Francis Tanglao Aguas (he, i'a, siya) is the inaugural Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in the Westphal College and Professor of Theater in the Department of Performing Arts. Aguas joined Westphal after 18 years at William & Mary in Virginia where he was director of Africana Studies, founding director of Asian American Studies, and director of Global Studies.
Before graduating from UCLA with his BA and MFA in Theater, Francis was raised and educated in Pampanga, Philippines and Abuja, Nigeria. During COVID, he founded aguasarts.com, a virtual international performance troupe with collaborators in Ecuador, Indonesia, Malaysia, India, and the Philippines.
MFA, Theater (Playwriting), Summa Cum Laude, UCLA School of Theater, Film & Television
BA, Theater, Magna Cum Laude, UCLA School of Theater, Film & Television
Winner of the Palanca Award, the Philippines' literary prize for his play "when the purple settles," his dance and theater work illuminates untold stories and hidden histories of the marginalized, minoritized and subalterned, including "Ramayana La'ar" and "Sitayana: Journey of Womanhood," dance theatre adaptations of the sacred Hindu epic by Valmiki. Francis has performed his solo shows in Southeast Asia and the United States.
Francis is the founding artistic director of Aguas Arts, a performance and artists' coop with a view to diversifying creative imaginations and landscapes through theater, dance, poetry, and the fine arts. Francis is excited to explore the arts community of Philadelphia and to meet future collaborators dedicated to social justice and equity through the arts.
With Dr. Jason Chen, Francis is Co-Director and Co-Principal Investigator of the NSF funded J.E.D.I. Leadership Project, which integrates mixed reality simulation and theater in executive leadership training towards championing anti-racism and DEI. Their current project trains Geology or Earth Science professors from various universities across the U.S. to become allies and leaders advocating and innovating for diversity, equity, and inclusion.
(DIRECTOR & PRODUCER)
- Little Brown Girl by Rinabeth Apostol, Association for Asian American Studies, Long Beach, April 2023
- The Chinese Lady by Lloyd Suh, The Asian Centennial at W&M, April 2022.
- Little Brown Girl by Rinabeth Apostol, The Asian Centennial at W&M, October 2021.
- Joi to the Red: A Poetry Fiesta Against Red-Tagging, Ma-yi Studios & AAI, June 2021.
- Journey to God’s Face: Viaje A La Carita de Dios, Ecuador. Aguas Arts Ink, April 2021
- For Colored Girls Who Changed the World. The Lemon Project, March 27, 2021.
- Musixology: Music, Mixology, and Poetry. UCLA. March 13, 2021.
- The World is Our Stage, The Untethered: Homecoming. W&M Theatre, February 2021.
- Healing and Belonging, The Untethered: Homecoming. W&M Theatre, February 2021.
- Nuanced Revolutionaries, The Untethered:Homecoming. W&M Theatre, February 2021.
- For Colored Girls Who Diversified PBK, The Untethered: Homecoming February 2021.
- For Colored Girls We’ll Always Remember, Aguas Arts Ink, February 2021.
- Global Ramayana, Virtual Diwali 2020, Aguas Arts Ink, November 2020.
- I Dissent: A Tribute to Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Aguas Arts Ink, October 2020.
- Songs of Freedom: A Civil Rights Concert, Aguas Arts Ink. August 2020.
- Drinking with Dad by A. Camins, Virginia Center for Literary Arts Festival, July 2020.
- The Untethered: Black Voices from Virginia VA Center for Literary Arts Fest, July 2020.
- Coming Out Asian American, Virginia Center for Literary Arts Festival, July 2020.
- Rolling the R’s by R. Zamora Linmark, FilAmArts & Aguas Arts Ink, May 9, 2020.
- Our Lady of 121st Street by Stephen Adly Guirguis, William & Mary Theatre, 2019
- Asuncion by Jesse Eisenberg, William & Mary Theatre, 2017
- Coming Out Asian American by Jonathan Hsu, APIA-W&M, 2015
- Clybourne Park by Bruce Norris, William & Mary Theatre, 2014
- Sitayana: Journey of Womanhood by Francis Tanglao-Aguas, William & Mary Theatre, 2013
- Disappearance by Keralino Sandorovich, William & Marty Theatre, 2012
- Every Night I Die by Amanda Andrei, Capital Fringe Festival, Washington DC, 2011
- Roar by Betty Shamieh, International Performance Arts Exchange, 2009
- When the Purple Settles, William & Mary Theatre
- opdog/Underdog by Suzan-Lori Parks, William & Mary Theatre, 2008
- Ramayana La’ar, William & Mary Theatre, 2007
- To Walk With Giants, A Tribute to Rosa Parks, Coretta Scott King, and August Wilson. PBK Hall, William & Mary, 2006
- The Sarimanok Travels, World Premiere, Asian American Theater Company, 2006
- Banyan by Jeannie Barroga, World Premiere, Asian American Theater Company
- When the Purple Settles, Asian American Theater Company,San Francisco CA, 2005
- Abuja Woman, World Premiere, Kenyon College, Ohio, 2005
- The Bubblegum Killers by Jeannie Barroga, LahiARTS Theater, Sacramento, CA, 2004
- The Cradle Will Rock by Marc Blitzstein, Georgetown University, Washington D.C., 2003
- Ateneo de Manila New Play Festival: Cat and Mouse by Jen Chuaunsu, Ngiting Aso by Anna Lacson, Little Boy Blue by Kelvin Cabrera, Dilat by Michelle Correa, Project Mara by Bettina Palileo, A Princess Malady by Isha Andaya, 2001-2003
Clytemnestra, The Oresteia directed by Richard Palmer, William & Mary Theater, 2016
Performance of The Imelda Marcos Lecture Series in China by Francis Tanglao-Aguas. Performance Studies International (PSi 20), Shanghai Theatre Academy, China, 2014
Do30: Original Solo Dance Piece on Extra Judicial Killings in the Philippines. 17th Biennial Symposium on Literature and Culture in the Asia-Pacific Region, International Islamic University Malaysia, November 24, 2017.
Taking Up the White Man’s Burden: African American Soldiers in the Philippine American War: A Poster Display Exhibition. Swem Library, February 13-May 15, 2017.
The Imelda Marcos Lecture Series in Virginia Beach. Tidewater College, May 2015.
The Imelda Marcos Lecture Series, Singapore Management University, Singapore, 2012
The Art of Business and the Business of Art International Conference, 2012
The Sarimanok Travels, Retorika KL Fringe Festival, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 2008
The Sarimanok Travels, Ramapo College of New Jersey, Asian Heritage Celebration, 2008
he Sarimanok Travels, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia, 2007
The Sarimanok Travels, Philippine Writers Summit, University of Hawaii, Manoa, 2007
The Sarimanok Travels, Philippine Literature Festival, Philippine Consulate, Hawaii, 2007
The Sarimanok Travels, Asian American Theater Company, San Francisco, CA, 2006
The Sarimanok Travels, LahiARTS, Secretary of State Auditorium, Sacramento, CA, 2006
The Sarimanok Travels, Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio, 2004
The Sarimanok Travels, World Premiere: Asia Pacific Indigenous Play Festival, International Islamic University Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, 2003
The Sarimanok Travels, Published in Tibuk-Tibok Anthology of Young Filipino Writers, 2003
The Sarimanok Travels, Irwin Distinguished Performance, Ateneo de Manila University, 2001
The Sarimanok Travels, Association of Asian Studies, San Diego, CA, 2000
Aguinaldo in Heart of the Son by Tim Cordova, Sining KilUSAn, West Coast Tour, 1996-98