Past Nightmares Revisited in ‘As Straw Before The Wind’

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As Straw Productions presents the world premiere of “As Straw Before The Wind,” a new play that offers a window into the life experience of a Filipina nurse who survives the trauma of World War II only to discover that her war is not yet over.

“As Straw Before The Wind” recounts the story of Nene Santos (Tita Pambid), a Filipina nurse and enterprising owner/operator of a fictionalized San Gabriel Valley convalescent home. Nene has ambitious plans to expand her business, which she intends to leave to her daughter and primary assistant Pilita (Sarnica Lim), who has her own agenda. So what will become of the elderly and fragile resident patients of the convalescent home – Poncing Enrile (Muni Zano), a retired Filipino American Army captain, and Mildred Novak (Anita Borcia), a chain smoking retiree widow with Alzheimer’s disease? Nene confronts a string of setbacks and obstacles in her quest. Flashbacks of the horrendous experience she and her family endured during WWII haunt her psyche and lead to a revelation of a long-kept family secret.

“This is a very personal story for me, having grown up with survivors of World War II,” said playwright Felix Racelis. “The majority of the women in my family, including my mother, were nurses, and one of my mother’s best friends was one of the nurses stationed on the island of Corregidor during the Battle of Corregidor in 1942. Nene is a composite character of many of these courageous women who survived the ordeal of the war and who lived their lives with grace and stoicism. All of them are now departed. Their memories and spirit continue to both haunt and inspire me. As a playwright it’s important for me to bring these stories to the stage and to a universal audience.”

“What you will see on stage is a series of wars: a war between a mother and a daughter, between a convalescent home owner and a patient, between a loan officer and a potential borrower, and between the past and the present,” said director Lesley Asistio. “As we weave through these battles with these characters, struggle after struggle, triumph after triumph, we ponder whether peace and success are truly possible, or whether we are simply tossed about as straw before the wind.”

The production will be presented for four weekends at the Ruby Theatre at The Complex in Hollywood on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and on Sundays at 3 p.m., from Aug. 13 through Sept. 4. To learn more, visit

Tickets can be purchased by calling Brown Paper Tickets at (800) 838-3006, or online at Tickets are $20 per person for general admission and $12 per person for students, seniors and groups of 10 or more. Discounted tickets will be sold for $10 per person for a preview performance of the show on Friday, Aug. 12 at 8 p.m.
This show is recommended for mature audiences. Advance reservations are highly encouraged. Tickets will be available for purchase at The Ruby Theatre Box Office at The Complex on performance nights on a cash only basis. The Ruby Theatre Box Office at The Complex will be open one hour prior to show times on performance days only.

The Ruby Theatre Box Office at The Complex is located at 6476 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood.

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