Monday, April 02, 2007
Constructing gender: Zsazsa Zaturnnah – from Graphic Novel to Stage to Film
Eloisa May P. Hernandez
Carlo Vergara’s Ang Kagila-gilalas Na Pakikipagsapalaran Ni Zsazsa Zaturnnah (The Spectacular Adventures of Zsazsa Zaturnnah) is about an effeminate male homosexual hairdresser named Ada who transforms into Zsazsa Zaturnnah, a sexy and strong heroine, by swallowing a mysterious stone that fell from the heavens. Initially self-published as a 2-part graphic novel published in 2002, it won the Manila Critics’ Circle National Book Award in 2003. In early 2006, Tanghalang Pilipino, one of the country’s leading theater groups, staged Zsazsa Zaturnnah Ze Muzikal directed by Chris Millado. It represented the Philippines in the International Theater Festival in June 2006. In December 2006, Zsazsa Zaturnnah Ze Moveeh, directed by Joel Lamangan, opened in the 2006 Metro Manila Film Festival. Comedian Giselle Sanchez developed a monologue about Zsazsa. Zsazsa Zaturnnah has made the transformation from graphic novel to musical theater to film and to stand up comedy.
The paper will explore how Zsazsa Zaturnnah construct gender and gender relations in the Philippines? How does its transformation as a literary text into visual texts (on film and stage) affect gender constructs in the Philippines? Are there changes in the characterization of Zsazsa that ultimately change gender constructs? Are there changes in the narrative structure of Zsazsa from the graphic novel to stage to film? The paper will not only focus on the transformation of literary texts into visual texts but also train its attention on how gender is constructed through these different genres.
My abstract for the 5th EUROSEAS Conference in Naples, Italy, September 12 to 15, 2007 was accepted! So, Zsazsa Zaturnnah and I will fly to Napoli! And of course, my pangga will join me. We will go to Antwerp, Belgium first for a chemistry conference, then to Naples. Then go to Rome, Florence, Venice, Milan, Pairs, Madrid and Barcelona! Excited!