The Bakla Show EPK

MEDIA CONTACT: Shannon Lee L. Pacaoan | Email: | Phone: (415) 255-0440



Photo by Peggy Peralta, 2014


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Isa Makes Three Cast (L – R: Michelle Ferrer, Kathleen Gutierrez, Rose Almario, Mahalaya Tintiangco-Cubales). Photo by Ann Borja, 2010.

In January of 2007, Bindlestiff Studio, based in San Francisco’s SOMA district, proudly presented its very first in-house queer focused production called THE BAKLA SHOW. The Bakla (Tagalog for gay male – mostly stereotyped and ridiculed as the campy effeminate cross-dresser or hairdresser) Show was created in November of 2006 by two queer Filipina American artist, Shannon Pacaoan and Kat Evasco as a start of a new movement to reclaim the term ‘BAKLA’. The origin of The Bakla Show began with exploring roots; navigating through the history of the Philippines to find a sense of our culture before the influence and impositions of other countries, ideals, and religions. And it was found in the language, BAKLA broken down to is roots: BA; KA; LA. BAbae, in Tagalog, translates to woman. LAlaki is man. KA, in this word, represents the union of woman and man. Deconstructing the term bakla detaches it from present derogatory applications and fosters a stronger connection to the Filipino culture by way of our sexuality.

Letters to La Muse Diwata Cast (L to R: Edmer Lazaro, Alberto Vajrabukka, Roberto Tiscareno)

Letters to La Muse Diwata Cast (L to R: Edmer Lazaro, Alberto Vajrabukka, Roberto Tiscareno). Photo by Ann Borja, 2010.

The Bakla Show aims to educate, challenge, and encourage dialogue among and between different ethnic and sexually diverse communities by means of increasing the visibility of Filipino American LGBTQ/GNC experience through theatrical performance.

(2010) Download Isa Makes Three Cast Image (300 dpi)
(2010) Download Letters to La Muse Diwata Cast Image (300 dpi)
(2010) Download The Bakla Show 2 Cast & Crew Image (300 dpi)
Photos by Ann Borja

In 2013, Bindlestiff Studio was proud to screen performance footage from one of its most beloved productions. Originally performed in 2010 to sell-out crowds during its entire run, THE BAKLA SHOW 2: MYTHS RETOLD, REALITIES UNFOLD explored the awkward, painful and joyful realities of being Filipino and bakla through the lens of myths, legend, and folktales.

Sketches performed in the innovative show went on to garner numerous awards and accolades, including: Edgar Poma’s “‘Tude and Gratitude” which, as part of Eat Our Shorts, was recognized with the SOLD OUT! Award for outstanding box office performance at the SF Fringe Festival 2010; and Emmanuel Romero’s “Viewer Discretion Advised (Tape 96)” which was adapted by Drew Stephens into a much-lauded short film – (Best Fest Short Program – LGBT Film Festival, Audience Award – San Francisco Scary Cow Film Screening, Best Short – Cinema St. Louis Q Fest, nominated Best Short – Barcelona Int’l LGBT Film Festival).

(June 12-28, 2014)

Edgar Poma's How the Horn Ended You Cast (From L to R Tina Braganza, Jed Parsario, Lorenz Angelo Gonzales). Photo by Micca de Joya, 2014.

Edgar Poma’s How the Horn Ended You Cast (From L to R Tina Braganza, Jed Parsario, Lorenz Angelo Gonzales). Photo by Micca de Joya, 2014.

Bindlestiff Studio is thrilled to announce the beloved production series will debut new works with the June 12, 2014 premiere of The Bakla Show 3 (which runs through June 28). The much-anticipated third installment will focus on a central theme: LGBTQ/GNC F/Pilipin@ youth experiences.

As with the last two installments, submissions were chosen to participate in a fully-staged theatrical production at Bindlestiff Studio in the heart of the SOMA in San Francisco. In a new development, we are excited to announce The Bakla Show’s collaboration with publishing company Glover Lane Press, to also choose submissions to be published in an anthology focused on the same theme. Producer and co-creator of The Bakla Show, Shannon Lee L. Pacaoan, states that she was motivated to produce a new show after learning of the heartbreaking stories about bullying, assaults, and suicides of LGBTQ/GNC young people over the past several years. Further, Pacaoan is also motivated by the countless stories one never hears: those buried by family silence and shame, two prevalent features of Filipino culture.

Conrad Panganiban's Inay's Wedding Dress Cast (From L to R Lynie Abadilla, Krystle Piamonte). Photo by Micca de Joya, 2014.

Conrad Panganiban’s Inay’s Wedding Dress Cast (From L to R Lynie Abadilla, Krystle Piamonte). Photo by Micca de Joya, 2014.

With this in mind, The Bakla Show 3 seeks to explore the textured and multidimensional experiences of LGBTQ/GNC F/Pilipin@ youth struggles, hardships and turmoil and to bring to the forefront the celebrations, joy and love. Lolan Buhain Sevilla, The Bakla Show anthology’s co-editor, shares, ‘Our community, and in particular our youth, need to not only be armed with hope, but also with examples and models of resilience.’

(2014) Download The Bakla Show 3 Image Photo by Peggy Peralta
(2014) Download How the Horn Ended You Cast Photo Photos by Micca de Joya

(2014) Download Inay’s Wedding Dress Cast Photo Photos by Micca de Joya

The Bakla Show 3 is a proud recipient of a 2014 Horizons Foundation grant, awarded to non-profits around the Bay Area to help strengthen and support programs and services benefiting the LGBTQ community, as well as grants from Red Envelope Giving Circle (REGC), Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center (APICC), Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy (AAPIP) and the San Francisco Arts Commission. They are also a participant of the 17th Annual United States of Asian America Festival 2014.

Horizons Foundation  REGCREGC2      APICC_300dpi_logo    sfac_300dpi_logo

Through these generous grants and awards, The Bakla Show has been able to expand its scope:

The FYRE (Filipin@ Youth Resiliency and Empowerment) Circle workshops, which began on April 26th, recurring weekly every Saturday until May 24th, as opportunities for F/Pilipin@ youth to build community and raise awareness on topics such as identity, oppression, and solidarity, as well as to collaborate on a theatrical piece to be produced in The Bakla Show 3. The workshops took place in SOMArts Cultural Center in San Francisco, and are geared towards  Filipin@ youth aged 18-24.

In addition, two art exhibits of LGBTQ/GNC F/Pilipin@ artists and themes (John Vincent Aranda’s CITY OF TRANSIENTS & Cindy Aquino’s KADENA) will run concurrently with the Bindlestiff Studio theatrical production.

The Bakla Show 3

June 12-28
Thursday – Saturday, 8pm

Students and Seniors: $10
General: $15
Support the Artists: $20
(Pay-what-you-can, June 12 only)

Purchase tickets online:


Bindlestiff Studio
185 6th St @ Howard, San Francisco, CA 94103

For tickets and more information, call 415-255-0440.



Bindlestiff Studio – the only theater in the United States dedicated to the Filipino American experience – breaks new ground with the Bakla Show. With this series of short vignettes, the performance space notes to the coming-out-to-your-traditional-community quandary… Through the term Bakla used to refer primarily to effeminate gay Filipino men, the show presents a more inclusive portraiture of queerness. Traditional stereotypes get smacked down…

–          Gluckstern, Bay Area Guardian, January 2007

EPK c&c

The Bakla Show 2 Cast & Crew. Photo by Ann Borja

The Bakla Show website:


photo by Paciano TriunfoShannon Lee L. Pacaoan (Co-Creator) holds a BA in Psychology and in Asian American Studies from San Francisco State University. Recognizing the unique healing properties of art within her community, she has come to believe in the transformative power of art for both artist and audience. She has since dedicated much of her time to help others bring their unique stories to stage in the Bay Area with Asian American Theater Company (AATC), Bindlestiff Studio, Kearny Street Workshop, Kularts, Pinays Maintaining Sisterhood Through Art and Revival Arts Productions. She has worked both backstage – on AATC’s 15th Anniversary Production of Walls (2006), awarded a National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) grant – and on stage with her script “Circadian Suites”, featured in Pinays Maintaining Sisterhood Through Art’s production, Death of a Player (2011), the recipient of a Zellerback Family Foundation grant. Currently based on the Central Coast of California, she continues to seek new ways to engage her community through storytelling, speaking on the panel ‘Sticks and Stones: Bullying in School and Community in San Luis Obispo’ (2011). Her most recent work was published in Glover Lane Press’ Letters to My Bully (2012).

Kat EvascoIf Margaret Cho and Ellen Degeneres conceived a lesbian love baby, she would have nothing on this hilarious Bay Area actor and stand-up comic. Kat Evasco (Co-Creator) is a proud lesbian Filipina American and co-created and co-produced the BAKLA SHOW I & II (2007, 2010), highlighting experiences of queer Filipinos. Kat competed in the 2010 San Francisco International Comedy Competition and has performed at venues including the Haha Cafe, San Jose Improv, the Purple Onion, Humboldt State University, Napa Valley Opera House, and the Mont Blue Casino. Since January 2011, Kat has been developing her comedic, autobiographical one-woman show titled Mommy Queerest, which focuses on her relationship with her recently outed lesbian mother. After a successful workshop run in December 2011, Kat was invited by the Asian American Studies Department to do a workshop performance at UC Irvine in March 2013. Mommy Queerest is scheduled to premier in the Fall 2013, embarking on her first national tour. Kat holds a BA in Asian American Studies from San Francisco State University and currently serves as Managing Director of Guerrilla Rep and as the Production Associate at Youth Speaks Inc.


This production features the work of:
Aaron Niles, Adrien Salazar, Aimee Espiritu, Aivy Cordova, Alan Quismorio, Alberto Vajrabukka, Alexis Dayers, Allan Manalo, Amy Diaz-Infante, Angelica Posadas, Anthony Tagudar, Aureen Almario, Bing Lim, Brian Batugo, Bryan Pangilinan, Cesar Cadabes, Christina Ying, Cristina Mitra, Dennis Rodis, Dianne Chui, Edgar Poma, Edmer Lazaro, Elaine Joy Ronquillo, Emmanuel Romero, Ernesto Andrade, Gemma Calderon, Grace Villarin, Jamie Nallas, Jocelyne Ampon, Jocelyn de Leon, John Caldon, Jose Saenz, Judith Ferrer, Kathleen Gutierrez, Lolan Sevilla, Lorna Velasco, Mahalaya Tintiangco-Cubales, Major Julian, Manny Grueso, Jr., Matt Stines, Maya Santos, Melissa Diaz-Infante, Melvign Badiola, Michelle Ferrer, Nico Dacumos, Nicole Maxali, OJ Pahati, Paulina Almazan, Pio Candelaria, Ria Oblea, Richgail Enriquez, Rob Trinidad, Robert Marquez, Roberto Tiscareno, Romeo Ferrer, Ron Quesada, Rose Almario, Sarita Ocon, Skye McLendell, Susanna Yu, Tina Shauf, TJ Basa, Tonilyn Sideco and Yael Villafranca


  • The Bakla Show 2 DVD Screening (June 2, 2013)
    Bindlestiff Studio, San Francisco
  • The Bakla Show: Fil-Am Gender & Sexuality, Narrative & Performance Screening & Panel (May 3, 2013)
    UC Berkeley’s Multicultural Community Center, Berkeley
  • The Bakla Show 2: Myths Retold, Realities Unfold (June 3-12, 2010)
       Thick House, San Francisco
  • The Bakla Show (January 18-27, 2007)
       Bindlestiff Studio, San Francisco

 EPK Bindlestiff Studio Logo

Bindlestiff Studio aims to cultivate artists who reflect and celebrate the diverse values, traditions, and histories of Pilipino and Filipino American cultures through bold artistic expression and community engagement. Visit

In 1989, Bindlestiff Studio was established by a group of local independent theater artists as a 52-seat black box theater that fed the underground experimental theater scene of the early 90s in San Francisco’s South of Market (SOMA ) District. This makes it the longest running theater arts organization in SOMA. In 1997, the Filipino American theater group, tongue-in-A-mood, took over operations and developed Bindlestiff Studio as an epicenter for Filipino American theater artists, musicians, dancers, and filmmakers. Today, our organization serves and engages over 100 Pilipino and Filipino American artists of various arts disciplines, reaching over 2500 audience members annually.

MEDIA CONTACT: Shannon Lee L. Pacaoan | Email: | Phone: (415) 255-0440


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