National Artist for Theater and Literature (1997)
(March 5, 1937 – July 7, 1997)
Rolando S. Tinio, playwright, thespian, poet, teacher, critic, and translator marked his career with prolific artistic productions. Tinio’s chief distinction is as a stage director whose original insights into the scripts he handled brought forth productions notable for their visual impact and intellectual cogency. Subsequently, after staging productions for the Ateneo Experimental Theater (its organizer and administrator as well), he took on Teatro Pilipino. It was to Teatro Pilipino which he left a considerable amount of work reviving traditional Filipino drama by re-staging old theater forms like the sarswela and opening a treasure-house of contemporary Western drama. It was the excellence and beauty of his practice that claimed for theater a place among the arts in the Philippines in the 1960s.
Aside from his collections of poetry (Sitsit sa Kuliglig, Dunung – Dunungan, Kristal na Uniberso, A Trick of Mirrors) among his works were the following: film scripts for Now and Forever, Gamitin Mo Ako, Bayad Puri and Milagros; sarswelas Ang Mestisa, Ako, Ang Kiri, Ana Maria; the komedya Orosman at Zafira; and Larawan, the musical.