@Home

Home is a place where you feel safe, whole, and happy. This was how @Home of Kolab.Co defined home, which I agreed with.People have to be away from their home, and from what it gives them since production is essential for human existence. It is believed that production is a social activity. Therefore, people need to cooperate in the mode of production.

Balancing our time for production (work) and home is of great importance especially if your working place is a number of provinces away from your home. Social networking sites and other computer and cellphone applications are now available for us to set-apart time for the people, memories and happenings we left at home. Even if you are not physically with them, you will find satisfaction because of the interaction you had with them.

The fact that those who work overseas are usually given injustice is a concern that captured my mind the most while I was watching the performance. Instead of being given a bonus for sacrificing their home, for their effort to adjust in a strange culture and for their homesickness, many of them are maltreated and paid unfairly. The fact that the situation of the OFW worker who takes advantage of reusable trashes in Japan, and of the two ladies who are not paid on time in the performance actually happen in real life, worried me. Together with the ability of the worker, the capacity of the employer to pay must be assessed too. This brings me to my second concern. If the employer can only afford to pay an amount that is not enough to satisfy the worker’s needs and work, then the worker would choose to find another job, or endure the amount of his salary. Maybe a worker will get a better pay if his boss is kind and understanding. But of course a boss will only be kind if you show good visible products. Whether we like it or not, invisible efforts like tolerating homesickness would not be paid when money is involved.

Kolab.Co is an independent theatre group with nine members that showcased @Home. I observed some differences in the process they underwent to the dependent theatre groups. Unlike other dependent theatre companies, Kolab.Co does not get any financial aid from any institutions. Their budget, staff and text for the production will be coming from the members. They only ask assistance from people who are capable and willing to help them. They maximize theatre productions’ purpose to the people, society and even to the nations. Thus, they use different theatrical styles. They do not limit themselves from traditional theatre performances in which there is no connection to the audience.

Because of the said group’s condition, they made their recent performance interactive and straight to the point. I did not go home with a story in mind, but with learning. What was interesting about it was the confusion that invades your mind, whether they are talking to you as an individual or as a character. Also, the scenes shown were relatableespecially that everyone was aware that it happens in real life. The performance gave the audience the opportunity to agree and disagree with the characters. Kolab.Co’s way of presenting @Homeshows theatre’s practical uses in our lives. Not only did they entertain the audience, but they also teach them the essence of home. The message was clear. The staging was affective.

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