A PILLAR in Philippine theater, Natividad “Naty” Crame-Rogers, passed away due to complications of old age at Pasig Hospital on Feb. 1. She was 98 years old. 

The talented actress became known for her performance as Paula Marasigan in Lamberto Avellana’s 1965 screen adaptation of Nick Joaquin’s “A Portrait of the Artist as Filipino.”

“Naty was a much-focused actress, clear in speech and intention, with an ability to project vulnerability on stage,” Ricardo Abad, an artistic director who worked with Crame-Rogers in “The Love of Leonor Rivera,” told the Varsitarian.

Crame-Rogers took the lead in forming local theater organizations. 

The multi-awarded actress and director was among the pioneers of the University’s Graduate School Academic Theater. She completed her doctorate in literature at the University.

A professor emerita of speech and drama at the old Philippine Normal College, she became the founding chairwoman of the PNU Drama, Speech and Theater Department. 

She also established the Children and Teachers’ Theater at St. Scholastica’s College, where she finished high school.

In 1984, she founded The Philippine Drama Company and Amingtahanan Sala Theater in 1983. The living room of her home in Pasig City served as the stage for her plays.

“Her house was open to everyone for visits, rehearsals or performances.  And she regaled us with stories of her theater days, narrated with much aplomb,” Abad said.

“She harbored no negativity towards anyone, and despite the stresses of producing and directing her sala theater productions, and sometimes acting in them as well, she always looked at the bright side of things,” he added.

Crame-Rogers won the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) theater award in 1994, the Centennial Award for Women from the National Commission for Culture and the Arts in 2005, and Natatanging Gawad for Theater from Philstage in 2013.

Crame-Rogers was one of the CCP’s 100 best Filipino artists and was nominated twice for National Artist for Theater, in 2008 and 2013. 

The theater icon’s remains were buried at the Manila Memorial Park in Sucat, Paranaque on Feb. 5. 


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