Six productions by five member companies bagged a collective 52 citations in the second semester of 2019 Philstage Gawad Buhay.
With 12 citations apiece were Tanghalang Pilipino’s (TP) “Lam-ang”—a new musical adaptation of the Ilocano epic poem “Biag ni Lam-ang”—and the return of The Sandbox Collective’s (SC) “Dani Girl,” whose acclaimed 2014 premiere was not considered for awards, as the company was not yet a Philstage member at the time.
Philippine Opera Company’s (POC) production of Stephen Sondheim’s “Passion” had 10 citations, including outstanding ensemble performance, stage direction and production of existing material for a musical.
TP’s “Katsuri”—Bibeth Orteza’s adaptation of John Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men”—had eight citations, including the year’s sole citation for outstanding ensemble performance for a play, for the award-winning TP Actors’ Company.
“The Quest for the Adarna,” a musical condensation of “Ibong Adarna” presented by Repertory Philippines (Rep) for its children’s theater arm, received six citations. Twin Bill Theater’s (TBT) “Dancing Lessons,” the company’s first production for awards consideration, scored four.
Now on its 12th year, Gawad Buhay is the first industry awards exclusively for the performing arts.
It is given 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 honored based on quarterly citations deliberated by the jury whose members are required to watch all productions of Philstage member companies for the entire year.
From the quarterly citations (the third and fourth quarters are merged into the second semestral 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, Black Box Productions, Culturtain Musicat Productions Inc., Full House Theater Company (Resorts World Manila), Gantimpala Theater Foundation, Peta, POC, Red Turnip Theater, Rep, SC, Stages, TBT, TP and Trumpets.
Beginning last year, dance and ballet productions were no longer included, while the awards for original libretto and musical composition were changed to original book and musical score. —CONTRIBUTED
COMPLETE LIST OF 2019 2ND SEMESTRAL CITATIONS
Original Book: Luna Griño-Inocian, “The Quest for the Adarna” (Rep)
Original Score: Fitz Bitana, Jen Darlene Torres and Eljay Castro Deldoc, “Lam-ang” (TP)
Male Lead Performance (Musical): Vien King, “Passion” (POC); JC Santos, “Lam-ang” (TP)
Female Featured Performance (Musical): Jasmine Fitzgerald, “Passion” (POC); Anna Luna, “Lam-ang” (TP); Justine Narciso, “The Quest for the Adarna” (Rep); Tex Ordoñez-De Leon, “Lam-ang” (TP); Shiela Valderrama-Martinez, “Dani Girl” (SC)
Male Featured Performance (Musical): Paw Castillo, “Lam-ang” (TP); Daniel Drilon, “Dani Girl” (SC); Hans Eckstein, “The Quest for the Adarna” (Rep); Luis Marcelo, “The Quest for the Adarna” (Rep); Lorenz Martinez, “Dani Girl” (SC); Lorenz Martinez, “Passion” (POC); Juliene Mendoza, “Dani Girl” (SC); Raul Montesa, “Passion” (POC)
Stage Direction (Play): Francis Matheu, “Dancing Lessons” (TBT); Carlitos Siguion-Reyna, “Katsuri” (TP)
Stage Direction (Musical): Toff de Venecia, “Dani Girl” (SC); Robbie Guevara, “Passion” (POC)