Theatre, Entrapment, and Globalization in <em>Welcome to IntelStar</em>

  • Sir Anril Pineda Tiatco University of the Philippines Diliman


This essay reflects on globalization as a phenomenon that connects and influences the world’s socio-cultural and political spheres, similar to how some academics explore the nature of the global. In particular, the essay interrogates how globalization is mediated in the theatre. The motivation in the inquiry is based on a presumption that theatre artists are also actively participating in defining what globalization means. At the same time, it comes from an assumption that theatre artists are also actively performing what it means to be global. Many artists engage with the global by either collaborating with artists of different nationalities or using globalization as a central theme in their theatre works. In reflecting on globalization, the essay analyzes Chris Martinez’s monodrama Welcome to IntelStar, staged at the Studio Theatre of the Cultural Center of the Philippines in 2006. This play proposes that globalization is a trap. In this alignment of globalization and “the trap,” the entrapment brings forth a dichotomy: the global and the local. This dichotomy is strongly imagined in the staging of IntelStar, where the local is presented as the prey or the victim in the entrapment. But in the f inal analysis, the performance mediates the sociality between the local and the global and ultimately performs an entanglement of the local and the global as a reference to an attraction and repulsion to globalization. However, in such treatment of globalization, the Studio Theatre also becomes a model of the trap where artists become the hunters and the audience members, the victims.

Keywords: Theatre, entrapment, globalization, call center, Welcome to IntelStar