Dulaang UP is the official performing group for theater of the University of the Philippines. Dulaang UP is based at the UP Department of Speech Communication and Theater Arts (DSCTA), which runs the sole, formal, theater training program in the country leading to the completion of undergraduate and graduate degrees as well as a certificate course. it employes the conservatory approach to training where enrollees enjoy maximum guidance in performance and production from scholars, practitioners, leading stage and film artists, and recognized personages in theater.
Dulaang UP was originally conceived in 1976 by Professor Emeritus Antonio Mabesa to be the production arm of the DSCTA. Dulaang UP is devoted to the staging in their original and translated versions, classics by master playwrights as well as mounting powerful and incisive masterworks by professional and promising Filipino playwrights. Dulaang UP has taken the lead in producing plays that enhance the appreciation of literature, the humanities, and the social sciences, in the University.
In 1978, Tony Mabesa invited Behn Cervantes and Anton Juan, Jr. to be co-artistic directors. Leticia H. Tison, then chairman of the department, joined them as Managing Director. From its beginnings, Dulaang UP continues to be faithful to the vision of its founder and those who came after him
Dulaang UP boast of an impressive roster of faculty members, all experts in the different disciplines of theater arts:
- Antonio O. Mabesa, Founding Artistic Director,trained at the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA) and at the University of Hawaii.
- Alexander Cortez-(Artistic Director) strengthened his theatrical expertise through seminars and conferences in several European and North American theater institutions.
- Josefina Estrella (Artistic Director)completed her MFA in Directing at Columbia University in New York through a Fullbright scholarship.
- Dexter M. Santos-(Associate Artistic Director) is one of the most exciting choreographers in Philippine theater today. He has created movement / choreography for various theater companies.
- Ma. Fabiola R. Ortiz-(Managing Director), an Assistant Professor in the Department of Speech Communication and Theater Arts.
- Niel Kenneth F. Jamandre-(Associate Managing Director) an instructor of the Department of Speech Communication and Theater Arts.
- Maree-Barbara Tan-Tiongco-(Resident Technical Director) is a technical theater practitioner;
- Sir Anril P. Tiatco-(Publicity and archieves Manager) has an MA in Theater Arts from the University of the Philippines and is involved in Philippine Theatre and Performance Studies research.
- Amiel Y. Leonardia has an MFA in production design from the University of Hawaii;
- Amihan B. Ramolet is an Associate Artistic Director of Teatrong Mulat ng Pilipinas;
- Ludendorffo Decenteceo has an MFA in production design from Tulane University;
- Dr. Edna Mae Landicho has an Ph.D in Philippine Studies and is involved in children's theater
Dulaang UP production are staged in two venues: the 300-seater wilfrido Ma. Guerrero Theater at Palma Hall and the Teatro Hermogenes Ylagan at the Bulwagang Rizal. Both are located on the University of the Philippines Diliman campus in Quezon City. With its regular University Theater Season of four to five plays in every academic year, Dulaang UP has staged more than 100 plays to date.
Dulaang UP enjoys a reputation for producing highly innovative productions of well-known masterworks of classical theater as well as original works by Filipino playwrights. It reaches out to diverse audiences not only in Metro Manila but also in nearby provinces. Notable productions that have enjoyed prominence include Hedda Gabler, A Dolls's House, Ms. Philippines, Rashomon, M Butterfly, Noli/Fili, St. Louis Loves Dem Filipinos...The Musical; ...St. Louis Loves Dem Filipinos. The Trial/Ang Paglilitis was staged more than 140 times in various schools, colleges, municipalities, and provinces in Visayas and Mindanao.
Dulaang UP productions have been more colorful with the special participation of a number of film directors, US-based theater artists, visiting professors, movie and television personalities, editors, businessmen, and stage luminaries. Among these are Edru Abraham, Tommy Abuel, Irma Adlawan, Adriana Agcaoili, Gina Alajar, Monette Alfron, Roy Alvarez, Harlene Batista, Jackie Lou Blanco, Noni Buencamino, Nieves Campa, Stella Canete, Shamaine Centenera,Behn Cervantes, Connie Lauigan-Chua, Mon Confiado, Rez Cortez, Celina Cristobal, Malou de Guzman, Edgardo dela Cruz, Nick de Ocampo, Fonz Deza, Eugene Domingo, Tess Dumpit, Monino Duque, Jun Farin, Laurice Guillen, Bart Guingona, Chin Chin Gutierrez, Judy Ick-Guzman, Teroy Guzman, Antee Bass-Hernandez, Jorge Hernandez, Alya Honasan, Earl Ignacio, Frances Makil-Ignacio, Peter kern, Joel Lamangan, John Lapuz, Jorge Ledesma, Loren Legarda, Lojit Lorenzo, Dennis Marasigan, Imee Marcos, Pen Medina, Cris Michelena, Madeline Nicolas, Mario O'Hara, Candy Pangilinan, Roderick Paulate, Allan Paule, Cherry Pie Picache, Joseph Pe, Lito Pena, Betty May Piccio, NIck Pichay, Richard Quan, Ces Quesada, Amable Quiambao, Floy Quintos, Mariz Ricketts, Malou Sadiwa, Tonton Santos, Romnick Sarmenta, Jonas Sebastian, Lanie Sumalinog, Letty Tison, Susan Valdez, Sonia Valenciano, Ray Ventura, Cris Vertido, Monique Wilson, Margarita Yulo, and many others.
Under the Dulaang UP umbrella is the UP Playwrights' Theater which stages original plays by Filipino playwrights and has ventured into reviving the zarzuela. UP Playwrights Theater serves as the venue for new works of prize-winning local playwrights. The plays are staged at the 200-seater Teatro Hermogenes Ylagan (formely Faculty Center Studio). Auxiliary to this is Dulaang Laboratoryo which also serves as training ground for Theater Arts students enrolled in their thesis subject as well as in special projects, directing, acting, lighting, production design, and production management courses. Under the supervision of a faculty member, production are mounted at the end of the semester as a final requirement for the above-mentioned courses.
Dulaang UPs holistic approach to the staging of plays provides students with a fuller and deeper understanding of theater. Having been thoroughly trained in Dulaang UP's productions, graduates eventually join various professional theater companies or organize their own theater groups or join the academe. Dulaang UP also enjoys unwavering financial support from the UP Office of the President, Office of the Chancellor, and occasionally from the Cultural Center of the Philippines, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), and other allied institutions.
Dulaang UP will continue to mount productions of outstanding quality to bring world dramatic literature to the University community and beyond. it will equally encourage Filipino play-writing to add to the wealth of material in Philippine culture.
Dulaang UP remians committed to honoring the student's craft and artistry as it nurtures their sensibility as human beings.