Philippine Educational Theater Association

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The Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) is a theatrical association of artists and educators. It is the UNESCO-International Theater Institute Center in the Philippines. It is a non-profit, non-stock, non-governmental, and a registered donee institution.[1] It was awarded the Ramon Magsaysay Award in 2017.[2]

History

On April 7, 1967, Cecile Guidote-Alvarez established the Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) who meant the organization to be a vehicle for Philippine Theater to play a role in the development of the country's people and society. Four years later in 1971, PETA was named the UNESCO-International Theater Institute Center in the Philippines. In the same year, coinciding with the 400th foundation anniversary of Manila, PETA organized the first Third World Theater Festival.[3]

Martial law in the Philippines forced founder Guidote-Alvarez to go to a political exile in 1972 but the theatrical organization remains operational. The theatrical works of the organization revolved around the social conditions and political climate during the Martial law era and focused on using the medium of theater as an empowerment for the marginalized sectors.[3]

By this period, PETA began creating and performing theatrical plays in Filipino. Among the venues for its first productions was Paco Park,[4] until it gained access to a portion of Fort Santiago which it transformed into the Raja Sulayman Theater. This open-air theater was designed by Leandro V. Locsin, a National Artist. About 300 plays were adapted, translated, written, published, and performed by the organization by the 1990s.[3]

From the beginning, Peta’s pro-people bias was well-known. That philosophy dictated its choice of materials to produce, as well as its chosen language for performance—Filipino and other Philippine languages. It encouraged the writing of original works as well as translation of world classics, especially those that reflected and resonated with the social climate of the times.

Using theater for education, Peta went all over the country to train theater practitioners from various sectors—students, workers, farmers and fisherfolk, even sex workers and people in areas of conflict. Its members continually immersed themselves in various communities, particularly those oppressed and marginalized.

These resulted in the creation of a nationwide theater network, as well as the writing and production of theater works deeply rooted in the experiences and sensibilities of Filipinos.[5]

PETA transferred to a permanent building as its headquarters in 2005, which is named the PETA Theater Center. Since the move, PETA has produced and performed adaptations of classic foreign plays as well as local and children's theatrical productions. They also began to adopt modern pop music.[3]

A multi-function hall on their building’s second floor is dedicated to film director and Filipino national artist Lino Brocka.[6] Before becoming a film director, the young Brocka had worked with PETA as Guidote-Alvarez's assistant, stage actor, and PETA executive director.[7]

For the last 50 years, Peta has remained operational and has continued producing works and training theater practitioners.[8]

References

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  1. "Organizational Profile". Philippine Educational Theater Association. Retrieved 5 November 2016.
  2. "Philippine Educational Theater Association • The Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation • Honoring greatness of spirit and transformative leadership in Asia". rmaward.asia. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 "Our Company, Our Story". Philippine Educational Theater Association. Retrieved 5 November 2016.
  4. Marasigan, Dennis. "PETA and REP turn 5O: Why it's also a golden moment for Philippine Theater. https://lifestyle.inquirer.net/258785/peta-rep-turn-50-also-golden-moment-ph-theater/ Retrieved December 18, 2018
  5. Marasigan, Dennis. "PETA and REP turn 5O: Why it's also a golden moment for Philippine Theater. https://lifestyle.inquirer.net/258785/peta-rep-turn-50-also-golden-moment-ph-theater/ Retrieved December 18, 2018
  6. "Lino Brocka Hall". PETA - Philippine Educational Theater Association. Retrieved 2018-04-08.
  7. Lacuna, Dody. "Remembering PETA and Lino Brocka". Malaya. Retrieved 2018-04-08.
  8. Marasigan, Dennis. "PETA and REP turn 5O: Why it's also a golden moment for Philippine Theater. https://lifestyle.inquirer.net/258785/peta-rep-turn-50-also-golden-moment-ph-theater/ Retrieved December 18, 2018