Presented by Tita Power Inc.
In her solo show, Moro Girl, Alia Ceniza Rasul just wants you to know, at the end of it all, what a Moro is. She’s one, sort of. As she makes clear in self-deprecating asides, she doesn’t consider herself a great representation of the Bangsamoro people—Filipino Muslim; she just likes charcuterie too much.
All performances of Rasul’s show are relaxed. Her rather lengthy introduction is a leisurely content warning where she describes, notes in hand, the various audio-visual stimuli that occur during her show. This sets the overall casual vibe.
She spends a good chuck of time on her name—and Filipino/Filipino-Muslum names in general. The Spanish and Arabic influences figure prominently, as does colonialism. Colonial intrusion becomes a running joke, actually, as the cause of much systemic, cultural phenomena—frequently negative.
She talks about her youth, feeling torn between identities, and experiencing racism. She shares some video chats with her family—mother, father and brother—all in different locations throughout the globe. For the most part, these offer random, delightfully idiosyncratic familial interactions.
The last segment of her show is her TED talk. With slides as a visual aid, she gives us a brief run down of key moments from the history of the Moro people. Locations and dates are provided, mass executions figure prominently, but it is hard to retain much of the information.
The only true moment of connection to any of this happens during a brief video chat with her father. While a teenager, he survived the destruction of a Moro community. When Rasul comments on the trauma of this, his flippant joke actually drives home the horror of it while simultaneously paying tribute to human resilience.
It’s not particularly focused, but both the audience and Rasul seem mutually satisfied when she gets to the end. Moro Girl is a moderately informative, low-pressure and giddy hang-out sesh with a funny lady—exactly what the Tarragon Solo Room is designed for. And there are some genuine feely bits throughout.