Established in 1976 by Tony Mabesa, DULAANG UNIBERSIDAD NG PILIPINAS or Dulaang UP is the country’s premiere academic theater organization. Originally established as the production arm of UP’s Speech Communication and Theatre Arts Program, it has become a quasi-professional group with a regular season. This year, Dulaang UP celebrates its 38th season.
Dulaang UP has been a vehicle for seasoned theater artists to articulate their visions and to interact with theater students through productions mounted by veteran directors Tony Mabesa, Anton Juan, Amiel Leonardia, Alexander Cortez, Josefina Estrella, Behn Cervantes and the late Ogie Juliano; guest directors Edgardo dela Cruz, Peter Kern and Floy Quintos; as well as young directors led by Dexter Santos.
Through their productions, Metro Manila audiences have witnessed masterworks of the world repertoire. These include works by Shakespeare, Brecht, Ibsen, Chekhov, Moliere, Wilde, Williams, Miller, Lorca and Strindberg, among others.
Original Filipino plays staged by Dulaang UP include works by National Artists Nick Joaquin, Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero and Bienvenido Lumbera. Other homegrown and renowned writers whose works have been staged by DUP include Severino Montano, Anton Juan, Amelia Lapena-Bonifacio, Boy Noriega, Rene Villanueva, Butch Dalisay, Floy Quintos, Chris Millado and other playwrights.
Dulaang UP has also had the privilege of working with theater designers like National Artist Salvador Bernal, Monino Duque, Gino Gonzales, Leo Abaya and Eric Pineda. It has also been developing new designers for theatre like Voltaire de Jesus, Tuxqs Rutaquio, Jethro Joaquin and Faust Peneyra.
Dulaang UP has yielded a veritable who’s who of Philippine Theater. Shamaine Centenera, Irma Adlawan, Betty Mae Piccio, Jorge Ledesma, Dennis Marasigan, Frances Makil-Ignacio, Eugene Domingo, Candy Pangilinan, Harlene Baustista, Stella Canete, Ayen Munji-Laurel, Banaue Miclat, Mario Magalona, Neil Ryan Sese, Jomari Jose, and Andoy Ranay were students of the Theater Arts program before carving their niches in the professional circuit. Professional actors like Mario O’Hara, Chito Roño, Joel Lamangan and the late National Artist Ishmael Bernal and Rolando Tinio, Ray Ventura, Pen Medina, Alya Honasan, Imee Marcos, Sen. Loren Legarda, Malou de Guzman, Ces Quesada, Teroy Guzman, Romnick Sarmenta, Cris Villonco, and many more, have at one time or another, performed at the Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero Theater.
Students of the Theatre Arts Program are prepared to participate in productions through the mentorship of Tony Mabesa, Ludendorffo Decenteceo, José Estrella, Alexander Cortez, Amihan Bonifacio-Ramolete, Dexter Santos, Anril Tiatco, Ohm David and Meliton Roxas, Jr..
Dulaang UP’s artistic and administrative functions are managed by full-time faculty members of the Department of Speech Communication and Theatre Arts: Alexander Cortez (Artistic Director), Dexter M. Santos (Associate Artistic Director), Amihan Bonifacio-Ramolete (Managing Director), Meliton Roxas Jr. (Resident Technical Director), and Johanna Mariflor L. Añes (Publicity Manager). Non-academic officers include Samanta Hannah B. Clarin and Camille Kristina H. Guevara (Marketing Managers), Manny Casalan (Administrative Officer/Theatre Manager), and staff member Archie Clataro.
Dulaang UP has established a reputation for innovation and excellence in Theatre as a training ground for young talent, a venue for published and new works, and a source of new talent for local and international theatre, cinema, television and even the advertising industries.