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This is the blog of Ian Rosales Casocot. Filipino writer. Sometime academic. Former backpacker. Twink bait. Hamster lover.

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

entry arrow12:31 AM | The Luce in Progress

[This post is largely for the benefit of Sillimanians and DumagueteƱos everywhere, but not here.]

The Claire Isabel McGill Luce Auditorium at the heart of Silliman University, a gift from New York's Henry Luce Foundation, is finally getting a facelift. (Above, see the workers doing work on both stage and house. I took these photos this afternoon, and it was quite dusty inside.) When it opened in 1976, the Luce, considered as the best and largest theater for the performing arts outside of Metro Manila, was not actually quite finished, with some parts of the original plan -- including an orchestra pit, several dressing rooms, a park fronting the building, among other things -- unbuilt because of the budget, which mushroomed only a few years after the initial one was approved. There is still, sadly, no orchestra pit or park (due to budget constraints again), but most of the other things in the original plan are being finished, with fresh funding from the Luce Foundation. There is also going to be an improved lighting and sounds system, with the theater generally being updated to suit international standards -- which meant reducing the 900+ seating to 660. But the seats will be bigger and sturdier, and the aisles wider.

Construction is scheduled to finish sometime in late July. (Here's crossing our fingers.)

Violinist Jay Cayuca may be the first one to perform on the new Luce stage come August 9, with Lisa Macuja and Ballet Manila performing "Pinocchio" and "Sonata" a few days later.

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