Projects in Development
A play about women, war, and betrayal by Marie Barlizo
Marie Leofeli Romero Barlizo is a Filipino-Chinese playwright and dramaturg who was born in the Philippines but grew up in Montreal. She is a graduate of the University of British Columbia’s Optional-Residency Creative Writing MFA Program and holds a BFA in Theatre from Concordia University. She is the first visible minority to graduate from the National Theatre School’s Playwriting Program. Marie interned at Nightswimming Theatre, courtesy of the Metcalf Foundation Grant for Professional Development (2009) in dramaturgy. As a dramaturg, she has also worked at Alberta Theatre Projects (Calgary), fu-Gen Asian Canadian Theatre Company (Toronto), Out Productions and Centaur Theatre. Her plays have been showcased at Playwrights Theatre Centre’s New Play Festival in Vancouver, fu-Gen Asian-Canadian Theatre Company’s Annual Potluck Festival (Toronto), Playwrights’ Workshop Montreal, Teesri Duniya Theatre (Montreal) and at Factory Theatre’s CrossCurrent Festival (Toronto). She is the playwriting mentor at Black Theatre Workshop’s Artist Mentorship Program and will be teaching at National Theatre School this fall. Her play, Unang Pasko Sa Montreal (First Christmas in Montreal) was part of Urban Tales Series at the Centaur Theatre. She is presenting her play Lucky at the Next Stage Theatre Festival in Toronto in January 2019, which was developed at the 2017 Banff Playwrights Retreat and produced at the 2018 Montreal Fringe Festival. She is Canada Council’s 2018-2019 Playwright-in-Residence at Imago Theatre developing her play Lola.
Lola is inspired by the atrocities experienced by my family when the Japanese invaded the Philippines in World War II. On September 16, 1943, about twenty-five members of my great uncle’s family were hunted down by the Japanese army and systematically beheaded on the fields of Buntal in Barotac Viejo, my father’s birth town. They were targeted because they supported the local anti-Japanese guerrilla movement. There are many theories about who reported them and why. In Lola, I am exploring what people, in particular women, are willing to do to survive in the extreme circumstances of war and how and why they betray each other.