Playwright’s Process: Argel Monte de Ramos
Playwright’s Process is a blog series inspired by the Marcel Proust Character Questionnaire, where we introduce you to playwrights and theatre artists that are creating exciting new works. We ask them to choose seven questions from our list that resonate with them.
We connected with Argel, one of our current ECD producer-playwrights, to hear about his creation process, his work on The Parallel Project, and his vision for theatre.
Argel Monte de Ramos was born in Manila, Philippines. When he was 15 years old, he moved to Canada with his family to seek a better life and opportunities. As a young immigrant, Argel wants to use the power of storytelling to inspire Filipino youth and other immigrants through his music and theatrical performances. He went to Kwantlen Polytechnic University to take classes in Business and did a Business studies exchange program at the University of Central Lancashire in Preston, UK. Argel also holds a Musical Theatre Diploma and a Bachelor of Performing arts degree from Capilano University. He is an advocate of representation, anti-racism work, and inclusion.
If you had unlimited access to resources, what would be a dream show you would create?
I would continue to create The Parallel Project. We will produce writing workshops for emerging IBPOC writers and write many collections of monologues for IBPOC actors to use for auditions or performances. I would also create a musical that focuses on the Filipinx-Canadian experiences and write show-stopping numbers! What a dream!
What things in the theatre world would you like to challenge?
I want to challenge the theatre world to decolonize our theatrical practices and take action on creating spaces for IBPOC artists and stories.
How would you describe your writing process for your plays? What are the key values for your process?
I write to tell stories, either based on my experiences or imagination. I like to create worlds that push people’s thinking, and I usually like my audiences to embark on the journey with me. My mom and dad always taught me to give people the benefit of the doubt, as we are only human and we carry emotions. I always remember that whenever I create a world full of characters.
What got you into writing and/or creating for theatre?
The art of storytelling is the reason why I write and create for theatre. The stage is such a vital platform for stories and entertainment. I like to inspire young immigrants and other youth through theatre to find the courage to tell their stories and share their experiences. I also find it fun when actors bring life to the characters I wrote. It’s fascinating to see how they drive the character’s story.
Where is your favourite place to write?
I love going outside to write, especially if I am surrounded by nature. I think it would be cool to have an eco-friendly dome in the middle of a forest and write music and stories inside. I think it’s possible. I hope it’s possible! Someday!
What is your favourite character you’ve created?
My favourite would be the demigods I am currently writing about. There are three of them, and all of them are descendants of Philippine Gods and Goddesses. But if I have to pick only one, I have to pick Angelo, the descendant of Anitun Tabu, Goddess of wind, rain and water. Water has always been my way to connect with my home country Philippines. Whenever I miss home, I always go to White Rock Pier or Lonsdale Quay, and so it would be cool to have Angelo’s superpowers and have that strong connection with the water.
What animal or plant do you most identify with?
I identify with the bamboo plant. I am an ambitious dreamer, and like a bamboo plant, I am always excited to grow and discover new things, but I always remember where I came from. Humility is essential for me to stay grounded and appreciate the things I have. The bamboo plant bends over as it grows taller, and I connect with that.
Find more information about the catalogue of monologues created by The Parallel Project here. The Evergreen Cultural Centre Rise Up Sessions will take place March 30, 2022 at 8:00 PM. Ticket information here.