Teatro Pilipino was a residential theatre company of the
Cultural Center of the Philippines.
After a 1975 pilot season of two plays sponsored by the Department of Public Information and the
Cultural Center of the Philippines, Teatro Pilipino was founded in 1976 by director-actor Rolando Tinio, who became its artistic director. It served as CCP resident company until 1986. It closed in February 1992, after the death of its leading actor, Ella Luansing. Dedicated to producing world classics in translation as well as notable Filipino plays, it aimed to promote the cultural development of the youth and of the Filipino language.
As resident theater company of CCP, Teatro produced six plays per season, each with a run of eight performances at the CCP Little Theater (now a Tanghalang Aurelio V. Tolentino). When it transferred to the Metropolitan Theater in 1986, Teatro produced one major production at the MET Main Theater in its season, and a touring production. These productions were synchronized with the scholar calendar.
Staging plays of many European playwrights, Teatro’s productions included
Anton Chekhov’s Tiyo Vanya ( Uncle Vanya), 1976; Alexei Arbusov’s Kawawang Marat (The Promise), 1976; Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata, 1976; G. Bernard Shaw’s Santa Juana (St. Joan), 1977; Henrik Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler, 1977; Tennessee Williams' Laruang Kristal ( Glass Menagerie), 1979; William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, 1979; Albert Camus’ Caligula, 1981; Shakespeare’s Romeo at Julieta ( Romeo and Juliet), 1981; Jean Anouilh’s Antigone, 1982; Chekhov’s Seagull, 1982; Ugo Betti’s Ang Reyna at ang Rebelde (The Queen and the Rebels), 1983; Bertolt Brecht’s Ang Mabuting Tao ng Setzuan ( The Good Woman of Setzuan), 1983; Euripides’ Medea, 1988 and Shakespeare’s Makbet ( Macbeth), 1989. Plays by Filipino playwrights staged by Teatro include Bienvenido Noriega Jr.’s Bayan-bayanan (Little Country), 1976; Francisco Baltazar’s Orosman at Zafira (Orosman and Zafira), 1977; and those written by Tinio himself, such as May Katwiran ang Katwiran (Reason Has Its Reason), 1981, 1989; and Ang Babae sa Panitik (Women in Literature), 1991, starring Teatro leading actress Ella Luansing. Teatro Pilipino also held annual summer workshops in acting, directing and stage management. With Ella Luansing’s death in 1991, Tinio decided to close Teatro Pilipino. Its farewell performance in February 1992 was Shakespeare’s Ikalabindalawang Gabi ( Twelfth Night).
Artists who worked with Teatro Pilipino from 1976 to 1992 include Nestor U. Torre, Tony Mabesa, Ernie Garcia, Celeste Legaspi, Tommy Abuel, Edgar Oira, Rey Malte-Cruz, Divina Cavestany, Marcelino Cavestany, Nomer Son, Frankie Aseniero, Angie Ferro, Nanding Josef, Tony Espejo, and Victoria Tinio.
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