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10th Gawad Buhay: Aicelle Santos, Baron Geisler, ‘Ang Pag-uusig,’ ‘Ibong Adarna’ among big winners

12:42 AM April 13, 2018

Performers from various Philstage member-companies performing at the finale of the 10th Gawad Buhay. PHOTO BY EARVIN PERIAS

Pop singer Aicelle Santos, who has transitioned to starring in stage musicals (“Katy,” “Rak of Aegis,” “Himala, Isang Musikal”) and is among the latest Filipino performers to join the United Kingdom touring production of “Miss Saigon” where she is slated to play Gigi, won the Outstanding Female Featured Performance in a Musical award at the 10th Gawad Buhay, held at the Cultural Center of the Philippines Little Theater last Thursday, for her work in “Maynila sa Mga Kuko ng Liwanag, The Musical.”

The musical adaptation of the classic Edgardo Reyes novel was a co-production by Philstage member company Gantimpala Theater Foundation and events company Grand Leisure Corp.

Film and TV actor Baron Geisler won the counterpart award in the male category—Outstanding Male Featured Performance in a Musical—for his very first work in a stage musical, Tanghalang Pilipino’s “Aurelio Sedisyoso,” about the life and legacy of nationalist playwright Aurelio Tolentino, whose centenary year was marked in 2017.

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The Gawad Buhay, the Philstage Awards for the Performing Arts, celebrated its 10th year by honoring not only the best performance and technical achievements of its member-companies’ productions last year; it also conferred the Natatanging Gawad Buhay for Lifetime Achievement to Philippine Educational Theater Association (Peta) president CB Garrucho and former Ballet Philippines artistic director Agnes Locsin.

TP’s “Ang Pag-uusig,” Jerry Respeto’s Filipino translation of Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible,” was the most honored production of the night in the play category. Its six wins included nods for direction (Dennis Marasigan), translation (Respeto), Male Lead Performance in a Play (JV Ibesate—in a tie with Joshua Spafford, for Repertory Philippines’ “In the Next Room, or the Vibrator Play”), Male Featured Performance in a Play (Marco Viaña), ensemble performance, and as Outstanding Play—Original or Translation/Adaptation.

Dominating the dance category was Ballet Manila’s “Ibong Adarna,” which matched “Ang Pag-uusig’s” six trophies. It won for Gerardo Francisco’s choreography and Diwa de Leon’s original musical composition, plus nods for exemplary ensemble work, its lead dancers Rudy de Dios and Romeo Peralta, and, overall, as Outstanding Modern Dance Production.

Also registering strong with five wins each were 9 Works Theatrical and Globe Live’s production of Disney’s “Newsies,” which copped, among others, Outstanding Choreography for a Play or Musical (PJ Rebullida), Outstanding Male Lead Performance in a Musical (Gian Magdangal), Outstanding Stage Direction for a Musical (Robbie Guevara) and Outstanding Production of Existing Material for a Musical; and Repertory Philippines’ “Agnes of God,” directed by Bart Guingona, with wins for lighting (John Batalla), set (Joey Mendoza) and sound design (Jethro Joaquin), Rebecca Coates for Outstanding Female Featured Performance in a Play, and as Outstanding Production of Existing Material for a Play.

It was a big night for Rep, with all four of its 50th-year productions last year—“Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike,” “Agnes of God,” “In the Next Room, or the Vibrator Play” and “Hair”—garnering multiple nominations and at least an award each.

The ceremonies were hosted by Red Turnip Theater’s Topper Fabregas and Peta’s Meann Espinosa.

COMPLETE LIST OF 2017 PHILSTAGE GAWAD BUHAY WINNERS IN VARIOUS CATEGORIES:

Outstanding Original Script

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No nomination/winner

Outstanding Original Libretto

J-Mee Katanyag, “Tagu-taguan, Nasaan ang Buwan?” (Peta)

Outstanding Translation or Adaptation

Jerry Respeto, “Ang Pag-uusig” (Tanghalang Pilipino)

Outstanding Musical Direction

Ejay Yatco, “Hair” (Repertory Philippines)

Outstanding Original Musical Composition

Diwa de Leon, “Ibong Adarna” (Ballet Manila)

Outstanding Choreography for a Dance Production

Gerardo Francisco, “Ibong Adarna” (Ballet Manila)

Outstanding Choreography for a Play or Musical

PJ Rebullida, “Newsies” (9 Works Theatrical and Globe Live)

Outstanding Costume Design

Bonsai Cielo, “In the Next Room, or the Vibrator Play” (Repertory Philippines)

Outstanding Lighting Design

John Batalla, “Agnes of God” (Repertory Philippines)

Outstanding Sound Design

Jethro Joaquin, “Agnes of God” (Repertory Philippines)

Outstanding Set Design

Joey Mendoza, “Agnes of God” (Repertory Philippines)

Female Lead Performance in a Play

Roselyn Perez, “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” (Repertory Philippines)

Male Lead Performance in a Play

Joshua Spafford, “In the Next Room, or the Vibrator Play” (Repertory Philippines)

JV Ibesate, “Ang Pag-uusig” (Tanghalang Pilipino)

Female Featured Performance in a Play

Rebecca Coates, “Agnes of God” (Repertory Philippines)

Male Featured Performance in a Play

Marco Viaña, “Ang Pag-uusig” (Tanghalang Pilipino)

Female Lead Performance in a Musical

No nomination/winner

Male Lead Performance in a Musical

Gian Magdangal, “Newsies” (9 Works Theatrical and Globe Live)

Female Featured Performance in a Musical

Aicelle Santos, “Maynila sa Mga Kuko ng Liwanag, The Musical” (Gantimpala Theater Foundation and Grand Leisure Corp.)

Male Featured Performance in a Musical

Baron Geisler, “Aurelio Sedisyoso” (Tanghalang Pilipino)

Female Lead Performance in Modern Dance

No nomination/winner

Male Lead Performance in Modern Dance

Rudy de Dios, “Ibong Adarna” (Ballet Manila)

Female Featured Performance in Modern Dance

Sarah Alejandro, “Amada”/from “The Exemplars: Amada and Other Dances” (Ballet Philippines)

Male Featured Performance in Modern Dance

Romeo Peralta, “Ibong Adarna” (Ballet Manila)

Female Lead Performance in Classical Dance

Denise Parungao, “Swan Lake” (Ballet Philippines)

Male Lead Performance in Classical Dance

Victor Maguad, “Swan Lake” (Ballet Philippines)

Female Featured Performance in Classical Dance

Abigail Oliveiro, “Don Quixote” (Ballet Manila)

Male Featured Performance in Classical Dance

Peter San Juan, “La Bayadere” (Philippine Ballet Theatre)

Outstanding Modern Dance Production

“Ibong Adarna” (Ballet Manila)

Outstanding Classical Dance Production

“The Nutcracker” (Ballet Philippines)

Outstanding Stage Direction for a Play

Dennis Marasigan, “Ang Pag-uusig” (Tanghalang Pilipino)

Outstanding Stage Direction for a Musical

Robbie Guevara, “Newsies” (9 Works Theatrical and Globe Live)

Outstanding Ensemble Performance for a Play

“Ang Pag-uusig” (Tanghalang Pilipino)

Outstanding Ensemble Performance for a Musical

“Newsies” (9 Works Theatrical and Globe Live)

Outstanding Ensemble Performance for Modern Dance

“Ibong Adarna” (Ballet Manila)

Outstanding Ensemble Performance for Classical Dance

“Swan Lake” (Ballet Philippines)

Outstanding Production of Existing Material for a Play

“Agnes of God” (Repertory Philippines)

Outstanding Production of Existing Material for a Musical

“Newsies” (9 Works Theatrical and Globe Live)

Outstanding Play—Original or Translation/Adaptation

“Ang Pag-uusig” (Tanghalang Pilipino)

Outstanding Musical—Original or Translation/Adaptation

No nomination/winner

Outstanding Production for Children

No nomination/winner

ABOUT GAWAD BUHAY

Now on its 10th year, Gawad Buhay is the first-ever industry awards exclusively for the performing arts.

It is juried by an independent panel of critics, scholars, artists and theater enthusiasts. Outstanding individual and group achievements in various artistic and technical aspects of play, musical and dance productions and performances are honored based on quarterly citations deliberated by the members of the jury, who are required to watch all productions of Philstage member-companies for the entire year.

From the four quarterly citations (the first and second quarters are merged into the midyear citations), the jury selects the final nominees qualified to win the awards by the end of the performance season.

Philstage is the only alliance of professional performing arts organizations in the Philippines. Its members include 9 Works Theatrical, Actor’s Actors Inc./The Necessary Theatre, Ballet Manila, Ballet Philippines, Culturtain Musicat Productions Inc., Full House Theater Company (Resorts World Manila), Gantimpala Theater Foundation, Peta, Philippine Ballet Theatre, Philippine Opera Company, Repertory Philippines, Red Turnip Theater, Stages, Tanghalang Pilipino and Trumpets.

The 10th Gawad Buhay ceremonies were made possible in part by the Cultural Center of the Philippines, Globe Live and Light&Space Concepts Construction Production, Inc.

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TAGS: 10th Gawad Buhay, 2017 best of Philippine theater, Agnes Locsin, Aicelle Santos, Baron Geisler, CB Garrucho, Gawad Buhay 2018, performing arts Philippines, Philstage, theater Philippines
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