Steinbach's Alec Carlos is one of the core writers on the upcoming Manitoba-made sitcom Maria and the Mennos.
The show follows a Filipino-Canadian woman who moves in with her Mennonite in-laws.
Carlos notes the creators of the show are Paul Plett, originally from Landmark, Tina Fehr-Kehler, and his good friend Hazel Wallace.
“Paul and Tina were talking about bringing another Filipino voice into the writer's room and so Hazel was very gracious to recommend me and then I met up on Zoom with them and I guess it went well so I hopped onto the writing team.” He adds "having a friend who believes in me enough to put me in front of others and say 'hey, this guy can write', that means a lot to me."
Having moved from the Philippines to Steinbach in his youth, he says he has a lot to pull from for this show.
“It is actually great. Coming from Steinbach, it is very much what this story is in the meat and potatoes of it all. It is the blending of Mennonite and Filipino cultures which Steinbach has seen grow in the 2010s in general.” He notes “I think this show is showing that foundation of unity.”
Laughing, Carlos adds “I know a lot of Mennonite, Filipino couples as well!”
Carlos has been a writer on a number of other projects, but notes this is his first time writing scripts for a sitcom. He notes he learned a lot along the way about the intricacies of the process and really enjoyed himself.
And, what was the best part?
“Just incorporating all of these different Filipino elements into a show, especially a sitcom. Having that and piecing it together and putting it into a script is really cool for me, just to explore that culture.”
In addition to Paul Plett and Alec Carlos, who are both from the Southeast, Maria and the Mennos also features Steinbach actor and radio host Kenton Dyck.
Filming on the show will get underway in the new year.
Carlos also works as an actor himself and has found real success over the last 12 months. He has a number of projects being released in 2023.
“I worked on a movie that is coming out next year called Elevator Game, I worked on a show called Safehaven, also coming out next year, keep a very big eye out for that, it is a TV series. Then, I worked on Spencer Sisters for an episode and also coming out next year. So, I have three releases coming out next year.”