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Learning How to Read by Moonlight

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Event description


six-year-old Eddie imagines a dragon eating moons and an imaginary friend teaching him English. His mother smokes as she prays to a statue of the Santo Niño. His father waits alone in Manila for their daily phone calls. Songs from a mythical giant turtle travel across oceans, but are drowned by the voices of Duterte and Trump on the television. As fantasy and reality become indistinguishable, the family is forced to learn how to articulate unspoken truths that will either break them or heal them. How will the weight of living undocumented in New York City force them to reevaluate their understanding of “community", “dreams”, and "home"?

​To assist the actors, a new narrator (a fellow artist, community organizer, or elected official) joins the cast every night. The narrator reads the play aloud to the audience, having neither seen the play nor read the entire script. The cast performs original music and songs to help tell the story. The play is spoken in English and Tagalog with subtitles and translation.

2021 Bay Area Playwrights Festival Finalist
2021 E.A.G. Barbour Award Finalist

A portion of the proceeds will go to support Churches United for Fair Housing, a grassroots organization that works towards community empowerment through community organizing, youth engagement and by providing sophisticated social services.


All shows take place at the Episcopal Actors' Guild's Guild Hall space in The Church of the Transfiguration, 1 East 29th Street between 5th and Madison. Walk through the gazebo entrance through the courtyard and look for the welcome table near the entrance.

Please note, for the safety of our company and guest, you will NOT be allowed entry without 100% compliance with the Episcopal Actors' Guild's COVID safety protocols. You will be asked to:

1) Provide an in-person proof of vaccination
2) Present a photo ID at the door, and,
3) Wear a well-fitted, high-filtration mask (such as a K95, KN95, KF94, or well-fitted surgical mask) at all times while in the space.

Guild Hall is not a fully ADA-compliant venue
. However, EAG and Leviathan Lab will do our best to accommodate all patrons. Guild Hall is located up one flight of stairs of 20 steps. There is no elevator. However, a stair chair is available for those who need assistance making it up to or down from Guild Hall. EAG’s staff will be happy to assist patrons upon request.


We will sing, laugh, and dance as a community! The play is hella Pinoy. Note that it also explores mental health, racism, government sanctioned police violence, and xenophobia with a vulnerable and tender heart. We encourage each other to explore these themes as a community and be witness to each other's humanity. Let us lean in with empathy and love so that we may support each other through the performance.

CAST (in alphabetical order)

*Equity member appearing with permission of Actors' Equity Association without benefit of an Equity contract in this Off-Off-Broadway production.


Fri, Feb 10
Iyvon E.
 Artistic Director & Host, The Parsnip Ship and Director of Artistic Programs, Signature Theatre

Sat, Feb 11
Eva Santos Veloz, DACA recipient and past Distributed Organizer, United We Dream

Thu, Feb 16
Roger Q. Mason, Playwright & Performer (Page 73 Fellow; Chuck Rowland Pioneer Award)

Fri, Feb 17
Lia Chang, Actor, Journalist, Photographer (2022 Prospect Muse Award), and Filmmaker (DisOrient Film Audience Choice Award, When the World Was Young (star)), TV Host and Executive Producer of Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Sat, Feb 18
Salma S. Zohdi, Dramaturg and Associate Director of Development & Communications, Noor Theatre

Wed, Feb 22
Daniel K. Isaac, Drama Desk-Nominated Actor, Playwright, and star of Showtime’s “Billions” (Off-B’way: YOU WILL GET SICK (actor), Roundabout; ONCE UPON A (KOREAN) TIME (playwright), Ma-Yi Theater Company)

Thu, Feb 23
Luis H. Francia, Poet, Playwright, Journalist, and Nonfiction Writer (PEN Open Book Award and Asian American Literary Award for his memoir Eye of the Fish)

Fri, Feb 24
Victor I. Cazares, Tow Playwright-in-Residence, New York Theatre Workshop

Sat, Feb 25
Ching Valdes-Aran, Obie Award-winning and Lucille Lortel-nominated Actor


written by GAVEN D. TRINIDAD
​original music and lyrics by GAVEN D. TRINIDAD
projection and scenic design by CINTHIA CHEN
lighting design by ALEX ALIPIO
puppet design by MARIA CAMIA
stage management by MARS NERI

ARIEL ESTRADA, executive producer + artistic director of Leviathan Lab
production organizations, LEVIATHAN LAB + EPISCOPAL ACTORS' GUILD

Gaven D. Trinidad
(they/him/siya) is a brown, first-generation, Filipinx American theatremaker, illustrator, and educator from NYC and is currently New York Theatre Workshop’s Community Engagement Associate. Their artistic work examines the intersections of race, immigration, queerness, ritual, and community. They’ve collaborated with folx in various administrative and artistic positions at places such as The Juilliard Drama Division, Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, Roundabout Theatre, May-Yi Theater Company, and the Arts Project of Cherry Grove. Theatre Communications Group named them as a member of the 2021 Rising Leaders of Color Cohort. Living with Bipolar 1, they are an advocate for Mental Health Awareness and Suicide Prevention. Thank you to Ripley, their 12-year-old Jack Russell mix, for always bringing them joy (and attitude).

Mauricio Tafur Salgado
is an Assistant Arts Professor of Theatre Studies in the Department of Drama at NYU Tisch School of the Arts. Salgado is mestizo + first gen + born to proudly subversive Colombians + brown skinned + amateur bio-regionalist + aspiring theologian + cis-hetero + married + artist, pursuing justice and healing through a decolonial framework. He collaborates to organize space where folx rehearse revolution, compromise, rage, tolerance, strength, trust, and vulnerability. Prior to joining Tisch Drama, Salgado co-founded Artists Striving to End Poverty (ASTEP). At ASTEP, he recruited, trained, and supported more than 325 teaching artists and created and implemented 23 programs for artistic youth. He is currently a founding creative producer with the Remember2019 Collective, which supports local black cultural workers in Phillips County, Ark., as they facilitate spaces for self-determination, memory, and reflection that are directly related to the Elaine Massacre. He has worked as a facilitator, actor, deviser, and director with communities in Peru, the Dominican Republic, South Africa, India, Belgium, Germany, Scotland, and across Turtle Island (the United States). He has taught at the Boston Conservatory, Brown University, Santa Clara University, La Guardia Community College, and Kingsborough Community College.

MARIA CAMIA (she/her) is a Filipino American Artist, Fashion Designer, and Introspective Hypnosis Practitioner who creates Spiritual / Sci-Fi Theater with the intention to globally inspire liberation through healing and play. She has performed original work at Chicago’s International Puppet Festival, Dixon Place, La Mama, and Coney Island USA. Her first full-length puppet show, NEW MONY! was commissioned and first presented in NYC by Dixon Place with private funds from the Jim Henson Foundation and The Jerome Foundation. Maria received The Jim Henson Workshop Grant ’20 and ’22 and The Jim Henson Production Grant ‘23. The Healing Shipment’s world premiere will be at La Mama’s Puppet Festival November 2-5, 2023. See you there! @themaricama |

Founded in 2009, Leviathan Lab is an award-winning not-for-profit creative studio whose mission is the advancement of Asian and Asian American (A/AA) performing artists and their work. Through the speaking of A/AA artists’ words, and the presentation of A/AA bodies, presence, and gestures on stage and film, Leviathan works to open spaces that promote social justice, bridge communities, and assert the power of art to change the world. We function as a lab where early-career and established A/AA artists can be courageous, experiment, and thrive as they create works that captivate the audiences we serve.

The mission of the Episcopal Actors' Guild (est. 1923) is to provide emergency aid and support to professional performers of all faiths who are undergoing financial crisis. We are also dedicated to helping emerging artists advance their careers through scholarships, awards, and performance opportunities. Our headquarters and historic theatre are located on the second floor of New York's landmarked Church of the Transfiguration, also known as "The Little Church Around the Corner." ​

​Actors' Equity Association (“Equity"), founded in 1913, is the U.S. labor union that represents more than 51,000 professional Actors and Stage Managers. Equity fosters the art of live theatre as an essential component of society and advances the careers of its members by negotiating wages, improving working conditions and providing a wide range of benefits, including health and pension plans. Actors' Equity is a member of the AFL-CIO and is affiliated with FIA, an international organization of performing arts unions.

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