“What does it mean to be a woman in our world today?”

Dulaang Unibersidad ng Pilipinas or Dulaang UP will celebrate women in its 46th theater season which will be launched on 23 November and will start with a double feature — a production of female narratives performed in monologues and master classes given by trailblazers in the practice of Philippine theater.

The all-female opener, Sidhi’t Silakbo, which is also the title of the season, will use performance as a response to issues of women representation. DUP artistic director Issa Manalo Lopez and Virgin Labfest Festival co-director Tess Jamias will direct the production with five female actors — Shamaine Buencamino, Uzziel Delamide, Chic San Agustin, Wenah Nagales and Adrienne Vergara — in a collection of all-female monologues reimagined by the ensemble and writer Maynard Manansala from classical works in the theater.

The production is a weaving of women’s stories through spaces where women confront their realities, and assert their choices of what is true, what is right, and what makes them happy. For Lopez, Sidhi’t Silakbo is a celebration of the authenticity and validity of varying female realities.

“It is an awakening, a breaking of the cycle, breaking stereotypes, of women liberating themselves through a series of performances of freedom, fury, wit, rage, love and ruin. All fueled by their own ferocity and frenzy,” she said.

The season honors the “female phase” of theater, with a greater commitment to repositioning Dulaang UP as a safe and open creative space through greater decentralization and collaboration.

Sidhi’t Silakbo will to be staged at the newly-furnished IBG-KAL Theatre on 23, 24, 25 and 29 November and 1 December (7:30 p.m.), and 26 November and 2 and 3 December (2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.)

In this season, the DUP Studio will also be launched. It is the company’s newest initiative in the realm of Philippine theater education. Dulaang UP alumna and internationally acclaimed actress Dolly de Leon will mentor a new breed of theater talents in its first ever master class, “Auditioning for a Role and Landing It,” to be opened to the public. The masterclass will also be held at the IBG-KAL Theatre on 25 November from 2 to 5 p.m.

As one of DUP’s burgeoning flagship projects, DUP Studio seeks to provide an avenue for theatre veterans and industry novices to learn from one another.

The season will continue the following year with the re-run of the female-led Kung Paano Nanalo Sa Karera Si Rosang Taba in April 2024.

To end the season strong, Dulaang UP will collaborate with the International Federation for Theater Research and Kolab Co. in July 2024 for a twin-bill staging of Layeta Bucoy’s Ellas Inocentes to be directed by Lopez, and Eljay Castro Deldoc’s Walang Bago sa Dulang Ito to be directed by Jamias and Herbie Go.

DUP has long been at the forefront of producing premiere theater productions since it was established in 1976 by National Artist for theater Tony Mabesa. In its second season, since the coronavirus pandemic started, Dulaang UP continues to welcome back students, educators and enthusiasts to the stage, where greater representation never fails to matter. For inquiries and further information, contact or email [email protected]. Sponsorship concerns such as show-buying, audience sponsorship, and bulk tickets may be addressed to Kate Dayag-Nonay through [email protected].