The Heart Sellers: When One Line Turns a Whole Story Around

The Heart Sellers: When One Line Turns a Whole Story Around

The Heart Sellers by The Huntington at Calderwood Pavilion is a story about cross cultural connections, human bondinh, and platonic love or at very least friendship.

Unlike, The Band’s Visit, The Heart Sellers is a play, with a cast of two characters, but the story is just as rich and the experience visceral. Living in a university filled region of New England, this story is especially relatable. Our communities are filled with couples where one partner is brought to another country for the others’ work or studies.

Judy Song and Jenna Agbayani of The Huntington’s production of Lloyd Suh’s The Heart Sellers, directed by May Adrales; photo T Charles Erickson.

The Heart Sellers, is an extremely rich snippet of life as an outsider when filipino immigrant Luna invites Jane, from Korea into her home on Thanksgiving while their partners are out doing their residencies. Together, they navigate the evening, getting to know where their lives intersect so fully already. The Heart Sellers is performed flawlessly by Jenna Agbayani and Judy Song and will be at the Calderwood Pavilion through December 23rd.

The first thing you see, when walking into the theatre is the incredible set. It is the 1970s apartment of filipino Luna, and all the details of the apartment transport you to that very specific time and place (one of my own childhood).

Judy Song and Jenna Agbayani of The Huntington’s production of Lloyd Suh’s The Heart Sellers, directed by May Adrales; photo T Charles Erickson.

The whole play takes place inside the apartment, and yet it feels like an entire world at moments. The story of The Heart Sellers is one of Luna who is from the Philippines and Jane, from Korea. The story has a beautiful progression navigating culture disparities, language barriers, personality types, and the ever important moments of connection. It is as much about friendship as it is about connections between women and perhaps any minorities. The play is full of humorous moments as well as ones that squeeze your heart until it aches. The relationship between Luna and Jane develops throughout the the 90 minute play, bringing them closer as the night goes on. Sharing joy, fears, sadness, and a sense of displacement and nostalgia but also adventure.

Judy Song and Jenna Agbayani of The Huntington’s production of Lloyd Suh’s The Heart Sellers, directed by May Adrales; photo T Charles Erickson.

Jenna Agbayani as Luna,Luningning Ignacia Mangahas de la Rosario Bustos, a 23-year-old from the Philippines. Judy Song as Jane, Hong Jae Ha, a 23-year-old from Korea are incredible alone and together. They had the audience on a journey with them no matter how close your own life is to the characters, Agbayani and Song had you feeling it like you were living it.

Judy Song and Jenna Agbayani of The Huntington’s production of Lloyd Suh’s The Heart Sellers, directed by May Adrales; photo T Charles Erickson.

The Heart Sellers plays at Calderwood Pavilion Through December 23rd and tickets can be purchased here.

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