THE RIZAL Conference Hall, the auditorium at the Faculty of Arts and Letters, has been converted into four classrooms to “accommodate more students,” much to the dismay of the faculty’s theater guild.

“The auditorium was not maximized because it was used only for small academic talks and theater productions,” Dean Michael Anthony Vasco said.

The renovation, which started last month, maximized space by putting up dividers separating the conference hall into smaller rooms.

“If we have small lecture hearings, you simply close the divisions and you already have four lecture rooms, and if after that session you will have a plenary, then you will have again a big lecture hall,” Vasco said.

Keavy Eunice Vicente, former Artistang Artlets (AA) creative director, was disappointed with the decision, apparently because the old auditorium had long been home to her organization.

“We felt bad about it,” she said. “It was almost free-of-charge [and] it helped us pursue our productions.”

She added: “An auditorium is still different. Of course, since it has been converted into classrooms, we’ll lose some equipment like stage lights, acoustic walls, stage and beautiful chairs. We don’t just produce any play. We also market our performance to people outside UST.”

Vasco said the AA could still use the auditorium since it could still double as a hall.

Vicente’s successor Jihad Mambuay said the AA deserved a space like the old auditorium within the faculty. But he said his group would just stage plays at the Albertus Magnus Building auditorium.

“It’s the only venue left that could provide us with the technical equipment we need,” he said.

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AA adviser Aguedo Jalin said moving productions outside the faculty would be a “problem.” Diana Jean B. Evite

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