Last August 10, Dulaang UP unveiled its 41st season, as well as UP Playwrights’ Theatre’s (UPPT) 25th season, through an intimate press launch at the Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero Theater. Here are a few highlights from the event.
Artistic Director Dexter Santos talks about the Faculty Center (FC) fire and about how the organization was able to pull through
Dexter Santos: “Last season, just like all the other seasons of DUP, has been borne out of sheer love. The kind that sustains, nurtures, and enforces. Despite of last season’s major setbacks before, financial challenges, the FC fire, we continue to endure. At the recently concluded DUP benefit dinner and show, The Big 40, we were able to raise a significant amount to move forward specifically having seed money for the next season and the rehabilitation of the Teatro Hermogenes Ylagan (THY). With your support, we’re proud to show you a photo of the new Teatro Hermogenes Ylagan.”
Santos talks about the Rehabilitation of the Teatro Hermogenes Ylagan
Santos: “Actually even before the Faculty Center incident, plans of the THY relocation were already underway. With the help of the Dean of the College of Arts and Letters, in cooperation with the Dean of the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy, the physical structure has already been planned out. And with the proceeds from the benefit dinner, we have funds to purchase new equipment that was lost during the fire. Thank you very much.”
Santos talks about the Upcoming Season
Santos: “And now, we’re here again at the Guerrero Theater at the start of a new season, banking on the same love and support. In DUP, we take pride in creating shows that are not only memorable and exciting, but also shows that disturb, inspire and push our audiences. We like making them think, but we like them to rethink some more. For Dulaang UP’s 41st and UPPT’s 25th seasons, we dare you to question because without questions, there can be no revelations.”
“We’re very fortunate to still have a strong roster of directors, also faculty members of the theater program who uphold the DUP brand. We’re also honored to have award-winning playwrights and translators from Floy Quintos, Rody Vera, and Guelan Valera-Luarca, as we feature two classics from Dulaang UP, and two new original plays from UPPT.”
Santos talks about Dulaang UP and UPPT’s Secrets of Success
Santos: “I think number one we’re so very proud of our repertoire. Hindi na po kami magpapahumble but if you look at our season of plays, since we’re an academic theater, ang plays po namin nagsspan from the classics to the contemporary. Iba ibang genres. Merong classic comedy, sometimes merong contemporary comedy. We do also musicals, and of course, we have original works. Iyun palang po ay isang malaking reason na para pumunta ang mga audiences sa amin.”
2. Working with Students
“Pangalawa po, I think, you can ask any actor, professional actor kahit sabihin natin from Ana Abad Santos, or even from Shamaine Centenera Buencamino, you can ask Eric Pineda, you can ask Gino Gonzales, and of course we have choreographers like PJ Rebullida… these are professional designers, professional artists who always come to DUP. I think the main reason is not only because of the chance to work with an exciting production, but also to work with the students. Sa UP, masarap iyung training at sabay na natututo ang isang professional at isang bata.”
“I think iyung training ground, iyun iyung nagiging puso ng bawat produksyon. That’s why nararamdaman iyun ng aming audience. Of course we’re very fortunate also because we have the students of UP na mahilig manood. At siyempre nagpapasalamat kami mga ibang patrons namin na nagsusuporta.”
3. Working with critically-acclaimed alumnae
“Number 3 ang pinakamapagyayabang po namin kahit papaano, pagnagpapalabas kami, itong mga bata mong ito ay binibigyan lang po sila ng allowance na hindi po ganung klaseng kalaki. Sina Gino Gonzales ay hindi tumatanggap ng ganung kalaking TF or honorarium compared to the other theater companies. Meron kaming Rody Vera na bumabalik palagi. Meron kaming Floy Quintos na bumabalik palagi.”
4. The Dulaang UP Experience
“Siguro meron lang sigurong may ibang magic or may ibang experience na nabibigay ang Dulaang UP- brave. Wala kaming censorship eh (laughs). Hindi kami natatakot maghubad for a reason. Hindi kami natatakot magmura for a reason. Hindi kami natatakot gumawa ng plays na alam namin na hindi pa nagwowork, at hindi rin kami takot na gumawa ng plays na alam namin na merong…baka walang market. Siguro yun iyung nagpapatatag sa amin throughout the years.”
PJ Rebullida: “Ang mga plays kasi ng Dulaang UP hindi ginagawa sa labas sapagkat mahirap siyang ibenta. Hindi iyan madaling gawin sa labas. So iyung pinakakinatutuwaan ko sa Dulaang UP.”
“Hindi siya iyung repertoire na mahahanap mo sa labas because they’re not really commercial in nature. They’re there to really push the boundaries of what Philippine theater can do.”
Dulaang UP Unveils its Season Line-up
The season line-up includes: William Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors with Filipino translation by Guelan Varela-Luarca, to be directed by Alexander Cortez (Atang, The Dressing Room); three one-act plays by Leoncio P. Deriada: Tres Hermanas de Molo, Atlas de Molo, and Venus de Molo with Filipino translation by Allan Palileo, to be directed by Founding Artistic Director Tony Mabesa (King Lear / Haring Lear, The Seagull); Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe’s Faust with Filipino Translation by Rody Vera, to be directed by Jose Estrella (Umaaraw Umuulan, Tisoy Brown); and Floy Quintos’ Angry Christ to be directed by Dexter M. Santos (Ang Nawalang Kapatid, Orosman at Zafira). Both Mabesa (Deriada) and Santos’ (Quintos) works are under the umbrella group of Dulaang UP – UP Playwrights’ Theatre.
Beautiful Excerpt Performance of Ang Katatawanan ng Kalituhan
The season opens with Ang Katatawanan ng Kalituhan. Young and talented playwright Varela-Luarca, who recently won first prize in the Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for his one-act play, writes the comical translation. The play is a cleverly crafted tale of mistaken identities, loves that are lost and found, and families gone astray but are ultimately made whole again. It runs from August 24 until September 11, 2016.
Founding Artistic Director Tony Mabesa talks about his Directorial, Distrito de Molo
Gawad CCP Para sa Sining recipients Mabesa (Theatre) and Deriada (Literature) team up for Distroto de Molo featuring three one act-plays: Tres Hermanas de Molo, Atlas de Molo and Venus de Molo. The play is set in the illustrious city of Molo in Iloilo City. Each play, taking place in a different timeline, is a journey that brings its audience the history, magic and myths of the revered District of Molo. The production also features Palanca Award Winner Allan Palileo’s Filipino translation. Distrito de Molo runs from October 12 to October 30.
Mabesa calls the work charming, naïve art with no pretension.
Powerful Performance Excerpt of Faust
The season continues with Goethe’s Faust with Filipino translation by award-winning playwright, Vera. Estrella, former DUP Artistic Director, takes on Goethe’s magnum opus, which is also considered to be one of Germany’s greatest literary classics. Audiences are challenged to examine evil in its utmost form. The production runs from February 15 until March 5, 2017.
Dexter Santos talks about his directorial work, Angry Christ
Ending the season is a new work by esteemed playwright Quintos. Angry Christ is about the life and times of Filipino painter Alfonso Osorio. In the 1950s, Ossorio returns home to Negros Occidental from the United States to work on a commission. There, he would complete his masterwork—a disturbing altar piece that caused a scandal when it was first unveiled. The collaboration of Quintos and Santos, who brought us hit productions like Ang Nawalang Kapatid, Collection, and Ang Huling Lagda ni Apolinario Mabini, invites us to envision the turmoil of this mysterious Filipino Artist. The play runs from April 26 to May 14, 2017.
For more information about what’s happening in the Manila theater scene, please view our Theater Calendar.