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August 21, 2015

Dr. Arthur P. Cassanova - Notable MSUans

Dr. Arthur P. Casanova is a teacher, playwright, actor, director, production designer, acting workshop director for stage, television, and film. He is also a linguist, folklorist, folk dancer, and translator. He has directed more than fifty (50) stage plays either in English or Filipino language. He was an actor, director, technical director, and tour manager of the major productions of MSU-Sining Kambayoka like “Mga Kuwentong Maranao,” “Maharadia Lawana,” “Serapio in Rock,” “Ambon, Ulan, Baha,” “Halik sa Kampilan,” “Di Maguni-gunii A Papanok,” “Oyayi,” and “Kambayoka’s Vaudeville,” among others. Casanova is also one of the founding members of the said theater group. He was also trained in acting, directing, and integrated arts in the Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) in 1974.

Arthur P. Casanova finished B.S.E. Chemistry (1975) and B.S.E. Filipino (1982, Cum Laude) in Mindanao State University in Marawi City. He was a member of the the famed MSU-Sining Kambayoka and the MSU-Darangan Cultural Dance Troupe in the same university. He was a professor at MSU High School, MSU-Integrated High School and MSU College of Liberal Arts from 1975-1984.

He received his four graduate degrees from the Philippine Normal University: Graduate Certificate in Filipino Linguistics, Graduate Certificate in Drama Education and Theater Arts, M.A. in Education with Specialization in Filipino Linguistics, and Ph.D. with Specialization in Filipino Linguistics and Literature. Dr. Casanova was also a recipient of a Fulbright Teaching Fellowship at the Arizona State University, Arizona, USA in 1996. He also received the Council for International Exchange Scholarship (CIES), a professional Lecture Grant in Hardwood High School, Vermont, U.S.A. in September, 1996.

Dr. Casanova was accorded the following awards: Metrobank Foundation Ten Outstanding Filipino Teachers (2013); Diona Tulaan sa Facebook (2014); Metrobank Award for Continuing Excellence (ACES, 2009); Patnubay ng Kalinangan at Sining para sa Teatro mula sa Pamahalaang Lungsod ng Maynila (2009); Ramon Magsaysay High School Outstanding Alumnus in the field of Arts, Culture, and Literature (2009); Aliw Award for Best Musical Play Director (2007); National Book Award-Best Book on Cultural Studies for Kasaysayan at Pag-unlad ng Dulaang Pambata sa Pilipinas mula sa Manila Critics Circle and National Book Development Board (2007); National Book Award-Best Anthology for Mga Piling Mindanao: Unang Aklat from the Manila Critics Circle and National Book Development Board (2008); Mindanao State University (MSU) Alumnus of the Decade for Arts and Literature (2007); Gawad PASATAF (2003); Honorable Mention in DaliText of Filipinas Institute of Translations (2008), Second Prize, Gawad Collantes sa Pagsulat ng Tula, Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (2003); PASADO Award – Natatanging Guro sa Pelikula (2003); Bugal Sang Antique-Layas Antiqueño Achievement Award (2003); Kabayan Gawad Natatanging Guro sa/ng Filipino (2002); Sining Kambayoka Gador Award for Drama and Theater Arts (2002); PNU Outstanding Alumnus in the field of Arts and Letters (2002); Distinction Award for Culture and the Arts, Kambayoka Alumni Association at ng Department of Education Cultural Affairs Office, ARRM (2002); Metrobank Outstanding Teacher of the Philippines (1999); Brent International School Jubilee Service Award (1999); Gawad-Balagtas, Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (1995); Gawad Kapisanan ng mga Propesor sa Filipino (KAPFIL, 1995), Best Book Award, Catholic Mass Media Awards for the book Kasaysayan at Pag-unlad ng Dulaang Pilipino (1985); and a nomination from FAMAS for Best in Art Direction for the film “Puri” (1985).

He has written more than forty (40) books, either as sole author or co-author. His Diksyunaryo sa Drama at Teatro was published in 2001 by Rex. Publishing House, Inc. The UST Publishing House published Casanova’s anthologies of plays: Ulos: 4 na Dula ng Pakikidigma sa Mindanao (2003), Mga Dulang Pambata sa Estilong Kambayoka (2003), Bata Batuta, Dulang Pambata (2004), Mga Piling Dulang Pambata (2005), Mga Piling Dulang Pantinedyer: Unang Aklat (2006), Mga Piling Dulang Pantinedyer: Ikalawang Aklat (2006), Mga Piling Mindanao: Unang Aklat (2007), Mga Piling Mindanao: Ikalawang Aklat (2008); Mga Piling Dulang Pambata, Ikalawang Aklat (2009); Semento Boys at Iba pang Dulang May Isang Yugto (2010); Kidney for Sale at Dalawa pang Dulang Ganap ang Haba (2010); and books on theater history The Kambayoka Book: Thirty Years of the Sining Kambayoka of the Mindanao State University, Marawi City (2004), Kasaysayan at Pag-unlad ng Dulaang Pambata sa Pilipinas (2006) and Kasaysayan at Pag-unlad ng Dulaang Pantinedyer sa Pilipinas (2009). The National Book Store published the following: Samu’t Saring Dulang Pambata (2007) and Mga Dulang May Isang Yugto na Batay sa Noli at Fili ni Dr. Jose P. Rizal (2005, co-author). Moreover, Anvil Publishing published the following books Klasrum Drama, Mga Anyo ng Dulaan sa Paaralan (2011); Folktales of the Southern Philippines (2011, cp-author); Mga Kuwentong-bayan ng Katimugang Pilipinas (2011, co-author); Isahan, Kalipunan ng mga Dramatikong Monologo (2012), and Dalawahan, Kalipunan ng mga Dulang may Dalawang Tauhan (2012).

Casanova has directed more than sixty (60) plays either in Filipino or English language; from musical plays to straight plays; from classical to contemporary; various genres – realistic, Brechtian Theater, Theater of the Oppressed, Ethnic Theater, Dula-Tula, Sayaw-dula, and Musical Theater. He studied different traditional theater forms of Asia such as Noh and Kabuki of Japan, Peking Opera of China, Wayang Kulit of Indonesia and Malaysia; and likai of Thailand. He also had the opportunity to study Butoh Theater and Commedia del’Arte.

He had written more than thirty (30) plays in Filipino. Most of the plays he wrote were children’s plays, either one-act play or full-length play making use of the kambayoka style, the theater form of the Maranaos propagated by the Sining Kambayoka. A great majority of his plays were based on the Mindanao folktales where he injected relevant advocacies.

From 1980 to 1989, he had a stint in film-making. He worked as an actor, assistant director, Art director, Crowd Director, dubbing director, and acting coach under the tutelage of Lino Brocka, Elwood Perez, Joey Gosiengfiao, Mario de los Reyes, Mario O’Hara, among others. He also served as the Executive Director of The Nora Aunor Foundation, Inc. in 1985-1989.

Dr. Casanova has attended various seminar-workshops, conferences, and theater festivals related to the teaching of International Baccalaureate Theatre Arts in Bali, Indonesia; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Jakarta at Bali, Indonesia; Taipei, Taiwan; and in United World College sa Montezuma, New Mexico, USA and in Asia Pacific Athletic Conference (APAC) Theatre Festivals in Beijing, China and Shanghai, China (2003, 2006, 2008, at 2012); at Brent International School Manila (2004, 2009); Kobe, Japan (2005); and in Osaka, Japan (2007).

Casanova taught Filipino Language and Literature and Theater Arts at Brent International School Manila for 24 years. In this school, he also served as chair of the Filipino Department and later in the Modern Language Department from 1992-1999. From 1989 to present, he directed the following musical productions of Brent International School, Manila: “The King & I,” “South Pacific,” “The Wizard of Oz,” Oliver,” “Annie,” “Godspell,” “On the Way to Broadway,” “West Side Story,” “Bye, Bye, Birdie,” “My Fair Lady,” “No, No, Nanette,” “Grease,” “Pippin,” “The Fantasticks,” “Jeckyl’s Hydes,” “Once on this Island,” and “Seussical, the Musical,” among others.

He was also a feature article contributor to Liwayway, Philippines’s oldest magazine in Filipino language. He also served as Member of the Board of Trustees ng Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) in 2010. He was also elected as President of the Network of Outstanding Teachers and Educators (NOTED) in 2012-2013.

Casanova also taught at the Philippine Normal University (PNU) Graduate School, De La Salle University (DLSU) Graduate School, and Miriam College. He taught Advance Filipino under the program Advanced Filipino Abroad Program (AFAF) at UP, Los Banos, PNU, and DLSU. Moreover, as a Fulbright Fellow, Casanova taught Filipino Language at Arizona State University, in Arizona, USA (1996) and at Wisconsin State University in Madison, Wisconsin, USA (2012 and 2015). At present, he is teaching at De La Salle-College of St. Benilde.

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