February 15, 2021
Vida Manalang (she/they) is a researcher and theatre maker in their fifth and final year at Drexel studying Psychology with minors in Biology and Neuroscience. As a performance scholar with the Drexel Co-Op Theatre Company (DCTC), Vida has partaken in 10 Main Stage performances during her undergraduate career including, She Kills Monsters (Tilly), The Diary of Anne Frank (Anne), Tartuffe (Damis) and The Devil’s Auction (Devising/Performing/Instrumental Ensemble). Currently, they are in the final stages of the creation process for Drexel’s verbatim docudrama series Essential, a piece generated during the pandemic with goals of shedding light on the shared realities of the past months. In addition, Vida is a founding member of the DCTC Force for Diversity & Inclusion – striving for the establishment of safe and equitable creative spaces.
In addition to Co-Op Theatre Company, Vida has also been involved with the Drexel Players (Let’s Duet Cabaret, Horror at Home) and EAM Productions (Plaid Tidings, We Have Apples). Outside of Drexel, Vida has been a performer, devisor, and collaborator with several companies and organizations in the Philadelphia area including the after-image, Shakespeare in Clark Park, Philadelphia Young Playwrights, Mantua Theatre Project, coLAB Arts, Philadelphia Asian Performing Artists/InterAct, and has performed original work for the Philly Fringe Festival.
Beyond their experience as a performer, Vida is a Pennoni Honors Student and Aspire Scholar with a love for bringing together unexpected fields, perspectives, and energies. Vida currently works with the Drexel School of Education as a creativity researcher with interests in theatre-based arts-integration and the dynamic theory of creativity. They have recently been awarded the Fredericka A. Reisman Award for Outstanding Work in Creativity and the Outstanding Graduating Senior Award (Psychology) for their research and academic work. They have presented their research in New York City (APA Division 10 Colloquium) and Bologna, Italy (Marconi Institute for Creativity) and are published in Methods in Psychology. They have also worked as a researcher with the A.J. Drexel Autism Institute and Nemours duPont at Jefferson.
Vida believes in the merits of creativity, especially in context to theatre, and its potential to encourage healing, expression, empathy, and collaboration. They deeply believe in process over product and the necessity of curiosity and gentleness in a world hardened by productivity. Vida’s work in decolonization and reclamation of culture, identity, and self as a Filipino has been at the heart of their exploration in all facets of their life, informing their path after graduation and beyond. To all their loved ones - Maraming Salamat. Black Lives Matter. Black Trans Lives Matter.