National Artist for Literature F. Sionil Jose visited Adamson University last July 25 to give a talk and answer questions in an open forum after the staging of his short musical play “Pragres” at the Adamson University Theater. The play was the other half of the twofold offering of the Cultural Affairs Office, the other one being Chris Martinez’s “Welcome to Intelstar.” Both were performed by thespians of one of the country’s top theater groups - Tanghalang Pilipino.
“Pragres” tells the story of a provincial clerk who journeys to the main office in the big city to follow up on her long overdue promotion after twenty years of work in a provincial government office. Her visit ends up in a nightmare as she finds herself in the corrupt atmosphere of the main office, including an incident that forces her to give up her womanly honor in the hope of snagging the coveted promotion. The play ends with her going back to the province a tad none the better, her accumulated woes made worse by the loss of some personal belongings to a snatcher, including her signed appointment papers, on the way home. It is set in the Marcos era.
“Welcome to Intelstar” is a satirical take on the call center industry. At “Intelstar,” the fictitious name of a call center company, the smart lady trainor delivers a monologue on correct English pronunciation, the difficulties of dealing with irate customers and other incidents related to call center that leaves the audience in stitches. In this play, the audience is the virtual trainees.
Performances were held on July 23, 24, 25 at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Ms. Nenita Dimapilis, director of the Cultural Affairs Office, said that “the office has laid out centralized cultural activities for the school year 2008-2009 and these two plays were part of them.” The University as a whole has been actively promoting culture and the arts through the staging of plays, film showings, walking tours and mounting of exhibits, all through the efforts of the Cultural Affairs Office.
Students and the AdU community as a whole are given these cultural fares as part of the university’s vision of a holistically educated Adamsonian, culture and the arts being still one of the best sources of value formation and critical appreciation. Raul Agner