Afterthoughts: The Creation of My Body with Giovanni Ortega

The Creation of My Body is a devised play revolving around 9 women, 5 languages and 15 interlocking stories reflecting on womanhood, body image and the human spirit. It began at HCAC… a 2-week exploration between strangers followed by its debut in June 2016. With an overwhelmingly positive response to its first show, Creation of My Body came back in January 2017 at HCAC.

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In this segment of Afterthoughts, meet the director behind this production, Giovanni Ortega. Giovanni Ortega is a multi-disciplinary artist, author and director based in Los Angeles, California. Making his debut with East West Players in 2005, Giovanni Ortega has performed for over 300 organizations, universities and prisons (P.E.P.) with various one-person shows including Playfair.  As an author, he took the literary artist category for the most sought after author with Leaves from the Silverlake Barrio, and a collection of his poetry was included in an anthology of mixed heritage writing in Completely Mixed Up. He is currently working on his next book entitled Gitano, which will be published by Carayan Press.

  1. Hi Giovanni! What was it like coming back to Singapore and revisiting Creation of My Body?

Hi! Well… it was like going home after a few months of being away. We had the whole cast back together again. Everyone was so present during our short time in re-vamping the show and altering some new scenes and taking some out. It was as powerful as the first time around and an inspirational experience to have everyone there and seeing them grow as artists in a short amount of time.

  1. How different was it from its debut and the latest showcase ?

I feel that this show went deeper with the perception of our bodies, and how we are privy to our own insecurities raised by our own cultural, societal & gender history. It was easier in many ways because we have already created a bond unlike before when we all just met and had to get to know each other immediately.

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The production of Creation of My Body this year at HCAC.

  1. What is it like working with the cast and HCAC?

It was a pleasure! There is a nurturing quality about the HCAC space where everyone is open to who you are but at the same time respecting each other’s beliefs and ideologies.

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The cast and crew of Creation of My Body.

  1. In June, we will be expecting another show here at HCAC. Can you tell us more about it?

The process will be similar. We will write together and workshop what the artists have written BUT the subject matter will be slightly different since the focus is now language and how we are imprisoned and freed by what we say in our society. This time, Words of My Body will utilize language as a template and how we use it in our everyday lives.