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Crossing Borders: Philippine Activist Theater and Martial Law

Bonifacio P. Ilagan


Positing theater as political, this paper intends to locate activist theater in the context of the Philippine cultural setting and political milieu on the eve of the Martial Law declaration in 1972. It shall illustrate why this kind of theater, frowned upon by some sectors in the artistic community, had taken unto itself the task of redefining the stage and employing it in a political mass movement that ultimately blazed a trail in Philippine theater and also challenged the socioeconomic structures of society. This paper integrates the theory and practice of the activist theater in the Philippines in the late 1960s until the initial years of Martial Law from the point of view of a direct participant.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13185/1467