MANILA, Philippines – The award-winning theater director, Dr. Ricardo “Ricky” Abad, passed away on Tuesday, December 26, at the age of 77.
“We announce with heavy hearts the passing of our Artistic Director, Dr. Ricardo G. Abad Ph.D.,” read the announcement.
Abad earned a Ph.D. in Sociology from Fordham University in New York and was recognized as a professor emeritus at Ateneo. He received numerous awards and distinctions, with his most recent theater-related accolade being the “Natatanging Gintong Parangal bilang Pinakamahusay na Alagad ng Sining ng Teatro.” This award recognized his extensive contributions over the years to Tanghalang Ateneo, the Ateneo Fine Arts Department, and the newly-established Areté.
Areté acknowledged Abad as the driving force behind its evolution into a cultural institution, shaping its artistic programs and presentations.
“We fondly remember him for his passion, humor, and zest for life, and for molding Tanghalang Ateneo, Areté, and the Loyola School’s theater tradition into what it is recognized for today: courageous and forward-thinking artistry, uncompromising discipline, and intellectual rigor,” Areté added.
“But beyond these, Ricky was a warm friend to many, the best drinking buddy, a lover of life, and a father figure to many college kids navigating the challenges of adulthood,” the hub concluded. “We will forever remember Ricky’s passion, his tempests, his spirit, and his laughter.”
Abad has become a part of the grand theater tradition of the Ateneo de Manila. He has worked with and learned from theater stalwarts such as Onofre Pagsanghan, the late Fr. James Reuter, the late National Artists Rolando Tinio and Salvador Bernal, Nonon Padilla, and Anton Juan.