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August 18, 2011

PETA Summer Workshop



TEEN THEATER 1 (Ages 13-16)
THEATER ARTS 1 (Ages 17 up)
BASIC ACTING FOR THEATER: Theater for Artistic Development 1 (Aspiring stage performers ages 17 up)
CREATIVE MUSICAL THEATER: Theater for Artistic Development 2 (Musically-inclined individuals ages 17 up)
CREATIVE DANCE THEATER: Theater for Artistic Development 3 (Movement and dance aficionados ages 17 up)
CREATIVE PEDAGOGY: Theater-in-Education 1 (High school drama club advisers/moderators)

The Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) annual Summer Theater Arts Workshop offers creative learning in a fun and active way.

PETA's Children's Theater courses enable children to explore and experience music, movement and dance, visual arts, storytelling, drama improvisation, poetry and short-story writing.

Coupled with lots of fun and games, PETA's creative processes will also develop and enrich every child's imagination, inspiration, self-confidence, self-appreciation and appreciation of others, nature and culture.

The Teen Theater course challenges the experimental and adventurous nature of the youth through the unique PETA Integrated Theater Arts approach. The course mixes creative drama, creative sounds and music, creative writing, creative body movements and dance, visual arts as well as improvisational theater and new media, allowing teens to express their talents and articulate youth power as they mount their own original piece on relevant youth concerns as part of their recital.

Young aspiring actors, from 17 years old and up, can acquire fundamental knowledge, skills and attitudes in improvisational theater production, theater history, theater appreciation, aesthetics and criticism through the Theater Arts course.

PETA is also offering various advanced courses. The Basic Acting course features a series of dialogues with seasoned theater artists, coupled with motivated acting exercises which can turn anyone into a budding stage actor.

The Creative Musical Theater course has sessions on voice, composition, performance and various music explorations. Creative Dance Theater explores body and movement as media of artistic expression, and examines the rudiments of movement as a way to tell stories using various dance forms.

PETA's Creative Pedagogy is a special course for formal and non-formal teachers and educators that demonstrate various creative methodologies, approaches and philosophies in the teaching of arts and academic subjects.


The Marketing and Public Relations Office The PETA Theater Center 5 Eymard Drive, Brgy. Kristong Hari, New Manila, Quezon City
7256244 . 4100821


The PETA Village
A parent's testimony about his daughter's journey in the PETA summer workshop

This testimony was written by Wawel Mercado, a father of one of the participants to the PETA summer theater workshop. It was touching to read, and it reminded most of us about our own beginnings as theater artist-teachers.

I remember my daughter Therese's first day in PETA's Teen Summer Workshop. She was very nervous. She was new to the PETA community, and did not know anyone in the workshop, so she was naturally very anxious. "It's like my first day in school, Papa", she told me, before dropping her off in PETA. I reassured her, "It's okay, Anak. You will make new friends."

My daughter is shy, just like me. She even has trouble ordering a meal at McDonald's. But in spite of her shyness, she loves theatre. And this summer, she was willing to face her fears to pursue her love for theatre.

When I picked her up after that first day, she was beaming. She loved it! She liked her teachers, Ian and Jeff, and was excited to meet new friends from places as far away as Laguna, Quezon Province and Baguio.

So, for the next three weeks, Therese would lighten up our dinner conversations with animated stories about her experiences in PETA…

About trying to keep her balance while doing a series of movements while keeping one leg raised;
About learning an upbeat Cordillera song, with lyrics she did not understand, but with a melody that sent her dancing;
About playing "Cops and Robbers", running around the room, and always being "It", as a consequence for being late;
About doing research on Asian folklore, and writing a summary with beginning, middle and end, on the stories that she had discovered;
About making masks one day, and meeting a master mask-maker and collector the next;
About her fascinating classmate...a 12 year old, not yet a teen, but who was hands down the most talented actress in class; and about a girl named Rainbow who had a rock star grandmother.

As a fan of progressive education, I quickly recognized that what Therese was going through was quite special. PETA's summer curriculum is not just theatre. But it is multiple intelligence education coming into full play...

Movements with one leg? Bodily kinesthetic intelligence
Singing Cordillera hymns? Music intelligence
Writing folklore? Linguistic intelligence
Making masks? Artistic intelligence
Meeting new friends? Interpersonal intelligence

The multiple intelligence frame work was made popular by Harvard professor Dr. Howard Gardner only in the last 2 decades, but CB Garucho tells me that this PETA curriculum has been around since the 60s. It is the same curriculum that she went through, and she herself first experienced in PETA. Truly, our children have undergone something extremely special this summer.

But beyond the multiple intelligences, perhaps the greatest lesson that Therese has learned this summer is a lesson in humanity.

When Therese was born, her mother suffered a severe brain injury, and I have had to raise her these past 13 years as a solo parent. I know in faith that my wife Mila supports Therese with her fervent prayers, lifting up her pains and sufferings for our daughter. Because Therese is our unica hija, I have naturally become very protective of her, enrolling her in a small exclusive school where I personally know the principal and the teachers.

Coming from such a protected environment, the PETA experience opened up Therese to a bigger, harsher reality. She made friends with fellow teens who had much more challenging environments in school, and much more challenging situations at home. PETA's outreach program has allowed children from the marginalized sectors of society to have access to PETA's workshops. So from her newfound friends in her now wider circle, Therese heard stories of violent incidents in their schools, separated parents, broken families. "Papa," she would tell me ruefully, "I thought these things happened only in movies." Yet in spite of these challenges, these amazing kids are courageously able to forget all their troubles when they are on stage, when they are in theatre.

And so, our greatest lesson in humanity can perhaps be summarized this way: What we each suffer may be different. But because we all suffer, we are the same. Because we all suffer, we are human.

Consequently, Therese has become more grateful for what she has. Although her own family is different from normal, she knows that she has many things to be grateful for.

When Therese was a toddler, one of my biggest self-doubts was, "Will I be able to raise my daughter alone?" The answer to my doubts came to me in the form of an African proverb: "It takes a village to raise a child."

After 13 years, I now know with certainty that indeed a village has raised Therese. And now I am also keenly aware that PETA is not just a summer workshop, but its is already a part of the village that is raising not just Therese, but hundreds of other children as well.

To the PETA village, we shall forever be grateful. On behalf of the children and parents gathered here this afternoon, thank you PETA!

Wawel Mercado, May 2010

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