The Dumaguete-based Youth Advocates through Theater Arts is currently representing the Philippines in Cambodia, performing in the Asian Youth Theatre Festival with the theme Roots and Routes.
YATTA, headed by Artistic Director Dessa Quesada-Palm, is performing in Cambodia with two other Philippine-based groups, Teatro Guindegan and USA Little Theater.
Earlier in Nov. 15, YATTA held a premiere at Silliman Hall of the play I Juana B in the Mirror, its official entry to the Asian Youth Theater Fest, written by Junsly Kitay and directed by Mellard Manogura.
The play is about “Juana B” who timetravels through a magical well, and is transported to the past where she meets dinosaurs, Jose Rizal, Andres Bonifacio, Tandang Sora, then teleported to the year 1972 during Martial Law.
According to the director Manogura, the play is the youth group’s take on how fast fake news spreads, the dangers of disinformation, and why it should not be normalized.
“The young people have a voice to change what’s happening in the world, and although the mirrors of truth aren’t here with us right now, the people who know exactly what happened in the past have the power to change, to influence, and to share the message,” Manogura said.
He said that during the production, he was actually concerned about being Red-tagged. “Telling the truth shouldn’t cost us our lives, and we should never surrender to oppression,” he said.
When they return from Cambodia, YATTA will have an excerpt performance of I Juana B on Nov. 30 at the Luce Auditorium. (Stephen Tiu, Shari Garzon, Oliver Olivas/SU Masscom)