UP Diliman celebrates four decades of championing graduate theater education

Published April 30, 2021, 11:50 AM

by John Legaspi

Celebrate its legacy online with arts talk and more

Photo from UP Diliman MATA Facebook page

Among those greatly affected by the pandemic is the theater industry. All around the world, theaters have not just let their curtains down but closed their doors to visitors. Thespians and staff are left out of work, and much like in “Waiting for Godot,” they are patiently on standby, hopeful that the day will come when they could come back to the stage again.

In order to continue its artistic mission, just like many industries, theater took a digital leap. With online theater learning and virtual spaces for productions, the spirit of theater was kept alive by transitioning from IRL to URL. And that is how the University of the Philippines – Diliman’s

Department of Speech Communication and Theater Arts (UPD-DSCTA) is celebrating the 40th anniversary of its Master of Arts in Theater Arts (MATA), going online with a series of exciting activities from May to August this year in an effort to share with its current students, faculty, alumni, and its potential students the milestones and challenges of the last four decades while looking forward to future opportunities.

The Master of Arts in Theater Arts program was institutionalized in 1981 during the 1003rd meeting of the UP Board of Regents (BOR). In 2002, minor revisions in the program were approved during the 1160th BOR meeting. In 2017, the degree program established two specializations—Theater Practice and Theater Studies. These major revisions were approved during the 141st University Council meeting and officially released from the Office of Secretary of the University and the BOR on April 10, 2017. Celebrating its 40th founding year on Aug. 31, 2021, the program’s curriculum continues to challenge its students to become critical theatre scholars, creators, and practitioners who understand the role of theatre and performance in society.

The DSCTA invites the MATA alumni, past and present faculty, and current students to recognize and celebrate all that they have achieved over the last 40 years and to look forward to the opportunities that lay ahead with the following events.

ArTisTalk 2021

The DSCTA will convene four episodes of ArTisTalk every Saturday of May 2021 at 3 p.m.. ArTisTalk 2021 is a virtual round-table discussion among theater educators, performance artist-scholars, and MATA graduate students. Among the invited theatre artists are Ana Valdes-Lim (alumna, The Julliard School’s Theatre Division), Anna Stojanovíc (alumna, Academy of Arts in Belgrade’s Acting Department), Missy Maramara (alumna, University of Arkansas in Fayetteville), Barbie Tan-Tiongco (alumna, Yale University School of Drama), Raven Ong (alumnus, University of Connecticut), and Clint Ramos (alumnus, New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts).

‘MATA Dialogues’

The MATA alumni and the program’s past and current faculty will gather virtually on Aug. 28, 2021 at 3p.m. A video documentary project entitled “MATA Dialogues” will be shown giving prominence to the past, present, and future trajectories of the graduate program. Some of the featured alumni are Lenaur Abbot, Paolo Amascual, Teguh Budiarto, Rene Carbayas, Jo Ann Catedrilla, Ma. Magdalena De Leon, Aileen Dela Cruz, Eric Dela Cruz, Dennis Gupa, Ma. Teresa Jamias, Jazmin Llana, Danilo Mandia, Percy Ng, Olivia Kristine Nieto, Davidson Oliveros, Armando Rutaquio, Dexter Santos, Geofferson Ting, Arnulfo Tolentino, and Sydney Villegas. The current graduate theater faculty members Ma. Amihan Bonifacio-Ramolete, Josefina Estrella, and Anril Tiatco will also share their experiences when they were graduate students.

The Department of Speech Communication and Theater Arts partners with the University of the Philippines System Office of International Linkages (UP OIL), UP Diliman Office for Initiatives in Culture and the Arts (UPD OICA), the College of Arts and Letters (CAL), and U.P. Cineastes’ Studio in celebrating the 40th year anniversary of the MA in Theater Arts program.

To know more about the celebration, like and follow UP Diliman MATA on Facebook and Instagram. Learn more about the MATA program at here. For inquiries, send an email to [email protected]