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Tatarin was authored by National Artist Nick Joaquin. Its original title was "A Witches Sabbath in Three Acts" and ws based on the short story "Summer Solstice". Its dramatic structure is in three acts, written in 1978.

Tatarin was first staged on 20 June 1978 at the CCP Main Theater (now Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). This production was remarkable because three National Artists collaborated: Joaquin, the author; Lamberto Avellana, the director; and Napoleon Abueva, the sculpture.

The play explores the pagan forces in the Christian community, and the superiority of women to imperious men. It portrays and contrasts the the men and women who simultaneously celebrate the recently-introduced feast of St. John the Baptist and the ceremonial acts of the tatarin, a pagan ritual to the moon led by female priestesses.

Adaptation for other media

In 2001 Tikoy Aguiluz, noted Filipino director, transposed the play to 1920 Philippines and cast Edu Manzano as the lead Don Paeng and Dina Bonnevie as Lupe. Its Filipino title was Tatarin, translated loosely into English as Summer Solstice.


  • CCP Encyclopedia of Philippine Art, Vol 7. Manila: Cultural Center of the Philippines, 1994.
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