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International theater experts visit Philippines for World Theater Day

The International University Theatre Association (IUTA) will spearhead the International Theater Institute’s (ITI) celebration of World Theater Day on March 27, 2011 through a week-long interaction between various theater organizations in universities and colleges and the two German theater experts.

Christine Schmalor is a director, acting teacher, and co-founder of AKT-KENT International Theatre Centre Berlin. Dr. Jurij Alschitz, on the other hand, is a director, theater teacher, and academic who trained under J.N. Malkovsky.

Malkovsky has been a student of Stanislavsky. Schmalor and Alschitz will be holding dialogues with around 10 school-based theater organizations from March
22 to 26.

Established in 1994 at the Universite de Liege, IUTA aims to develop and promote theater training, creation, and theoretical and practical research. The association has members in over 50 countries including the Philippines. Arsenio “Nick” Lizaso is the project executive director of the IUTA Philippine Center.

“Echoing the message of Jessica Kaahwa of Uganda for World Theater Day, the interactions between our university-based theater organizations and the German theater experts show that theater could, indeed, bridge divides,” Lizaso says.

“Theater is a universal language with people as medium that actively participates in the deconstruction of previously-held perceptions, resulting to the creation of a new reality where conflicts and borders do not exist, and friendship and harmony prevail among nations,” Lizaso adds.

The ITI has chosen Kaahwa, a renowned theater artist in Africa, to write the international message for this year’s World Theater Day titled “A Case for Theater in the Service of Humanity”. World Theater Day is celebrated around the world on the 27th of March by the international theater community since 1961.

Some of the authors of the international message for World Theater Day include Pablo Neruda, Arthur Miller, Jean Cocteau, Laurence Olivier, Helene Weigel, Edward Albee, and Augusto Boal.

On March 22, Schmalor and Alschitz will be in La Consolacion College Manila in Mendiola for an interaction with theatre organizations from the aforementioned college along with Emilio Aguinaldo College (EAC), Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP), and the Mapua Institute of Technology (MIT). On March 23, the German experts will be in De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde in Taft Avenue for a dialogue with the theatre groups of the college, Centro Escolar University (CEU), Philippine Normal University (PNU), and other universities in Manila.

On March 24, Schmalor and Alschitz will visit Ateneo de Manila University in Quezon City. On March 26, the German experts will visit San Sebastian College for an interaction with the school theater organization and the Sipat Lawin Ensemble.

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