Dulaang UP's 40th season (2015-2016) kicks off with two Shakespeare tragedies

Dulaang UP's 40th season (2015-2016) kicks off with two Shakespeare tragedies
By Walter Ang
Aug. 8, 2015
Philippine Daily Inquirer

Dulaang Unibersidad ng Pilipinas's 40th season (schoolyear 2015-2016) kicks off with two Shakespeare tragedies.

The season's theme is titled "20/20 Vision: Clarity. Originality. Perspective."

Starting this year, principals and teachers of high school students (and other colleges) are advised to recalibrate the schedules of when they send students to watch the productions of campus-based theater groups due to the revised academic calendar of universities: what used to be June to March is now August to May.

Romantic tragedy
"#R</3J: A multimedia hallucination on William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet" will be set in Metro Manila in a staging that "exploits our hyper-real contemporary moment of globalization, ultra violence, internet inanities, intergenerational alienation" and will use "a psychedelic mix of all available arts."

The tragic love story between star-crossed lovers is adapted by Guelan Luarca, to be directed by DUP artistic director Dexter Santos with music by Krina Cayabyab. The production is scheduled for Aug. 19-Sept. 16, 2015.

Family tragedy
Up next is a back-to-back staging of both the English and Tagalog translation of Shakespeare's "King Lear/Haring Lear," adapted and directed by DUP founding artistic director emeritus Tony Mabesa using Nick Pichay's translation.

Lear descends into madness after dividing his kingdom between two of his three daughters.

Mabesa will set the play in the waning years of a mythical Southeast Asian kingdom. Scheduled for Oct. 7-25, 2015.

Jose Estrella directs Henrik Ibsen's "Peery Gynt" using a translation/adaptation by Rody Vera and Gilda Cordero-Fernando.

Gynt's encounters with trolls and other creatures and his travels to different locales will be adapted using Philippine mythological entities and local folklore. Scheduled for Feb. 3-21, 2016.

The season ends with the English and Tagalog translations of Shimuzi Kunio's "The Dressing Room: That which flows away ultimately becomes Nostalgia."

Four actresses prepare for a production of Anton Chekhov's "The Seagull," but "we soon discover that not all is as it seems."

English translation by Chiori Miyagawa, Tagalog translation by Nick Pichay, to be directed by Alex Cortez. Scheduled for April 13-May 1, 2016.

40 seasons and counting
Dulaang UP is the official theater group of the University of the Philippines. It's managed by the university's Department of Speech Communication and Theater Arts, which runs certificate, undergraduate and graduate theater programs.

Mabesa joined the faculty in 1975 and collaborated with then department chair Leticia Tison to establish a production arm for the department with a regular season of plays.

In the summer of 1976,  Tison provided the seed money of P15,000 for DUP's inaugural production of "Pagkahabahaba Man ng Prusisyon, sa Simbahan din ang Tuloy," Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing" translated by Lilia Antonio.

It was directed by Mabesa with Salvador Bernal as production designer, Monino Duque as lighting designer, Eliseo Clamor as composer, and Cora Iñigo as choreographer.

Mabesa's artistic thrust was his passion for "great works of dramatic literature, translated into Filipino," informing the group's objective: produce world drama and original Filipino plays spoken in the language of the people.

Since the group's aim is to ultimately train students, the material chosen for staging "covers a variety of themes, genres and styles to afford the students a diverse experience."

Artistic directors
Mabesa stepped down as artistic director in DUP's 25th season (2000-2001), passing the baton to Jose Estrella. Alex Cortez became artistic director in the 34th season (2009-2010).

Dexter Santos is the new artistic director starting this season.

All productions will be staged at Wilfrido Guerrero Theater, Palma Hall, University of the Philippines, Quezon City. 

Contact Dulaang UP at 9261349, 9818500 loc. 2449 or 4337840. Like on Facebook (DulaangUnibersidadNgPilipinas), follow on Twitter (@Official_DUP).

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