Eugene Domingo returns to theater with PETA adaptation of ‘Night Mother’

Eugene Domingo. (Photo by Jill Tan Radovan/InterAksyon)

This 2018, Eugene Domingo returns to her roots via a Filipino adaptation of Marsha Norman’s Pulitzer Prize-winning drama, “Night, Mother.”

The actress, who honed her acting chops as a Theater Arts student at the University of the Philippines, will take to the stage after a five-year hiatus from theater to play the lead role in this sensitive and fluid drama. As Jessie, Eugene plays a divorcee who reveals to her mother her plan to commit suicide that same evening.

The play is filled with conversations between mother and daughter. Veteran actress Sherry Lara stars as Thelma, Jessie’s mother.

Eugene is no stranger to the material. She once played Thelma, the mother, in a smaller production of “Night, Mother” when she was only in her 20s.

She admits that portraying a 60-year-old woman back then proved to be very difficult, so she felt quite relieved when she was offered to the role of Jessie instead in this adaptation by the Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA). She is now 46 years old.

“Ito talaga yung tamang edad para sa role ni Jessie, yung anak. So I’m very excited to play it again; to visit again; to experience it again; at the right age na ang dami ko na ring nakita sa mundo at na-experience. So yung truth na gusto niyong mapanood at yung ganda ng material, ay mas Madali naming maibibigay kasi suwerte, tama yung edad namin at yung experience namin,” Eugene said during a recent media conference.

Eugene Domingo performs an excerpt with co-star Sherry Lara. Right, director Melvin Lee speaks to the media. (Photos by Jill Tan Radovan/InterAksyon)

The 90-minute straight play has been adapted to Filipino by Ian Lomogo and will be directed by Melvin Lee, whom we last saw as the charming and lovely Chelsea in PETA’s musical comedy, “Care Divas.”

While acclaimed playwright Marsh Norman wrote “Night, Mother” back in the ‘80s, director Melvin Lee notes that it remains especially relevant today as it touches on universal human concerns such as family relationships (or the strain of), alienation, isolation, and loneliness.

Moreover, it sheds light on issues that people are generally ashamed to talk about mental health, suicide, and family dysfunction.

The play was originally supposed to be directed by Soxy Topacio, who passed away in July.

“I will take this play as an opportunity to pay homage to Mother Soxy, na malaki ang influence sa akin as a theater artist and as a director,” Melvin said.

PETA’s “Night, Mother” will run from February 2 to March 18, 2018 at the PETA Theater Center. Call the PETA Marketing and PR Office at 0927-6035913 for show buying and ticket inquiries, or Ticketworld at 891-9999