Tanghalang Ateneo

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Company Profile[edit]

Tanghalang Ateneo, the longest-running theater company of the Loyola Schools, Ateneo de Manila University, weaves into its work the theatrical traditions of the University’s sesquicentennial past: the devotion of the salon de actos at the Escuela Municipal, the eloquence of the Ateneo Dramatics Guild, the joie de vivre of the Ateneo Players Theater, and the innovative spirit of the Ateneo Experimental Theater. Like these companies, Tanghalang Ateneo uses theater to foster eloquentia, sapientia, and humanitas – the pillars of Jesuit pedagogy. It sees itself as a theater company in the service of student formation, and by extension – given the Jesuit ideal of magis – a theater in service of the nation.

Since its founding in 1972 (and formally recognized five years later), Tanghalang Ateneo has grown from a fledgling band of student players to one of the country’s leading school-based theater companies. Its repertoire of plays is daunting: world classics, Filipino originals, and documentary texts turned into theater pieces. Its productions are noted for thought, generosity, and energy, while its lingua franca on stage are Filipino and English. Its members come from diverse academic fields. In fact, many have pursued careers in theater, television, and film; many more use their theater experience to excel in management, law, teaching, media, and cultural work.

Acclaimed professional actors have graced its shows, and several outstanding designers and choreographers have served as members of its artistic staff. To name a few, Naty Crame-Rogers, Irma Adlawan, Nonie Buencamino, Teroy Guzman, Bodjie Pascua, Frances Makil-Ignacio, Floy Quintos, Myra Beltran, Leeroy New, and Gino Gonzales have worked with the company in previous seasons.

In addition, Tanghalang Ateneo has won two Aliw Awards for Best Production and another two for Best Direction for its 2008 and 2011 productions of Glenn Sevilla Mas's "The Death of Memory" (Direction: Ricardo G. Abad) and "Sintang Dalisay" (Direction: Ricardo G. Abad). Last year, the company received several citations, including two for the year's 10 Best Productions, in the Philippine Daily Inquirer's Best of Theater 2014 for its productions of Han Ong's "Middle Finger" (Direction: Ed Lacson, Jr.) and Glenn Sevilla Mas's "Rite of Passage: Sa Pagtubu kang Tahud" (Direction: Ron Capinding).

The company has also received production grants from the Cultural Center of the Philippines, the Loyola Schools, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, the Spanish Program for Cultural Cooperation, and the Japan Foundation.

Furthermore, Tanghalang Ateneo continues to make itself known from the microenvironment of the Ateneo de Manila University, garnering nominations such as Project of the Year and Best Organization in the Council of the Organizations of the Ateneo de Manila University (COA) Awards. Its shows have also been shown in campuses and venues across the country and abroad, notably in Shanghai and Taiwan as part of the Festival of the Asian Pacific Bureau of Theatre Schools, and in Belarus, Minsk for the International University Theatre Association Student Theatre Festival. The company’s past achievements have also facilitated the creation, in SY 2000-2001, of a degree program in Theater Arts within the Fine Arts Program of the Ateneo de Manila University.

Tanghalang Ateneo products educate and delight; they stimulate the imagination and provoke thought. Jesuit pedagogy fuses with theater arts to interrogate the Filipino social world so that students can invent themselves as critical Filipinos: sharp in thought, expressive in action, deep in faith and attuned to others – fellow players and audiences whose lives intersect with their own.

National Artist for Theater Design Salvador Bernal, Doreen Fernandez, and Nenita Escasa were among the company’s advisers in the early years. Ricardo Saludo became the first Artistic Director and Moderator when Tanghalang Ateneo gained university recognition in 1979. Dr. Ricardo G. Abad succeeded him and became the company's longest-serving Artistic Director and Moderator (1984-2013). In 2014, Glenn Sevilla Mas came aboard and became the company's new Artistic Director and Moderator.

History[edit]

Tanghalang Ateneo descends from a long line of Ateneo theater companies, the Ateneo Dramatics Society and the Ateneo Experimental Theater, among others-which flourished in the college campus since its pre-war days at Padre Faura. It started out in 1974 as a group of friends who wished to stage plays, and having no theater to speak of on the Loyola Heights campus, scheduled performances at the college cafeteria. The group pressed the administration for a more suitable venue, and by 1978, a large classroom, seating about 80 people, was converted to a theater of sorts. In the old classroom, the group constructed wooden grids, light boxes, transformed a huge piece of canvass into a cyclorama, built an enclosed control booth, and draped windows with dark curtains, this is now called the Fine Arts Theatre. However, since 1989, Tanghalang Ateneo has been staging plays in a 250-seater theater called the Rizal Mini-Theater and recently, in other venues within the Loyola Schools such as the Fine Arts Blackbox Theater.

The officers drafted a constitution, got recognized as a co-curricular organization in college, and recruited Ricardo Saludo, a faculty member of the Departments of English and of Communications, to serve as moderator. In 1979, under Saludo, Tanghalang Ateneo’s first repertory season began. The repertory season of Filipino plays, original or in translation continued even after Saludo left to join Asiaweek magazine in Hong Kong in 1984.

He was succeeded by Dr. Ricardo G. Abad in 1984 who retained the repertory program but added English plays as part of its annual fare. In 2014, Glenn Sevilla Mas came aboard and became the company's new Artistic Director and Moderator. Tanghalang Ateneo productions have also been seen off campus: over the last decade, the company has performed in the Cultural Center of the Philippines, the Metropolitan Theater, the Puerto Real Gardens, the Ninoy Aquino Park, the British Council, the Alliance Francaise, Vigan, Iloilo, Nueva Ecija, and a lot more.

As a college theater company, Tanghalang Ateneo’s primary mission is educational: It seeks to supplement the liberal arts program of the Ateneo de Manila University by exposing students to dramatic masterpieces, both classical and modern, and by instilling in company members the lessons of theater work-cooperation, responsibility, discipline, generosity and truth. One of the criteria in its selection of plays, as gleaned from the season’s repertoire, is a preference for plays that will enjoin audiences to reflect more about their own private worlds and the relationship of these worlds to the larger society.

Seasons[edit]

  • First Season (1979–1980)
    • Naibigan Mo Sana ang Sauna
    • Ramona Reyes ng Forbes Park
  • Second Season (1980–1981)
    • Kilabot ng Makiling
    • Isa Pang Bayani
    • Taong Pang Habang Panahon
    • Ang Belen
    • Ang Sala
  • Third Season (1981–1982)
    • Ang Inspektor
    • Eksena!
    • Adriano VIII
    • Ang Katubusan
  • Fourth Season (1982–1983)
    • Naibigan Mo Sana ang Sauna
    • Sigwa!
    • Kiko Kulang-Kulang
    • Banal at Baliw
  • Fifth Season (1983–1984)
    • 1+1=3/Two Act Plays
    • Paraisong Parisukat
    • Angel sa Impiyerno
    • Kilabot ng Makiling
  • Sixth Season (1984–1985)
  • Seventh Season (1985–1986)
  • Eighth Season (1986–1987)
    • Pagsabog ng Liwanag
    • Antigone
    • Two Plays/Benefit Show
    • Taong Grasa
    • Orinola
    • Tatlong Katuwaang Tig-iisang Yugto
    • Ang Pamamanhikan
    • The Boor
    • Ang Anibersaryo
  • Ninth Season (1987–1988)
    • Paghihintay kay Godo
    • The Importance of Being Earnest
    • Tasulok II
    • Gabun
    • Alex Antiporda
    • Ang Sopranong Kalbo
  • Tenth Season (1988–1989)
    • Felipe de las Calas
  • Eleventh Season (1989–1990)
    • Bb. Julie
    • Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You
    • Doon Po sa Amin
  • Twelfth Season (1990–1991)
  • Thirteenth Season (1991–1992)
  • Fourteenth Season (1992–1993)
  • Fifteenth Season (1993–1994)
  • Sixteenth Season (1994–1995)
  • Seventeenth Season (1995–1996)
    • Isang Pangyayari sa Planas Site
    • Tuwaang: Isang Epikong Manobo sa Pantomina
    • Doon Po sa Amin
    • 2Bayani: Isang Bagong Rock Opera
  • Eighteenth Season (1996–1997)
    • Dalawang Sulok
    • Lysistrata
    • 2Bayani: Isang Bagong Rock Opera
    • Ang Apologia ni Sokrates
    • Ang Mabuting Tao ng Setzuan
    • Ang Kambal
    • Freshman
    • Mga Kahon
    • Makbet
  • Nineteenth Season (1997–1997)
    • Tartuffe
    • Ang Mabuting Tao ng Setzuan
    • Equus
    • Therese ng Lisieux
    • Kilabot ng Makiling
    • Ang Kambal
    • Pangarap sa Gabi ng Gitnang Tag-Araw
    • Courtship by Handkerchief and Fan
  • Twentieth Season (1998–1999)
    • Marisol
    • Paghihintay kay Godo
    • TA Lab I
    • Ang Punong Inspektor
    • The Kahapon, Ngayon at Bukas Seditious Love Musical
    • TA Lab II
  • Twenty-First Season (1999–2000)
    • The Kahapon, Ngayon at Bukas Seditious Love Musical
    • Ningning sa Silangan
    • The Merchant of Venice
    • TA Lab III
    • Artenista: An Ateneo Theater Festival
  • Twenty Second (2000–2001)
  • Twenty Third (2001–2002)
  • Twenty Fourth (2002–2003)
  • Twenty Fifth (2003–2004)
    • Bawat-Tao
    • Ang Palilitis ni Mang Serapio
    • Don Juan: Ang Babaero ng Sevilla
    • An Enemy of the People
  • Twenty Sixth (2004–2005) The Fighting Season
    • An Enemy of the People
    • Re-Isyu: Santuario & Linya
    • Lam-ang
    • 3PO
  • Twenty Seventh (2005–2006) The Season of Flight
  • Twenty Eighth: (2006–2007) The Season of Awakening
    • Ang Buhay ay Isang Panaginip
    • Ang Aksidenteng Kamatayan ng Isang Anarkista
    • STArting 5: Iba 'to!
    • Middle Finger Po
    • The Glass Menagerie
  • Twenty Ninth: (2007–2008) The Season of Truth
  • Thirtieth Season: (2008–2009) Echoes
  • Thirty-First Season: (2009–2010) Bayanihan
  • Thirty-Second Season: (2010–2011) The Season of Ardent Pursuits
  • Thirty-Third Season: (2011–2012) Undaunted
    • Sintang Dalisay
    • Para Los Jovenes: Mga Pangkabataang Kuwento ng Nakatatandang Rizal
    • Fireflies
  • Thirty-Fourth Season: (2012–2013) Journeys
  • Thirty-Fifth Season: (2013-2014) Re-Imagining the Greeks
  • Thirty-Sixth Season: (2014-2015) Navigating Identities
  • Thirty-Seventh Season: (2015-2016) Staging Revolution/s
  • Thirty-Eighth Season: (2016-2017) De/Constructing Narratives
    • Boy
    • Si Janus Silang at ang Tiyanak ng Tábon
    • TA Lab: Takas

Season 37: Staging Revolution/s[edit]

This season, Tanghalang Ateneo takes on a theme that highlights how theater has reflected and/or transformed the way people think and do things. This it will do by staging three works--two mainstage productions and a laboratory production--that have been deemed revolutionary when they were first unleashed to the world.

The season opener, Czech playwright Karel Capek's 1920's science fiction play "Rossum's Universal Robots," asks: What happens when robots suddenly show emotions and start fighting back against their human masters? JK Anicoche reimagines this classic using a new Filipino translation by Palanca-winning playwright Guelan Varela Luarca.

Jun Cruz Reyes' short story "Utos ng Hari" takes us back to the familiar world of Han Ong's "Middle Finger," the play that opened the company's theater season last year. A helpless young student struggles against what he perceives to be the repressive authority of his teachers. "Ayaw kong maging robot, ayaw kong maging bato. Hindi baleng dropout, basta tao lang ako," he insists. Dr. Ricardo G. Abad, former Tanghalang Ateneo artistic director, directs the company's trainees in a devised production of this classic Filipino short story.

The interplay of myth and history takes center stage in the company's season-ending production. A Palanca First Prize-winning play, Rene Villanueva's "Kalantiaw" forces us to revisit our history and culture and what many say is our misguided sense of nationalism. Tanghalang Ateneo alumnus and 2012 Ateneo Theater Arts graduate Charles Yee directs his first production for the company.

Join us as we explore the joys of love and hope, and the pain of helplessness, fear, resignation, and hate--indeed what it means to be human--in our thought-provoking new theater season.

Padayon!


Glenn Sevilla Mas, MFA

Artistic Director and Moderator