Legacy and Lineage: Dulaang UP Honors the Life and Work of Antonio O. Mabesa National Artist for Theatre and Launches Its 45th Theatre Season

DUP rises again after weathering two years of the CoVid-19 pandemic. To forge the path forward, the event, entitled “Pagtutuloy/Pagtutulay” starts with honoring its founding artistic director – National Artist for Theatre Antonio O. Mabesa. This ushers in the reopening of DUP’s doors to the public as it presents two new exciting and thought-provoking works in its 45th Theatre Season.

PAGTUTULOY/PAGTUTULAY: Parangal kay Antonio O. Mabesa, Pambansang Alagad ng Sining para sa Teatro at Paglulunsad ng 45th Theatre Season ng Dulaang UP expresses a tone of gratitude in its heartfelt remembering of a captain and founder, a celebration of his fruitful past, his innovations in theatre-making, and a rekindling of the commitment to serve Sir Tony’s vision of excellence in the practice of Theatre.

dulaang up 45th

It offers a personal and intimate commemoration of “Sir Tony” through the eyes of his students, colleagues, friends and family. It shares how his mentorship and legacy lives on in the lives and practice of the people he has inspired.

And to preserve the wealth of knowledge carried on by the Dulaang UP community, DUP now launches its 45th Theatre Season “BALIKWAS : Tanaw. Tugon. Tindig ”, amidst the pandemic, as an agile response to the current conditions of theatre practice and the Filipino society in this “next” normal.


DUP and Sir Tony’s Legacy

National Artist for Theater Tony Mabesa established Dulaang Unibersidad ng Pilipinas (DUP) in 1976. Through his leadership and inspiration, DUP established a reputation for innovation and excellence in theatre while offering a training ground for young talent via the mentorship of the veterans. DUP has also served as a venue for staging published and new works making it an evident source of new talent for local and international theatre, cinema, television, advertising, and other creative industries.


In Pagtutuloy/Pagtutulay, DUP traces the legacy of NA Tony Mabesa from the personal accounts of his colleagues, students, and friends in the local theatre community. Among them are renowned names in the field of theater, film and television: Edna Mae Landicho, Monino Duque, Josefina Estrella, Anton Juan, Jr., Shamaine Buencamino, Dennis Marasigan, Karen Gaerlan, Amihan Bonifacio-Ramolete, Frances Makil-Ignacio, Eric Pineda, Banaue Miclat-Janssen, Ross Pesigan and Adriana Agcaoili to name a few. 


Part of remembering Sir Tony Mabesa is an interpretation of his biographical essay, Life in the Theater, which adds an intimate layer of commemorating his presence and contribution to professional theater and the Theater Arts Program of the University of the Philippines Diliman.


Memorializing Sir Tony would not be complete without a poignant testimony from one of his closest friends and colleagues in the industry, award-winning film and TV director Joel Lamangan. Lastly, a rendition of a song from Joi Barrios’ Gabriela: Isang Oratorio, directed by Sir Tony himself in 2006 complements a longing yet hopeful tone of honoring Dulaang UP’s beloved father.

DUP’s Lineage

Since its founding year, Dulaang UP has been a vehicle for articulating perspectives and assertions through the vision of its artistic directors. For more than four decades, DUP thrived under the artistic directorship of catalysts of change and innovation in the theatre and performance scene such as Tony Mabesa, Behn Cervantes, Anton Juan Jr., Jose Estrella, Alexander Cortez, Amiel Leonardia, Ogie Juliano, Edna Mae Landicho, Amihan Bonifacio-Ramolete, Dexter M. Santos, and Banaue Miclat-Janssen. 

As Dulaang UP decides to open its doors after two years of hiatus, it also opens its pathway beyond the stage and onto the challenges of hybrid and new forms of performances, while making sure to stand for its core values through its new artistic director, Issa Manalo Lopez. 

Under the new artistic directorship, DUP strives to hold onto its reputation and address issues worth-taking. 

New productions

Two stellar productions are lined up in this year’s 45th theatre season; The Reconciliation Dinner, a new one-act play by Floy Quintos, directed by Dexter Santos, showing this November 18-20, 2022; and Kung Paano Nanalo sa Karera si Rosang Taba, original story by Dean Alfar, stage adaptation by Maynard Manansala and Rody Vera, directed by José Estrella, to be staged by March 2023. For tickets, showbuying, and sponsorships, you may contact Dulaang UP at dulaangup.upd@up.edu.ph.