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Honoring the Past, Reckoning with the Present, Priming the Future: 65 Years of the UP DSCTA

In celebration of its 65th founding anniversary, the Department of Speech Communication and Theatre Arts (DSCTA) is launching a lineup of academic and extracurricular activities from February to July this year to revisit its traditions, consolidate its achievements, and chart its various possibilities. With the theme “Honoring the Past, Reckoning with the Present, Priming the Future,” this commemorative event includes a retirement lecture, roundtable discussions, the launching of online videos, the restaging of a theatre production, the revival of an extramural program, and an academic conference, to name a few. 

The retirement lecture “Marking Milestones @ 65:  Recollections of a Life in UP” by Prof. Belen D. Calingacion, former chairperson of the DSCTA (2004-2012; 2018-2021), jumpstarts the celebrations on February 12.


Baks Paki-translate! Conversations on Queering Translation,” a collaboration of DSCTA, Art + Australia, the University of Melbourne, and Cordite Poetry Review, will happen on February 16 to discuss what it means to speak about art beyond English and Tagalog. Right after this panel discussion, the collective Ang Mga Baklang Kanal will deliver a performance of Austere Rex Gamao’s piece titled “Swardspeak: Ang Pulos Sang Pag Beks Ko Sa Lengguwaheyy Kag Forma.” 


Taking place on March 15 is a preview of TALKBACK: World-changing ideas, a series of recorded videos featuring different Filipino public speakers, along with a roundtable discussion “My Persuasion Can Build A Nation: Discourses on Speech 30.” On March 22, the DSCTA will release on its social media platforms the video “Reminiscences: Spotlighting Leticia Tison’s Legacy in the DSCTA,” one of the last interviews of a beloved department professor and pioneer. 

To take stock of the DSCTA’s gains over the years and to determine its agenda for the future, the roundtable discussion “State of Speech Communication and Theatre Arts in the Philippines Now” is set to happen on April 15. Featuring academics, field experts, and professionals, it aims to provide an honest assessment of the roots and routes of these academic disciplines in the Philippine university. The month of April will also see the restaging of Dulaang UP’s Kung Paano Nanalo sa Karera si Rosang Taba, an adaptation of Dean Francis Alfar’s children’s story of the same title that amplifies the voices of the oppressed. This play will run from April 19 to May 5 at the IBG-KAL Theater in UP Diliman.  

In May, the annual Pagsisiyasat will once again provide an avenue for DSCTA undergraduate and graduate students to share their ongoing research and creative projects with the general public. In June, after a long pandemic-induced hiatus, the DSCTA’s extramural program Speak Up will make a comeback to offer workshops on public speaking, effective communication, and debate to kids, teens, and adults. 


Capping the festivities is the International Federation for Theatre Research (IFTR) Conference Manila 2024 from 15 to 19 July. For the first time in IFTR’s history, this annual academic gathering of leading scholars and researchers of the field will be coming to Southeast Asia and centering on the theme “Our States of Emergency: Theatres and Performances of Tragedy.” 


Overall chairman for the celebration is Assoc. Prof. Oscar T. Serquiña, Jr., PhD. Ms. Gabrielle Carissa Marie Paras and Mr. Karl Lewis Cruz serve as the heads of the Ad Hoc Committee for this six-month affair. Assisting them are Asst. Prof. Justine Sanoy and Ms. Mia Trixia Ella Tejada. 


The DSCTA invites members of the UP community and the general public to participate in these activities. For more details, check the DSCTA’s Facebook page.  

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