It was PETA's and Ballet Philippines' night at the 4th PHILSTAGE Gawad Buhay Awards held last July 1 at the Main Theater Lobby of theCulturalCenterof the Philippines (CCP).
The Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA), a 45-year old theater institution, bagged a total of 10 awards for its two outstanding productions in 2011, namely William and Care Divas.
William, a reworking of British author William Shakespeare's classic masterpieces, was created for easy understanding and appreciation by Filipino students. It won as Outstanding Play Production and Stage Direction for Maribel Legarda.
Care Divas, a musical about the lonely lives of migrant workers based inIsrael, won the Outstanding Ensemble Performance in a Musical and Outstanding Musical Productions, among other awards.
Meanwhile, Ballet Philippines, a dance theater company based at the CCP, scored a sweep of 9 awards in various categories. This includes Outstanding Modern Dance Production for its dance-fantasy tale Encantada and OutstandingSetDesign for the late National Artist Salvador Bernal.
Sleeping Beauty, another production of BalletPhilippines, won two other awards for Outstanding Featured Performances in a Classical Dance, given to Jean-Marc Cordero (Male) and Rita Winder (Female).
Other dance productions of Ballet Philippineswon an award each: Every Woman, Outstanding Male Featured Performance in a Modern Dance for Angel Gabriel; and Rudy De Dios for Mga Kuwento Ni Lola Basyang: Ang Prinsipe Ng Mga Ibon, Outstanding Male Lead Performance in a Modern Dance.
Prima ballerina Lisa Macuja won three major awards for her own theater company, Ballet Manila's Swan Lake: Outstanding Classical Dance Production; Male Lead Performance in a Classical Dance (Rudy De Dios); and Lisa Macuja's award for Outstanding Lead Performance in a Classical Dance. Lisa didn't make it to the event and was represented by her mom, Susan Macuja.
Next big winners are productions from Tanghalang Pilipino: four awards for the musical adaptation of Noli Me Tangere, with two lone winners: National Artist for Literature Bienvenido Lumbera, who won for his original libretto; and Cris Villonco, Outstanding Female Lead Performance in a Musical.
TP's other musical, Zsa Zsa Zaturnnah, won for Pinky Amador (Outstanding Featured Female Performance in a Musical).
Stage actress Marjorie Lorico of another TP play, Tony Perez's Nobyembre Noong Akala Ko Mahal Kita, won Outstanding Female Lead Performance in a Play.
Not to be outdone, the four-decade old Repertory Philippines won awards for its various productions in 2011: The Joy Luck Club, Outstanding Stage Direction for Dr. Anton Juan (co-winner with Maribel Legarda's William), and Peter Pan, Outstanding Male Featured Performance in a Musical Play, for Michael Williams.
HIGHLIGHTS AND SIDELIGHTS. The awards presentation, which started promptly at 7 PM stretched up to midnight (and beyond, including post-awards celebration) on the following day, July 2.
There were many categories, grouped into various sections for Dance, Play and Musical; and awards for writing, choreography, direction and performances.
Hosts-presentors included Bodjie Pascua and Rody Vera; Maribel Legarda, Adriana Agcaoili, Susan Macuja, Paul Alexander Morales, and Audie Gemora.
Midway through the event, Theater Actors Guild (TAG) president Kalila Aguilos was called to announce some of the winners in a set-category and she called in her "surprise" co-host/presenter, Mr. Rafa Santos.
Rafa, it would be recalled, figured in a controversy last year when he made a statement (about the "skyflakes-cat food" issue) that was deemed derogatory and offensive against theater people. But all was forgiven--and forgotten, hopefully--after the neophyte filmmaker issued apology statements to everyone concerned.
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At the Gawad Buhay! rites, Rafa delivered his opening spiel, thus: "I am supposed to ad-lib and crack jokes. But, you know, cracking jokes is not among my strengths."
Kalila commended Rafa for "being so sport" and presented her with a canister of Skyflakes crackers "as peace offering."
Performers included the following: Gawad Buhay Ensemble, Mayen Bustamante-Cadd, Stella Canete, Joshua Deocareza, Me-ann Espinosa, She Maala, Carlon Matobato, Juliene Mendoza, Eladio Pamaran, Kakki Teodoro, and Yutaka Yamakawa (Opening Musical Number); and Kat Castillo and PETA Chorus, Katherine Trofeo and Marvin Arizo; Carissa Adea, Jenny Jamora, Mayen Estanero, Me-ann Espinosa and the cast of William; Rudy De Dios and Richardson Yadao; and Lisa Infante-Robinson, Michael Williams, Rem Zamora and Menchu Lauchengco Yulo (for the Natatanging Gawad Buhay! Tribute)
This year's Natatanging Gawad Buhay! awardees are: Rene O. Villanueva and Charley dela Paz (Playwriting and Development); Danseur-choreographers Nonoy Froilan and Tony Fabella (Dance and Choreography); and Ms. Carmen "Baby" Barredo (Theater Arts).
Posthumous tributes were also given to the two pillars of Philippine Theater who recently passed away: Tony Espejo, founder of the Gantimpala Theater Foundation; and actor-filmmaker and playwright, Mario O'Hara. PHILSTAGE gave them "isang pagpupugay sa mga dakilang henyo at ulirang alagad ng teatro, sining at kulturang Pilipino."
Started in 1997, PHILSTAGE is headed by its President Fernando “Nanding” Josef of Tanghalang Pilipino with Elmar Beltran Ingles as executive director and jury head.
The Board of Jurors is composed of academe members and theater critics, including Gibbs Cadiz, Ralph Galan, Glenn Sevilla Mas, Elka Requinta, Basilio Esteban Villaruz, and Ma. Jovita Zarate.
Directed by Audie Gemora with script/multimedia design by George de Jesus, the 2011 Gawad Buhay! Awards ceremony is a production of PHILSTAGE and its member companies, composed of eight of the country's most established performing arts companies, namely: Actors' Actors, Inc. (AAI), Ballet Manila (BM), Ballet Philippines (BP), Gantimpala Theater Foundation, Inc. (GANTIMPALA), Organisasyon ng mga Pilipinong Mang-aawit (OPM), Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA), Repertory Philippines (REP), Tanghalang Pilipino (TP), and Triumphant People's Evangelistic Theater Society, Inc. (TRUMPETS).
Here's the complete list of winners of the 2011 Philstage Gawad Buhay! Awards for the Performing Arts:
• William (PETA)
OUTSTANDING MUSICAL PRODUCTION
• Care Divas (PETA)
OUTSTANDING CLASSICAL DANCE PRODUCTION
OUTSTANDING MODERN DANCE PRODUCTION
• Encantada (BP)
OUTSTANDING STAGE DIRECTION
• Anton Juan, The Joy Luck Club
• Maribel Legarda, Care Divas
OUTSTANDING ENSEMBLE PERFORMANCE (Play)
OUTSTANDING ENSEMBLE PERFORMANCE (Musical)
• Care Divas
OUTSTANDING ENSEMBLE PERFORMANCE (Dance)
OUTSTANDING ORIGINAL SCRIPT
• Ron Capinding, William
OUTSTANDING ADAPTATION OR TRANSLATION
• Bienvenido Lumbera, Noli Me Tangere, The Musical
OUTSTANDING ORIGINAL LIBRETTO
• Lisa Magtoto and Vincent de Jesus, Care Divas
• Bienvenido Lumbera, Noli Me Tangere, The Musical
OUTSTANDING MUSICAL DIRECTION
• Vincent de Jesus, Care Divas
OUTSTANDING MUSICAL COMPOSITION
• Joey Ayala, Encantada
• Ryan Cayabyab, Noli Me Tangere, The Musical
OUTSTANDING CHOREOGRAPHY FOR A DANCE PRODUCTION
• Agnes Locsin, Encantada
OUTSTANDING CHOREOGRAPHY FOR A PLAY OR MUSICAL
• Carlon Matobato, Care Divas
OUTSTANDING COSTUME DESIGN
OUTSTANDING LIGHTING DESIGN
• John Batalla, Encantada
OUTSTANDING SOUND DESIGN
• TJ Ramos, Encantada
OUTSTANDING SET DESIGN
FEMALE LEAD PERFORMANCE IN A PLAY
• Marjorie Lorico, Nobyembre, Noong Akala Ko Mahal Kita
MALE LEAD PERFORMANCE IN A PLAY
• Ian Segarra, William
FEMALE FEATURED PERFORMANCE IN A PLAY
• Me-Ann Espinosa, William
MALE FEATURED PERFORMANCE IN A PLAY
• Jojo Atienza, William
MALE LEAD PERFORMANCE IN A MUSICAL
• Melvin Lee, Care Divas
FEMALE LEAD PERFORMANCE IN A MUSICAL
• Cris Villonco, Noli Me Tangere, The Musical
FEMALE FEATURED PERFORMANCE IN A MUSICAL
• Pinky Amador, ZsaZsa Zaturnnah
MALE FEATURED PERFORMANCE IN A MUSICAL
• Michael Williams, Peter Pan, A Musical Adventure
FEMALE LEAD PERFORMANCE IN A CLASSICAL DANCE PRODUCTION
• Lisa Macuja Elizalde,SwanLake
MALE LEAD PERFORMANCE IN A CLASSICAL DANCE PRODUCTION
• Rudy De Dios,SwanLake
FEMALE FEATURED PERFORMANCE IN A CLASSICAL DANCE PRODUCTION
• Rita Winder, Sleeping Beauty
MALE FEATURED PERFORMANCE IN A CLASSICAL DANCE PRODUCTION
• Jean Marc Cordero, Sleeping Beauty
MALE LEAD PERFORMANCE IN A MODERN DANCE PRODUCTION
• Rudy De Dios, Ang Prinsipe ng mga Ibon
FEMALE LEAD PERFORMANCE IN A MODERN DANCE PRODUCTION
• Georgette Sanchez, Encantada
MALE FEATURED PERFORMANCE IN A MODERN DANCE PRODUCTION
• Angel Gabriel, Every Woman
FEMALE FEATURED PERFORMANCE IN A MODERN DANCE PRODUCTION
• Carissa Adea, Encantada
2011 NATATANGING GAWAD BUHAY! AWARDEES
• Baby Barredo
• Nonoy Froilan
• Rene Villanueva
• Charley Dela Paz
• Tony Fabella