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THE PANDEMIC did not stop theater from adapting to changes last year and this year the artists have continued showcasing plays online. For Teatro Europa, last year’s first virtual showcase attracted 300,000 viewers. From the original seven theater groups that participated in the 2020 online theater festival, this year’s second online edition welcomes 16 participating universities from all over the country, with new universities from Metro Manila, Baguio, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Iloilo City, Bacolod City, and Ozamiz City joining.
Teatro Europa, The Second Edition is a project of the European Union Delegation to the Philippines, together with the EU (European Union) Member States, their EU cultural institutes, and the 16 universities, The theater festival will showcase video performances from Aug. 1 to 31, with re-runs from Sept. 1 to 30, streaming on its official Facebook page (www.facebook.com/TeatroEuropaPH).
The festival will showcase 16 European plays by playwrights from Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Spain, and Sweden.
“Theater is a mirror of all human emotions and helps to better understand Europe and its culture, from the plays played in ancient Greece to the current online performances,” EU Ambassador Luc Véron said in a statement. “Teatro Europa provides a platform for artistic Filipino youth to share their talents in acting, directing and production design.”
The 16 partner universities and their respective plays are: Colegio de San Juan de Letran, Tartuffe by Moliere (France); Saint Louis University, Rur by Karel Čapek (Czech Republic); Wesleyan University, Pariah by August Strindberg (Sweden); University of the East, Life’s a Dream by Pedro Calderon de la Barca (Spain); University of Makati, The Horrid Little Princess by Geneviève Damas (Belgium); Meridian International Business, Arts and Technology (MINT), The Salt Princess folktale (Hungary); University of San Agustin, Snow by Stanislaw Przybyszewski (Poland); La Salle University, Erasmus Montanus by Ludvig Holberg (Denmark); Mapua University, Riders to the Sea by John Millington Synge (Ireland); Jose Rizal University, The Birds by Aristophanes (Greece); Arellano University, II Vero Amico by Carlo Goldoni (Italy); Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Marikina, Lucifer by Josst van den Vondel (the Netherlands); First City Providential College, La Ronde by Arthur Schnitzler (Austria); Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Valenzuela, My Three Angels by Sam and Bella Spewack (Romania); University of St. La Salle, Broken Heart Story by Saara Turunen (Finland); and Rizal Technological University, Leonce and Lena by Georg Büchner (Germany).
Having participated in last year’s edition, actor and director Dennis N. Marasigan — who is the Theater Arts program head at MINT College and adviser at Mapua University’s Mapua Tekno Teatro — talked about what they had learned from last years’ experience of transferring a show to a virtual stage.
“There is a bit less of difficulty [this year] in a way because there’s already the experience that we had from last year. I would think that for this year, it’s more of a move towards experimentation. We’re trying to see what else we can do with the online platform. Of course, we look forward to being back on stage again,” he said during a press conference held over Zoom on July 16.
“This pandemic taught us in the arts community that the truth has its way of showing up, and in the midst of hardships, we always find ways to adapt, and to be innovative,” said Teatro de Letran’s artistic director of Lygie Carillo, whose theater group will present a Philippine adaptation of Moliere’s Tartuffe.
“We promise as a new generation of young artists in this country to devout all our energies and efforts to push through the boundaries in presenting advocacies, experiences, and stories of the Filipino people,” Mr. Carillo added.
The festival will have limited physical performances in late August in Intramuros, and a series of webinar with theater directors on the similarities, intersections, and differences between Philippine and European theater.
For the full schedule of shows, visit www.facebook.com/TeatroEuropaPH. — Michelle Anne P. Soliman