Dennis D. Gupa
YPT Scholar-in-Residence

Dennis Gupa headshotDennis is currently in attendance at the Theatre Department of University of Victoria’s PhD in Applied Theatre and he is working with Dr. Kirsten Sadeghi-Yekta, Dr. Warwick Dobson and Dr. Gerald Taiaiake Alfred for his doctoral work on indigenous practice of ritual performance’s of Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) and indigenous ways of knowing.

He received his MA Theatre Arts degree from the University of the Philippines and MFA (Directing) from University of British Columbia. His selected theatre directing projects include the works of Charles Mee, Frank Wedekind, John Millington Synge, August Strindberg, Brian Friel, Jose Rizal, Aurelio Tolentino, and Carlos Bulosan. Before coming to Canada, he received a six-month grant fellowship from the Asian Cultural Council (John D. Rockefeller 3rd-Rockefeller Brothers Fund)  to undertake a director-in-residence program with Obie award winning Ma-Yi Theater Company in New York City and to observe contemporary theater directing with National Asian American Theatre Company and The Juilliard Drama School in the United States of America with his inquiry on Asian-American theatre. In 2010, Mr. Gupa received a one-year scholarship from the Indonesian government to study theater and traditional mask dance (topeng)  at the Sekolah Tinggi Seni Indonesia (STSI) in Bandung, where he  researched on traditional Asian theater techniques and their application in contemporary western performance. Eager to continue this inquiry into what he calls “hybridization,” Mr. Gupa has directed, observed, and participated in theater practice in USA (New York City), Canada (Vancouver), Indonesia (Bandung), Cambodia, (Phnom Penh), Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur), and in different cities and provinces in the Philippines.  He has worked with Co.ERASGA, UPLB SamaSining, Dulaang UP and Philippine Educational Theatre Association (PETA). Dennis is a founder of Cope/with/Land Theatre Co. and was Asia Society Philippines’ The Philippines 21 Young Leaders Initiative Class of 2009 Asia 21’s. His works received grant awards from World Banks’ Panibagong Paraan/Australian Agency for International Development, National Commission for Culture and the Arts, Canada Council for the Arts, ASEAN Center for Biodiversity, University of the Philippines and various local government in the Philippines. The Performance Studies international (PSi) awarded him the Dwight Conquergood Award given at the University of Melbourne.