Original Filipino musicals led the nominations for the 11th Philstage Gawad Buhay Awards for the Performing Arts.
Audie Gemora and Celeste Legaspi announced them today via Facebook Live from The Theatre at Solaire.
Leading the field with 12 nods apiece were the Eraserheads jukebox musical “Ang Huling El Bimbo,” produced by Full House Theater Company (FHTC) and Resorts World Manila, and 9 Works Theatrical (9WT) and The Sandbox Collective’s (SC) 15th-anniversary staging of “Himala, Isang Musikal,” adapted by Ricky Lee from the 1982 Ishmael Bernal classic and set to music by Vincent de Jesus.
The APO Hiking Society musical, 9 Works’ “Eto Na! Musikal nAPO!,” closely followed with 11 nominations. Add to that the seven nods snatched by Sandbox’s “Lungs,” a two-hander that pits having a child and global warming against each other, and that’s a collective 30 nominations for the sister companies.
Among the nonmusical productions, the pioneering female astronomers of Repertory Philippines’ (Rep) “Silent Sky” reaped 10 nominations, while Red Turnip Theater’s (RTT) “A Doll’s House, Part 2”—the unauthorized comedic sequel to the Henrik Ibsen play—tied with “Lungs” with its seven nominations.
This year, there were no nominees for outstanding production for children, original script, original musical composition and male featured performance in a play.
Now on its 11th year, Gawad Buhay is the first 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 and musical productions and performances are recognized in quarterly citations deliberated on by the jury members, who are required to watch all productions of Philstage member-companies for the entire year. From the quarterly citations, the jury selects the final nominees qualified for the awards by the end of the performance season.
Beginning in 2018, the Gawad Buhay will focus on theater productions; categories for dance and ballet productions will no longer be included.
Philstage is the only alliance of professional performing arts organizations in the Philippines. Its members include 9 Works Theatrical and The Sandbox Collective, 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 Opera Company, Repertory Philippines, Red Turnip Theater, Stages, Tanghalang Pilipino, Trumpets and Twin Bill Theater.