Saturday, May 17, 2008

GAWAD BUHAY! Citations

PHILSTAGE Jury Announces GAWAD BUHAY! Citations

Productions by Tanghalang Pilipino (TP), Repertory Philippines (Rep), Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) and Ballet Philippines (BP) dominated the first and second quarterly citations of Gawad BUHAY!, the performing arts awards program organized by the Philippine Legitimate Stage Artists Group (PHILSTAGE).

Tanghalang Pilipino's Kudeta romped off with a total of nine citations while Rep's Hamlet and PETA's Skin Deep tied with six citations each. Ballet Philippines' Latin Heat placed close third with five citations.

A Filipino translation of Mustapha Matura's black comedy about a coup that toppled a country'spresident, TP's Kudeta was cited for outstanding play, stage direction (Floy Quintos); ensemble performance (cast of Kudeta); male lead performance in a play (Mario O'Hara); featured performance in a play (Bong Cabrera and Riki Benedicto); adaptation/translation (George De Jesus III); sound design (Janice Dee); lighting design (Dennis Marasigan); and set design (Tuxqs Rutaquio).

Rep's Hamlet, a futuristic take on the William Shakespeare' s classic, was cited for outstanding play;ensemble performance (cast of Hamlet); featuredperformance in a play (Cris Villonco); sound design (Jethro Joaquin); lighting design (Martin Esteva); and costume design (Faust Peneyra).

Billed as a musical comedy on ordinary people's search for beauty and happiness, PETA's Skin Deep was citedf or outstanding musical, stage direction (NorDomingo); ensemble performance (cast of Skin Deep); male lead performance in a musical (Robert Seña); female lead performance in a musical (May Bayot, GailGuanlao Billones and Isay Alvarez); and original libretto (Vince De Jesus).

Ballet Philippines' Latin Heat earned five citationsfor outstanding dance production, ensemble performance (cast of Latin Heat); original choreography (Bam Damian and Alden Lugnasin); male lead performance in a dance production (Biag Gaongen); and featured performance in a dance production (Camille Ordinario-Joson) .

Another TP production, EJ: Ang Pinagdaanang Buhay Nina Edgar Jopson at Evelio Javier, was cited for outstanding male lead performance in a musical (Jett Pangan and Juliene Mendoza) and sound design (Jethro Joaquin).

Other citations include Jose Mari Avellana for outstanding male lead performance in a play (Rep's Tuesdays with Morrie) and Lisa Macuja Elizalde for outstanding female lead performance in a dance production (Ballet Manila's Le Corsaire [The Pirate]).

Altar Boyz, Repertory Philippines' production of an off-Broadway musical about a Christian boy band, was the lone qualified entry for the second quarterly citation cycle. The production garnered citations for outstanding musical, stage direction (Charri Arrespacochaga), ensemble performance (cast of Altar Boyz), male lead performance in a musical (Red Concepcion), choreography (Jason Zamora), musical direction (Jojo Malferrari), and sound design (Gidget Tolentino).

PHILSTAGE President Dennis Marasigan explained that Gawad BUHAY! honors outstanding accomplishments in theater, dance and music among PHILSTAGE member-companies. Quarterly citations, nominations, and winners are juried by an independent panel of performing arts practitioners, critics, academicians and enthusiasts invited or selected by the PHILSTAGE Board of Directors.

"The jury members are required to watch all productions of Philstage members and only those who have watched all productions are allowed to cast their final votes for the quarterly citations, nominations and winners," Marasigan stressed. The jury meets quarterly for the citations from which will be culled the nominees qualified to vie for the annual award to be announced and honored in fitting ceremonies during the National Arts Month in February 2009.

PHILSTAGE groups together the country's leading and established performing arts companies which include Actors Actors, Inc. (AAI), Ballet Manila (BM), Ballet Philippines (BP), Gantimpala Theater Foundation (GTF), Organisasyon ng Pilipinong Mang-aawit (OPM), Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA), Repertory Philippines (REP), Tanghalang Pilipino and the Triumphant Peoples' Evangelical Theater Society (TRUMPETS). It can be reached via email at

The complete list of Gawad BUHAY! citations for the first and second quarters of 2008:

Outstanding Play: Hamlet (Repertory Philippines); Kudeta (Tanghalang Pilipino)

Outstanding Musical: Altar Boyz (Repertory Philippines); Skin Deep (PETA)

Outstanding Dance Production : Latin Heat (Ballet Philippines)

Outstanding Stage Direction: Chari Arrespacochaga (Altar Boyz); Nor Domingo (Skin Deep); Floy Quintos (Kudeta)

Outstanding Ensemble Performance: Altar Boyz (Repertory Philippines), Hamlet (Repertory Philippines); Kudeta (Tanghalang Pilipino); Latin Heat (Ballet Philippines); Skin Deep (PETA)

Outstanding Male Lead Performance in a Play: Jose Mari Avellana (Tuesdays with Morrie); Mario O'Hara (Kudeta)

Outstanding Male Lead Performance in a Musical: Red Concepcion (Altar Boyz)), Jett Pangan and Juliene Mendoza (EJ: Ang Pinagdaanang Buhay nina Evelio Javier at Edgar Jopson); Robert Seña (Skin Deep)

Outstanding Male Lead Performance in a Dance Production: Biag Gaongen (Latin Heat)

Outstanding Female Lead Performance in a Musical: May Bayot, Gail Guanlao Billones and Isay Alvarez (Skin Deep)

Outstanding Female Lead Performance in a Dance Production: Lisa Macuja Elizalde (Le Corsaire [The Pirate])

Outstanding Featured Performance in a Play: Bong Cabrera and Riki Benedicto (Kudeta); Cris Villonco (Hamlet)

Outstanding Featured Performance in a Dance Production: Camille Ordinario-Joson (Latin Heat)

Outstanding Original Libretto: Vincent De Jesus (Skin Deep)

Outstanding Translation/Adaptation: George de Jesus III (Kudeta);

Outstanding Original Choreography: Bam Damian and Alden Lugnasin (Latin Heat); Jason Zamora (Altar Boyz)

Outstanding Musical Direction: Jojo Malferrari (Altar Boyz)

Outstanding Set Design: Tuxqs Rutaquio (Kudeta)

Outstanding Costume Design: Faust Peneyra (Hamlet)

Outstanding Lighting Design: Martin Esteva (Hamlet); Dennis Marasigan (Kudeta)

Outstanding Sound Design: Janice Dee (Kudeta); Jethro Joaquin (EJ: Ang Pinagdaanang Buhay nina Evelio Javier at Edgar Jopson); Jethro Joaquin (Hamlet); Gidget Tolentino (Altar Boyz)

Note: If you have enquiries regarding the GAWAD BUHAY! citations, you may get in touch with Elmar Beltran Ingles, PHILSTAGE Executive Director, at

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