Zamboanga City – UNIVERSITY-BASED theater guilds as well as theater specialists in the country will converge here in February for the Second National University Theater Festival dubbed as “Tanghal 2.”
The festival, which will run from February 19-23, is also part of the month-long celebration of National Arts Month, or Philippine Arts Festival, under Presidential Proclamation No. 683, said Dr. Roberto B. Torres, Director of the Office of Culture and the Arts of the Western Mindanao State University (WMSU).
This is the first time for Zamboanga City to host the festival. The lead organizers are WMSU and the Association of Creative and Performing Arts of Zamboanga, Inc. It is in cooperation with the National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCAA), National Committee on Dramatic Arts (NCDA) and the local government.
“Our main goal here is to strengthen theater art by exploring for more ideas on the impact brought by the school-based theater to the society as a whole,” Dr. Torres told PeaceWorks.
The festival theme is “Teatro ng Kabataan: Yaman ng Bayan,” with which it aims to grab the attention of the youth towards the powerful medium.
The festival will bring together university-based theater groups, showcase their productions, interact, and exchange ideas and experiences and network among school-based artists. Skills enhancement and future project engagements are also expected to materialize during the festival.
Torres said some 500 theater artists will join in talks on different topics. Each region will have its own set of participants whose works depict the true spirit and culture of the Filipinos.
From Luzon will come the Bulsu Theater Guild from Bulacan State University, City of Malolos, Bulacan and the Pinay Theater from Miriam College. Visayas will fly in the Teatro Dingganay from Sacred Heart Seminary – School of Philosophy, Bacolod City.
Mindanao will have two participating groups, namely, Integrated Performing Arts Guild from Mindanao State University – Iligan Institute of Technology in Tibanga, Iligan City and the University Theatre Guild from WMSU. With the participation of Christian and Muslim groups as well as other indigenous peoples in the country, the festival can be “truly called national.”
Side performances are also scheduled. The following have confirmed initially to perform: Kanlaon Theater Guild of Colegio San Agustin, Bacolod City; University of San Agustin, Ilo-Ilo City; Teatro Hiligaynon of West Negros College, Bacolod City and Maskara Theater Ensemble of University of St. La Salle, Bacolod City. More colleges and universities are submitting their entries as of press time.