This year’s Tanghal! National University and College Theater Festival will have events across the country, kicking off in the National Capital Region at University of Makati, Feb. 1-4.
Open to the public, the three main performances for NCR are Collective Arts of Students and Thespians’ (University of Makati) adaptation of Aurelio Tolentino’s “Kahapon, Ngayon at Bukas;” Tanghalang Ateneo’s (Ateneo de Manila University) staging of Ron Capinding’s “Para los Jovenes,” a collection of Rizal’s stories for children; and Navotas Polytechnic College’s staging of “Sampung Hampas ni Mesiyas,” a production tackling current social issues.
“The festival, now on its sixth year, offers performances from university theater groups from all over the country, showcasing the harvest of Philippine theater,” says Roberto “Bobet” Mendoza, festival director.
There will be fringe productions by Molave Theater (Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Manila); UP Rep (University of the Philippines, Quezon City); Our Lady of Perpetual Help College, Las Piñas; Paaralan ng Bayan (Special Program for the Arts, Manila); and SuhayFil (Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Manila).
Organized by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts’ National Committee on Dramatic Arts, the festival is the committee’s flagship project for National Arts Month—held every February, as per Presidential Proclamation No. 683 signed by President Corazon Aquino.
Part of the festival’s goals is aimed at strengthening a national network of college-based theater groups in the country and to facilitate collaborative work among theater groups and artists.
There will be a workshop conference, titled “D2 Na Me, Wer Na U?,” which will tackle university-based/student theater groups’ use of “theater language” for the stage.
“Theater language, meaning the signs, symbols and meanings that the groups have employed in their performances,” says Mendoza.
After the activities at University of Makati, the festival moves to Baguio City (Luzon), Feb. 9-11; General Santos City (Mindanao), Feb. 22-24; concluding in Dumaguete City (Visayas), Feb. 27-29.