Cebu International Theater Festival

ESSENCE - Ligaya Rabago - Visaya - The Freeman

For the past few years, and even more so during the pandemic, theater organizations or theatrical performances in Cebu have continually been felt in communities. The majority of performances come from annual presentations in educational institutions. However, there are also intermittent activities in a number of urban and rural communities. In general, there is still a lot of potential and talent that a certain group or location has to offer that remains unrealized or untapped.

There have been theater festivals in the area with the main objective of preserving theater in Cebu. For instance, "Panagtipon" was created to preserve Cebuano theatre and has been honored annually since 2019 so that the rest of the Cebuano people can view and appreciate original Cebuano theatre initiatives. Panagtipon's revival has arrived this year, giving it greater relevance for the younger generation. This revival will educate today's youngsters and give them a greater awareness of their cultural roots by bringing to light the tales and ideals of the past.

On the other side, the annual Cebu Contemporary Theatre Festival acts as a catalyst for raising the standard and appreciation of theater performance arts in Cebu. On its first year, four stories were performed live onstage last August 2010 at a performance night at the CAP Art Center by committed Cebu actors and performers.

On a global scale, this year marks the realization of a long-held goal to have connections beyond borders. At the Chapel of San Pedro Calungsod's Black Box Little Theater, we officially launched the first Cebu International Theater Festival. Being a member of the organizing team, which also includes Sunshine Lim, Nikka Ballesteros, Mary Rose Maghuyop, Rudy Aviles, Junrey Alayacyac, and Ms. Penelop Ong, is a blessing. Dr. Woonki Hwang (Organizing Director), Dr. Yundong Hwang, and Mr. Junhyung Ha are our Korean friends with whom we are working on this project. Announcing the participating theater companies from several nations, the festival theater locations, and the festival logo were all part of the debut.

A scene from the dramatic monologue "Tu Madre Amorosa", which Richel Ann Basiga played powerfully, was presented to the guests as a taste of Cebuano theater. The play will be presented as part of the Teatro de San Pedro Calungsod's theatrical performance on October 21 and 22 at 7 p.m. to honor the patron saint of our community, San Pedro Calungsod.

Theater plays are highly valued in contemporary society on a broad level for a number of reasons. Plays at the theater serve as a venue for storytelling and cultural expression. They serve to promote inclusion and understanding by reflecting the diversity of society and providing a platform for many viewpoints.

Dramatic plays frequently tackle current themes, questioning cultural standards, and encouraging discussion. By tackling subjects like politics, social justice, and human rights, they have the potential to spark discussion, spread awareness, and start change.

The audience can experience powerful emotions during a theater presentation. People can identify with the characters and their stories, which enables an emotional release and a form of escape.

Plays on the stage unite audiences, fostering a sense of belonging and shared experience. They promote relationships between people from various backgrounds by offering chances for social engagement, teamwork, and dialogue. Individuals can learn a variety of skills through theatrical participation, including public speaking, teamwork, empathy, and creativity.

As a global community, we must ensure that our theater has a place on the international stage as it demonstrates our people's extraordinary artistic talent and tremendous sense of national pride.

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