January 16, 2024 — A made-in-Manitoba sitcom has become the breakthrough vehicle for Canadian Filipino performer Victoria Exconde on television.
The series Maria and the Mennos stars Exconde in the title role of Maria, a Canadian Filipino married to a Mennonite.
A report by FM radio station 92.7 CKJS Winnipeg noted that it was the first time for Exconde, a Winnipeg-based actress, dancer and stage performer, to act on television.
“I am excited and also nervous to play a character that is so similar to me and to be working with such a talented cast and crew. It is going to be fun!” Exconde said in the report.
Exconde is also an instructor at the local dance company L.A. Dance.
The artist’s profile on the school’s website goes:
“Victoria Exconde is a Filipino artist based in Winnipeg, MB. She is an emerging musical theatre performer and aspiring choreographer. Victoria graduated from the University of Winnipeg with a Bachelor of Arts in both Dance and Theatre and graduated from the Senior Professional Program at The School of Contemporary Dancers. She has participated in readings for Joseph Sevillo’s new musical, Ma-Buhay!, and has trained with Andrea Macasaet for BeltFest YWG. Victoria is a member of Winnipeg Studio Theatre’s StudioWorks Players and continues to share her talents within the Filipino community with Joy Lazo’s Highlights Performing Group.”
The 92.7 CKJS report also noted that aside from Exconde, other Canadian Filipino actors in the cast include Joseph Sevillo, who plays Angelo, Maria’s brother.
Also in the show are local actor and singer Elmer Aquino, who is cast as Maria’s father, Donna Natividad-Arenas, who plays Maria’s mother.
Local actor Kenton Dyck plays the role of Maria’s Mennonite husband Nate.
Set in the town of Winkler, where Maria and Nate moved in to live with the man’s parents, the 13-episode show premiered on January 3, 2024 on YESTV.
For more info: MARIA AND THE MENNOS – YES TV