The Eastern Samar State University Theater group known as Teatro LANTAWAN won the first place in the Short and Sweet Play competition against seven teams from different state universities and colleges of Region VIII. The contest held during the PASUC (Philippine Association of State University and Colleges) VIII Culture and Arts Festival Competition at the Eastern Visayas State University, Tacloban City on November 17, 2017. 

Not far behind were Palonpon Institute of Technology (PIT) placing second and Leyte Normal University (LNU) taking third.

The contest was held in the audio visual room of the EVSU’s Office of Research Development, and Extension (ORDEX) building and was performed before a minimal number of audiences.

Short and Sweet Play as a category is a presentation of a short play with limited time and number of characters. The play is limited to a maximum of 6 characters and a minimum of 3 characters. Each actor should portray a character. Technicians, musicians, and all personnel needed for production will be counted in the six contestant limit. Hand props and a maximum of two chairs will be allowed on stage. Six (6) minutes, minimum to Ten (10) minutes maximum. Script should be originally written intended only for the said competition. The play must include at least two scenes and should depict or illustrate the theme of family unity, values and youth issues.

The team entry was a play titled “Si Badong, si Nanay, at ang Plastic Wrap” originally written by the coach director Mr. Eduardo S. Lingan. The storyline is about Sandra (Played by Roxanne Quelitano (BSED 4th year student), a social climbing college student sent by her impoverished family due to her very demanding life style, and worst she goes into drugs. Sandra’s father was played by Jeffrey D. Bertos (BEED 4th year student), her mother by Lorie S. Carvajal a BSBA 3rd year student, Nene, Sandra’s younger sister played by Emelie Y. Barroz a 4th year BEED student, Dodong Sandra’s younger brother played by Roden O. Mugas a 3rd year BSED student. Another important character in the story was Badong (Played by Jullus Ceasar A. Agda a BSED 4th year student), a social worker in a rehabilitation center, but in the sight of Sandra he is a vagrant or taong-grasa.

Roxanne was thrilled to win the championship in her final year at ESSU. “Winning the regional competition was an amazing experience, especially considering it is my senior year,” she said.

Jullus Ceasar said he wanted to participate in the team because of his passion for performing. “This, being my 2nd year in the Teatro LANTAWAN proves my love for theater is extreme,” he said. “Going to the regional competition is not only fun because we get to go out and perform and do what we love, but we also get to meet students from other schools who have the same shared passion for theater.”

What did the coach director think of his actors’ performance of one of his original theater pieces? “They rocked it,” he said. “They received great comments from the judges. They made me very proud.” “These kids were easy to love from my very first day as their teacher/director,” he said. “And I learned very quickly they were easy to direct. They got it. Their passion for theater and commitment to rehearsals were what made us win first place.”

The young performers had deep inspirations according to Mr. Lingan. “The wishes of good luck and cheers of their fellow Teatro LANTAWAN talents served as inspiration to them. The undying support of our awesome Dean of Students and Alumni Affairs Dr. Jonas V. Palada, the motherly supervisions of the Head of Student Performing Arts Group Mrs. Ginalyn A. Avila, the help of the assistant coach Mrs. Melanie A. Lourdes Lara, and the undeniable support of the administration under the leadership of our University president Dr. Edmundo A. Capoto, which meant a lot to the kids and to me,” he said. “We felt the love and support from all these folks.”

The team will represent Region VIII to compete in the same category in the PASUC Culture and Arts Competition in the national level to be held on a tentative date (maybe last week of November or first week of December) in Dumaguete City.