Tanghalang Ateneo productions educate and delight; they stimulate the imagination and provoke thought. Jesuit pedagogy fuses with theater arts to interrogate the Filipino social world so that students can invent themselves as critical Filipinos: sharp in thought, expressive in action, deep in faith and attuned to others – fellow players and audiences whose lives intersect with their own.
Tanghalang Ateneo, the longest-running theater company of the Loyola Schools, Ateneo de Manila University, weaves into its work the theatrical traditions of the University’s sesquicentennial past: the devotion of the salon de actos at the Escuela Municipal, the eloquence of the Ateneo Dramatics Guild, the joie de vivre of the Ateneo Players Theater, and the innovative spirit of the Ateneo Experimental Theater. Like these companies, Tanghalang Ateneo uses theater to foster eloquentia, sapientia, and humanitas – the pillars of Jesuit pedagogy. It sees itself as a theater company in the service of student formation, and by extension – given the Jesuit ideal of magis – a theater in service of the nation. Since its founding in 1972 (and formally recognized seven years later), Tanghalang Ateneo has grown from a fledgling band of student players to one of the country’s leading school-based theater companies. Its repertoire of plays is daunting: world classics, Filipino originals, and documentary texts turned into theater pieces. Its productions are noted for thought, generosity, and energy, while its onstage lingua franca is both Filipino and English. Its members come from diverse academic fields. Many have pursued careers in theater, television, and film; many more use their theater experience to excel in management, law, teaching, media, and cultural work. Professional theater actors have graced its shows, and several outstanding designers and choreographers have served as members of the artistic staff. Moreover, its audiences extend outside the campus to embrace theater patrons within and outside the metropolitan area. Tanghalang Ateneo has won Aliw Awards for Best Production and Best Direction. The company has also received production grants from the Cultural Center of the Philippines, the Loyola Schools, National Commission for Culture and the Arts, the Spanish Program for Cultural Cooperation, the Japan Foundation, and the Commission on Higher Education. Its productions has been shown in many Philippine provinces and abroad. Glenn Sevilla Mas is Moderator and Artistic Director. His predecessors are Ricardo Saludo (1979-1983) and Ricardo Abad (1984-2014).