UPV artists shed light on social issues in ‘FaceUP’ theatrical plays

By Rjay Zuriaga Castor

In a bold and thought-provoking initiative, theater artists at University of the Philippines Visayas’ Performing Arts Hall are shining a spotlight on often disregarded sensitive and significant social issues through a collection of nine captivating and emotionally charged short plays titled “FaceUP.”

Under the masterful artistic guidance of Prof. Alfredo B. Diaz, the theatrical endeavor aims to initiate a much-needed dialogue and confront subjects that are frequently shunned or overlooked in mainstream discussions.

“The play is composed of issues that we would rather not talk about or issues that have been talked about but have not really been dealt with. This is a space for us to talk about suicide, murder, something about child molestation, or marital problem, which can be common but is presented in a totally different way,” explained Diaz who is a playwright and actor himself.

With a runtime of 80 minutes, the production features a series of impactful dramatic monologues, including ‘Doing the Math,’ ‘Much Madness,’ ‘Surface of the Ledge,’ ‘My Tattoo,’ and ‘Violet Eyes,’ alongside other four ten-minute plays titled ‘Rebecca on the Bus,’ ‘Football,’ ‘Traces of Memory,’ and ‘Fugue.’

Diaz said he wants to underscore the power of words and their delivery in theatrical performances.

“I want to focus on the word the expression because sometimes, the message can be drowned by the props and by the movements. The message of the playwrights and the authors can sometimes be hidden as well or get sideswiped,” he explained.

Diaz said investing in the theatrical prowess and the stage lighting would heavily influence the mood of a scene and the audience’s experience

Meanwhile, Prof. Martin G. Genodepa, Director of the Office of Initiatives for Culture and the Arts (OICA), said the theater production “is one way to make UPV the hub for arts and culture in the city.”