The Passion of El Hulk Hogancito (2009)
55 min. | live performance + video + digital art
DESCRIPTION: Hason loses the Third Grade Show and Tell Showdown, muses on his WWF heroes, and attempts to understand his mother, a Filipina nurse who’d been framed for murder by the FBI in 1976. Part pop culture lecture, part solo reader’s theater, part social documentary, all intimate storytelling, this performance is simply about a mother, a son, historical trauma and the Hulkamania within.
WRITER/PERFORMER: Jason Magabo Perez
VIDEO: Mark C. Marcelo
MUSIC/SOUND: Arash “Shammy Dee” Haile
MARCH/APRIL 2009. PREMIERE. Presented by KULARTS, INC. Bayanihan Community Center. SoMa, San Francisco, CA.
MAY 2009. Presented by UCSD Cross-Cultural Center and the UCSD Pan-Asian Staff Association. University of California, San Diego Cross-Cultural Center ArtSpace. La Jolla, CA.
NOVEMBER 2009. Presented by the CSU Sacramento Multi-Cultural Center. California State University, Sacramento Multi-Cultural Center. Sacramento, CA.
DECEMBER 2009. Presented by UC Berkeley’s Department of Ethnic Studies and Asian American Studies Program. University of California, Berkeley Multicultural Center. Berkeley, CA.
FEBRUARY 2010. Presented by the Center for Black Studies Research. University of California, Santa Barbara Multi-Cultural Center Theatre. Santa Barbara, CA.
OCTOBER 2010. Presented by Asian Art Museum and partners. Filipino American History Month at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco. San Francisco, CA.
OCTOBER 2010. Presented by SF Public Library and the Smithsonian Institute. Beyond Manny and Marcos–a showcase–at the Koret Auditorium in the San Francisco Public Library. Curated by Anthem Salgado. San Francisco, CA.
NOVEMBER 2010. Presented by the UCI Department of Asian American Studies. Excerpts performed in Professor Christine Bacareza Balance’s Filipino American Studies course at the University of California, Irvine. Irvine, CA.
APRIL 2011. Presented by the USD Center for Community Service-Learning. University of San Diego Salomon Lecture Hall. San Diego, CA.
JUNE 2011. 3rd National Asian American Theater Festival at the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy. Presented by the Consortium of Asian American Theaters and Artists. Little Tokyo, Los Angeles, CA.
OCTOBER 2012. 9th International Conference of the Philippines (ICOPHIL) at the Kellogg Center Auditorium, Michigan State University. Presented by ICOPHIL organizers/coordinators. East Lansing, MI.
APRIL 2015. Spectrum Series at Antelope Valley College Performing Arts Theater. Presented by Student Equity. Lancaster, CA.
OCTOBER 2016. Filipino American History Month at Cal State San Bernardino in the Pfau Library Special Collections Room. Presented by Department of English, Pacific Review, and Lubos PASO. San Bernardino, CA.
“Jason Magabo Perez’s performance of The Passion of El Hulk Hogancito is simply marvelous in the way he fuses music, storytelling, video, and humor. His personal story unfolds with the grace of an artist who cares profoundly about his subject matter and who engages others in a dynamic conversation on identity.” – JUAN DELGADO, author of the American Book Award-Winning Vital Signs
“Start with the title…Weird but familiar, Catholic and all-American but rendered in Spanish, made somewhat foreign and strange and yet faintly hilarious.” – SAN DIEGO CITYBEAT
“Perez’s story floors…As horrifying, deeply American, kinda maybe David-Lynch-meets-hip-hop-narratives go, this one is a doozy.” – SF WEEKLY
“The Passion of El Hulk Hogancito by Jason Magabo Perez skillfully weaves two seemingly unconnected stories–a Filipino American male coming-of-age story in southern California with the narrative of two Filipina nurses in the American Midwest who were unjustly persecuted for crimes they did not commit–with humor and critical insight. The result is a nuanced and smart exploration of the Filipino American experience.” – CATHERINE CENIZA CHOY, author of Empire of Care: Nursing and Migration in Filipino American History
“Jason Magabo Perez’s The Passion of Hulk Hogancito is a fast-paced fresh and witty, smart and funny literary performance gem, which takes the audience into the mind and life of Perez. It turns the typical all-American, Hulk Hogan, coming-of-age, male rite of passage on its psychological head, exploring the iconography of American pop culture as a mixed psychological saga for a Pilipino youth from a working class family, raised by an immigrant mother nurse, convicted of murdering her patients in a highly racialized court trial in the seventies. Perez, a fierce performer, moves through his narrative, interspersed with family photos, newspaper clippings and streaming videos, which reconstruct his life story as a kind of virtual home movie that never lets up until the audience becomes as breathless and absorbed in the excavation process of he.” – GENNY LIM, author of Paper Gods and Rebels
“Perez is wit on wheels: sharp, funny, brilliant, torquing toward grit and pathos. To see his work is to believe in the hunger of his cause.” – EDIE MEIDAV, author of Lola, California and Bard Fiction Prize-Winning Crawl Space
FUTURE: This project continues to undergo minor and major revisions. Please contact me if you are interested in bringing this performance to your campus, theater/literary event or festival.