Jaygee Macapugay sings of love and ‘kilig’ in short film

Jaygee Macapugay is both producer and lead in ‘The Language Lesson.’ Photo by Corinne Louie

Theatre actress Jaygee Macapugay (School of Rock, Here Lies Love) is thrilled to share The Language Lesson, her debut musical short film about a student who has a secret admiration for her English professor

The Language Lesson is one of the songs from Paulo K Tiról’s musical production On This Side of the World presented by Prospect Theatre Company at the Greenwich House Theater in February. The song defines the Tagalog word ‘kilig’ as an unexpressed feeling of romantic thrill.

You know that feeling

when someone you like is nearby,

and a ticklish tingling trembling begins

when she looks you in the eye?

And the butterflies in your stomach

start to lift you off the ground.

Deep inside you can’t stop screaming;

still, there not the slightest sound.

And the smile in your heart is a thousand times bigger

than a smile could ever be.

That’s ‘kilíg,’

as we say in Filipino.

“Working on Paulo’s music has been one of the greatest privileges of my career,” said Jaygee, who is the film’s producer.

“I wasn’t sure if I should release the film because I didn’t want to be insensitive to the coronavirus crisis affecting the world.  But this film, shot on location in New York City, celebrates diversity in the arts right now – a Filipino American story written by a Filipino American composer and featuring a FilAm choreographer, Asian American leads, and 14 gorgeously diverse actor/dancers.  Even our producer, band, hair/make-up team, and craft service are comprised mainly of artists of color.”

Produced in collaboration with Bev’s Girl Films, The Language Lesson is directed byGarth Kravits (Gettin’ the Band Back Together, The Drowsy Chaperone) and features choreography byKarla Puno Garcia (Hamilton).

Actor Deven Kolluri as Professor Nadal and Jaygee as his student Jenny. Photo by Lia Chang

Continued Jaygee, “Editing the film prior to today’s release made me nostalgic for last month, where my friends and I were all in a room, creating in a space where we weren’t worried about social distancing, hand sanitizing, or even hugging. But no virus is going to stop artists from creating. I see that every time I look at my Facebook or Instagram timelines.  Most importantly, our film is about the feeling you get when you fall in love, and I think there’s never a bad time for the world to hear a message about love.”

The Language Lesson stars Jaygee Macapugay as Jenny, Deven Kolluri as Professor Nadal. Carol Angeli, Taylor DeNapoli, Aaron Jay Green, Rashaan James II, Jessie Lawyer, Natalie Leonard, Kaleo Nadal, Luana Psaros, Anastasia Shulgina, Katie Shults, Michael Sylvester, Miles Wilkie, Virginia Wing, Minami Yusui are featured as students/dancers.

The Language Lesson is executive-produced by Lia Chang of Bev’s Girl Films. The creative team includes Garth Kravits (Director, Director of Photography, Editor), Paulo K Tiról (Music & Lyrics), Karla Puno Garcia (Choreographer), Jessica Wu (Unit Production Manager, Live Sound Recording), Eric Elizaga (1st Assistant Director), Jorge Robayo (Grip), Dorothy Bhadra, Giuliana Brandon (Hair/Make-Up), Caylie Rose Newcom (Associate Choreographer), Ali Ewoldt (Production Assistant), Lia Chang (BTS Photography), Jen Dadivas Hong (ESL Consultant) with catering provided by Jeepney. The film score was recorded live at Yes It Is! Studios by Engineer and Mixer Garth Kravits, with Music Director Ian Miller on piano, Chris Peters on guitar, Billy Smolen on bass, Garth Kravits on drums and Jonathan Cuevas on cello. Special thanks to Kevin Nadal, David McQueen, and Nicole Ponseca. Watch the film here.

© The FilAm 2020

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