The Youth Advocates through Theater Arts (YATTA), in partnership with Buds Theatre of Singapore, and with support from the Japan Foundation-Manila, hosted the 5th Asian Youth Theatre Festival that concluded on Nov. 21.
Held online, 14 theatre organizations from 11 countries (Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam) showcased their performances that tackled this year’s theme Colours of Asia.
The festival also featured online workshops, a songwriting competition, Dumaguete-based music bands, and a collaborative piece created by select artists from all groups facilitated by local artist-teacher Earnest Hope Tinambacan.
YATTA premiered its production of Corona Beauties, written by Aldrian Baruc and directed by Onna Quizo. It probed the world of beauty contests, and issues around skin colorism, discrimination of certain cultural identities, and the concept of beauty. Its cast included Justine Dumalogdog, Jo Camille Mamac, Aristine Marcelino, Aljhon Baco, Adrian Pitulan, Audrey Dales, and Gianne Ashleycamille Jimar.
The festival’s over-all production manager, Nikki Cimafranca, lauded the impact of the project on the youth. “Despite the pandemic, we are able to celebrate the powerful voices of young people throughout Asia. We look forward to a near future that we can all come together face-to-face. But till then, we continue to build a vibrant community that supports each other in creative spirit. As YATTA’s mantra goes, creativity cannot be locked down.” (YATTA PR)