Delta agricultural fields, and using verse, music, percussion, dance, song and Filipino martial arts-inspired movement, the moving and magical play centers around the experiences of five Filipino immigrant farm workers who yearn for love, friendship, and hope as they follow crops and work tirelessly in the fields around Stockton and the South Bay Area.

The play, which premiered in New York in 2003, has been performed for sold-out and diverse audiences worldwide in such cities as Chicago, Los Angeles, Honolulu, New Haven, Manila, Philippines; Sibia, Romania; and Vancouver, Canada. Cast members are world-class, award-winning actors from New York and Los Angeles, and include Paolo Montalban (best known for his portrayal of the Prince in Disney’s Cinderella with Brandy), Arthur Acuna, Ramon de Ocampo, Joe Foronda, and Jojo Gonzales as “Magno.” Variety called the play “A wondrous fable of resilience, hope and happiness.” The New York Times called the play “one of the season’s best.”

The Romance of Magno Rubio comes to Northern California in October, which is Filipino American History Month.

Stockton Tickets: $35, $25, and $15, and $30, $20 and $10 for youth 18 and under, students with I.D., seniors, and groups of 10 or more. Now available at , at the Bob Hope box office at 242 E. Main St., Stockton, and by phone at (209) 337-4673. Proceeds benefit the Little Manila Foundation .

San Bruno tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door for students with ID on Thursday, Oct. 9. Student tickets are available at $25 for all seats Oct. 10 and 11, and 2pm Oct. 12, . Proceeds benefit Philippine International Aid.

Additional MAGNO-related programs include:

• FREE special, Bulosan-oriented Little Manila Historic Site Tours at 11am, 1pm, and 3pm on Saturday Oct. 4 and 10am and noon Sunday Oct. 5, with Dawn Mabalon and Dillon Delvo. To reserve, call (209) 477-7143 or send a message to Tours will meet at the Mariposa Hotel, 130 E. Lafayette, and last approximately 1.5 hours.

• Carlos Bulosan and The Romance of Magno Rubio; Free symposium (and Filipino American History Month Kickoff.) Featuring local professors Dr. Dawn Bohulano Mabalon, Dr. Allyson Tintiangco-Cubales, Dr. Joi Barrios, and members of the cast and crew of MAGNO. 5:30-8pm, Wed., Oct. 1, San Francisco Public Library, 100 Larkin St. at Grove. Co-sponsored by the Filipino American Center of the SF Public Library and the Little Manila Foundation and Arkipelago Books.
• Carlos Bulosan: The Stockton Years, free symposium about Carlos Bulosan’s writing and his experiences in Stockton that inspired the short story and play. Featuring local scholars, community members, and members of the MAGNO cast and crew. 6-8pm, Thursday, Oct. 2, Cesar Chavez Central Library, 605 N. El Dorado St., Stockton, Free. Bulosan books and Filipinos in Stockton books will be sold at the event. Co-sponsored by the Filipino American National Historical Society, Stockton Chapter and Arkipelago Books.

• Bob Hope lobby display of photographs, tools, farm implements, and a small bunkhouse recreation co-sponsored by the Filipino American National Historical Society, Stockton Chapter.

• Post-Show Meet the Cast and Crew Gala, Sheraton Hotel Hippo Bar, 110 West Fremont St., 9-11:30. Refreshments and entertainment. Tickets, $10-20 sliding scale, available at, (209) 477-7143, and at the Saturday show.

We hope to see you at the play, and at related MAGNO RUBIO Events!


Dawn B. Mabalon, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, History
San Francisco State University

Allyson Tintiangco-Cubales, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Asian American Studies
Director, Pin@y Educational Partnerships (PEP )
San Francisco State University

Professor Liza Erpelo
Assistant Professor
Skyline College Kababayan Program