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DSCTA Through the Years

The Department of Speech Communication and Theatre Arts (DSCTA) was instituted in 1959 as the Department of Speech and Drama, which dedicated itself to formally teaching, researching, and performing oral communication after the Board of Regents approved its separation from the Department of English (now Department of English and Comparative Literature). 


In 1977, the UP Department of Speech and Drama likewise changed its name to the Department of Speech Communication and Theatre Arts for two primary reasons. First, the change was initiated to terminate the notion that the study of speech is limited to issues of voice and diction, or confined to the art of public speaking.


Prof. Alejandro J. Casambre, the first Filipino to have obtained a PhD in Speech Communication and a major mover behind the department’s titular transformation, insisted that “speech is communication” and by doing so, democratized the academic discipline in such a way that speech can be studied as a “requisite for participation and leadership in human affairs.”


Second, the change was necessary to reflect Theatre Arts as a thriving discipline in Philippine Humanities.


Despite numerous opportunities and offers in the United States, Prof. Antonio O. Mabesa returned to the Philippines after finishing graduate studies in Theatre Arts from the University of California Los Angeles in 1965 and completing MA degree in Education from the University of Delaware in 1967. Mabesa shaped the paradigm of the theatre arts as an academic program not only in the University, but also in the entire nation. 


Speech Communication

We are the Speech Communication Division of the Department. We lead in the development of knowledge and competence in understanding the study of human interaction and its use of verbal and nonverbal symbols in order to impact different communicative phenomena. 

In our latest curricular revisions, we have introduced four strands: performance, rhetoric, interpersonal communication and instructional communication. These strands reflect our research, scholarly, and pedagogical agendas, which guide our students in being and becoming responsible, creative, engaged, and critical communication practitioners and scholars. 

Graduates of our BA (Speech Communication) program are expected to demonstrate high level of scholarship, critical thinking, creative expression, social responsiveness, and ethics in education, training, public relations, government and non-government institutions, and other communication-related industries. 

Moreover, our MA (Speech Communication)   program aims to advance the field of Speech Communication, particularly in knowledge building and critical research. It is designed to provide graduate students and professionals, mostly in the field of the academe, a deeper understanding of the fields of Rhetoric, Performance, Instructional and Interpersonal Communication. 


Theatre Arts

We are the Theatre and Performance Studies Division of the Department. Originally part of the discipline of speech and drama, the division was formally instituted and recognized in 1974 when the Department of Speech and Drama was renamed to the Department of Speech Communication and Theatre Arts. 

Our roster of regular faculty members consists of acclaimed theatre practitioners and esteemed academics trained in prestigious institutions here and abroad. 

The division aims to be the University’s premier center for theatre and performance practice and discourse. To achieve this, the division provides students the knowledge and competencies to come to terms with the complexity of recasting the theatre and performance as transformative concepts. 

The division has four academic programs exploring the reciprocal relationship between theory and practice.

The Associate in Arts (Theatre) is a craft-oriented program designed to train prospective theatre practitioners in the creative industries. 

The curriculum of the Bachelor of Arts (Theater Arts) program is leaning towards intellectual praxes through practice-based-research and performance-led-research activities and critical interrogations of theatre and performance as socio-cultural idioms for the understanding of the self, society, and culture. To date, we offer five areas of specializations: theatre and performance studies, performance, dramaturgy and directing, theatre management, technical theatre and design. 

The Master of Arts in Theatre Arts program is designed for those who want to acquire a solid theoretical and scholarly foundation in theater. To date, we offer two tracks: the theatre practice track and the theatre studies track. The former requires 39 units of course work and a creative project approved and evaluated by the theatre faculty members and invited theatre artists as panel members, while the latter requires 33 units of course work and 6 units of a master’s thesis. 

Our PhD in Performance Studies  is designed for students to familiarize the epistemic and methodological traditions of Euro-American, Asian, and Philippine theatre, oral studies, rhetoric and performance scholarship, as well as to identify specific trajectories of individual research projects. We are also envisioning to produce interdisciplinary research projects across the wide spectrum of speech, theatre and performance studies. 

Mission and Vision Statement

The mission of the Department of Speech Communication and Theatre Arts (DSCTA) is to fulfill its mandate to provide outstanding service in instruction, research, creative, and extension work in the areas of speech communication and theatre arts, with the aim of developing creative, critical, and ethical communicators and artists.

The DSCTA envisions itself as a Center of Excellence in the fields of speech communication and theatre arts in the country as well as in Asia and the Pacific. It aims to be at the forefront of rhetorical and performative discourses in the local and global communities. The department has a threefold agenda to attain its vision: 

  1. teach speech, theatre, and performance as modes of critical inquiries, creative expressions, and public engagements; 

  2. foster individuals with expanded analytical, technical, and imaginative capacities through praxes, research works, and public services; 

  3. ensure diversity, inclusivity, and respect as driving forces of our responsibilities as academics and staff members of the University of the Philippines

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