Muncie Local: Moore-Youse House Museum

The first time people found out that we were eventually moving to Muncie, Indiana for Marco’s new job, they were all like “Where is that? or “What’s there?”. A handful of people have heard of the place but for the majority they probably think its in the middle of nowhere (although our common go-to phrase has been “its 50 minutes away from Indianapolis” and its worked out just fine). Contrary to popular belief, Muncie isn’t as small as you think and I have heard of 2 famous people from this side of town (Woaaahhh) so I think that should count as something right? There’s David Letterman, the late night talk show host and Jim Davis, the creator of Garfield and if you still haven’t heard of any of the two that I mentioned then….I guess you google them. haha.

Usually when we travel, Marco and I take it as a challenge to find out what’s good about the place. He usually searches for good food places and hole-in-the-walls while I try to see the “Things to do” in the area which usually involves museums, art galleries, vineyards, parks, zoos, places that are more or less baby friendly since we’ve had Cassie. It’s no surprise that I’m treating Muncie similar to a place of travel, I guess you could say I’m trying to get to know the place, right?

So for our first stop, the Moore-Youse Home Museum.

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From my understanding, this home is said to be the oldest standing house in Downtown Muncie. It was built around the 1860s and was family owned for years until it was donated to the Delaware County Historical Society in 1982. The hours open vary depending on which website you happen to stumble upon so I suggest that you call 765-282-1150 to confirm. They also carry different information concerning the admission prices, some will say $2/ person (which isn’t much, really) while other websites will say its free of charge and donations are appreciated. Personally, during our visit they didn’t charge us anything for admission but we made sure to provide a generous donation.

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The room to the right, as soon as you enter, contained pieces of artwork and posters from a local artist named Eugene Mumaw. I understand that this was a temporary exhibit and I’d have to say that I enjoyed it immensely as he was the man behind the local theater’s historic posters for 30 years.

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Upstairs, two rooms were restored and allowed for viewing and I was pretty excited to see how they set up the place. The thing I love with house museums is the idea of getting a chance to peer into how these people lived their lives in the past, of course a good imagination is somewhat required but the environment or room, rather contributes a lot. They showcased the master bedroom and the children’s bedroom.

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I found the children’s bedroom very intriguing and rather creepy (although I am a big fan of “creepy”) because it had a good amount of eerily placed dolls all over the room as you can see for yourself. I’m pretty sure my brother Paulo would have freaked out, he’s such a big baby when it comes to dolls and clowns.

After taking time to check out the little vintage bits and baubles they had in the second floor, we headed back to the first floor to check the last room that we haven’t been into.

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An assortment of historical displays from US naval uniforms to intricate hand sewn/ embroidered dresses and accessories.

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As for the museum being kid-friendly, let’s just say my one and a half year old survived the place, older kids would do fine too as long as they don’t do anything crazy like jumping on the vintage beds and breaking the antique items they have on display as these items are very accessible. For tweens and teens, there is a chance for them to find this place very interesting, and its not really an extensive look-back into history so I doubt they would even find the time find it boring.

If you happen to be in town, I suggest you come by and visit this house museum. Here’s the address to type in your GPS:

122 E Washington St, Muncie, IN 47305

Enjoy!

~Rhea

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“Lucy…Lucy!!!”

It’s been 7 years since the time I was supposed to graduate from the University of the Philippines-Diliman (not too long considering the fact that UP theater students are notorious for that), and it’s safe to say that it also has been 7 years since the last time I’ve set foot on the Wilfredo Ma. Guerrero Theater stage. Two words—-nostalgic and nerve-racking.

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Backstage at today’s 10am show with the girls and our beloved director Tony Mabesa. #Sundayfunday

After I got married last June to my boyfriend of 9 years and fiancé of 2 years, Marco and I decided that it would be best for us to stay awhile and finally work on my thesis instead of flying back to Houston. I was hesitant partly because I wanted to start working on a routine for us as a newly married couple in Houston, my current comfort zone (get jobs, pay bills, save up for a house and maybe start our own family) and partly because I was anxious and scared as hell to be on stage again. So when the call for auditions came out, I was fretting like crazy but I went through it anyway. I decided to go on the first day of auditions to get it over with and it was strange seeing familiar faces, more or less the same people I’d bump into when I used to audition for plays a few years back. It was nice to see some good ‘ol friends also going through the audition process with me, we were handed a section of the script and we were asked to read some lines. I did my best to act like I wasn’t nervous… I might have failed miserably but I gave it my best shot. If I remember correctly, the number of auditionees reached 40 that day, but they might have cut down that number since Sir Tony had to leave early.

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Dulaang UP’s Audition Poster for The Country Wife

A week after auditions the results came out…I GOT IN!!!! Thank God!

Performance thesis, here I come.

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Dulaang UP’s Audition results for The Country Wife

You can only imagine how anxious I felt when I was handed a 162-page script for both the English and Filipino version. Sir Tony announced that he wanted us to learn both languages so we would be equipped to do both…now, that’s twice the challenge but when you’re in a Dulaang UP play under Sir Tony Mabesa, you never say never. The first day I walked in Teatro Hermogenes Ylagan (THY) for rehearsals, the first thing he asked me was…

“Sino Ka?” (Who are you?)

“Rhea, sir. I’m playing Lucy, sir.” I replied.

“O, hahawakan ka sa boobs ha…ok lang?” (Your boobs are going to get groped , is that okay?)

Yep, with Sir Tony you never say never. Thank God he changed his mind!

After that I decided to ask him if I could officially make this my performance thesis for my bachelors degree and he agreed with no hesitation. Before migrating to the US in 2007, I was set to do my performance thesis on a Shakespeare play also directed by Sir Tony but wasn’t able to push through with it because I had to leave right away. I left with a heavy heart thinking that I missed my chance to be mentored by the one and only Tony Mabesa, it’s funny how 7 years after I am back where I left off and I am extremely grateful for that. From what I hear this might be the first and last Restoration Comedy Sir Tony is doing, come to think of it, I made it just in time.

 We rehearsed consistently on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays and when one of us would miss rehearsals he/she would bring the cast and the staff something to eat. Boy, did we have a feast all the time. Haha. But rehearsals were not just about pigging out and making new friends, every single one of the cast and the staff gave this production their all. We all worked hard adjusting to the language (or languages for that matter), adjusting our schedules, adjusting to each other, adjusting to changes, adjusting to new lines, new blocking, new set, new rehearsal venue—It’s really amazing how the theater is capable of bringing wonderfully talented people with totally different backgrounds, different eccentricities and different quirks but one passion and that is what we have brought to the stage of the Guerrero Theater.

Here are the sensational actors and actresses that I get to work with in no particular order (unlike the promotional posters and the playbills, haha), the cast of Dulaang UP’s The Country Wife/ Ang Misis Kong Promdi, Directed by the one and only Tony Mabesa and Translation by the multi-awarded playwright Nicholas Pichay.

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Sir Tony Mabesa

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 Sue Prado, Sari Estrada and Martha Comia as Margery Pinchwife

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George de Jesus and Tarek El Tayech as Mr. Pinchwife

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Neil Ryan Sese and Jay Gonzaga as Mr. Horner

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RS Francisco, Shamaine Centenera-Buencamino and Arvin Trinidad as Sparkish

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 Issa Litton and Karen Gaerlan as Alithea

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Ian Ignacio and Carlo Tarobal as Harcourt

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Jacques Borlaza and Leo Rialp as Sir Jasper Fidget

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Adriana Agcaoili and Dolly de Leon as Lady Fidget

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Rizzy Alejandro and Bea Paloma as Dainty Fidget

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Chona Fernando, Ron Biñas and Joanna Lerio as Mrs. Squeamish

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Francis Mata and Ces Aldaba as Doctor Quack

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Brian Arda and Sigmund Pecho as Dorilant

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Ms. Aurora Yumul as Old Lady Squeamish

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Giancarlo Patelo and Joseph Nabong as the Servant

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..and last but not the least Regina Ramas – Mendezona (me!) and Yvonne Ricaro as Lucy.

Dulaang UP’s The Country Wife Rehearsal Clip

—-And now for my shameless plug!!!

Don’t forget to catch me as “Lucy” on these remaining dates:

The Country Wife:
November 22 SAT, 3 pm
November 27 THU, 7 pm
November 29 SAT, 10 am
December 6 SAT, 3 pm

Ang Misis Kong Promdi:

November 20 THU, 7 pm
November 23 SUN, 10 am
November 28 FRI, 7 pm GALA
November 30 SUN, 10 am 
December 4 THU, 7 pm
December 6 SAT, 7 pm
December 7 SUN, 10 am

Country Wife Press Interview

P.S. You might have heard reviews about our play to be a bit raunchy, vulgar or sexually explicit but as Sir Tony Mabesa would say … “The theater should disturb and excite” and that is precisely what we’re doing.

Now, pick a date, buy your tickets and catch us on stage! See you there!

~Rhea