‘Short + Sweet’ fest names winners

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Theatrical productions are alive and well in Metro Manila. In fact, the 2017 Short + Sweet Theater Festival testified to the vibrant environment in the country with the variety of material and the abundance of talent involved in organizing these shows.

Held at the Power Mac Center Spotlight in Circuit Makati, the event brought 70 presentations coming from local and foreign playwrights from Australia, India, United Kingdom, United States and the Philippines.

(From left) Festival producer Vaishali Ray, Indian Ambassador to the Philippines Jaideep Mazumdar and his wife, festival director Divya Rajan-Sriram, businessman Rashmi Dowlani, Australia Mission Deputy Head Mat Kimberely, and Benilde Arts and Culture Cluster Associate Dean Sunita Mukhi

All plays were approximately 10 minutes in length, and covered a range of topics, from an Uber ride to hookups on social media dating apps, with discussions on issues such as politics, fame and love tackled in between.

At the end of the two-week festival, which was produced by Vaishali Ray and directed by Divya Rajan-Sriram, the promising productions and actors were recognized during a gala event.


Jasson Villanueva was hailed Best Director for “One Night Stan,” which likewise garnered Best Overall Production and Audience’s Favorite Play of the Day.

Christian Cusi and Patricia Bermudez in Scott Mullen’s ‘Stuck’

Multi-awarded Filipino scriptwriter and director Christian Vallez, under the pseudonym Juan Ekis, won Best Playwright for “Crossing,” tied with Adam Szudrich from Australia for One Night Stan, and Nancy Hopps from the US for “End of the Rope.”

Christian Cusi, a Theater Arts student from De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde (DLS-CSB), was named Best Actor (Male) for his portrayal in Scott Mullen’s “Stuck,” while Best Actor (Female) prize was shared jointly by Kat Cruz from One Night Stan, and Denise Castillo from End of the Rope.

The Top 13 plays chosen for the finale show included “Jesus Feeds the 4,999” by Kay Phillips; “A Night in Rotonda” by Rick Patriarca; “All Aboard Hysteria Express” by Gabrielle Lanzona; Crossing by Juan Ekis; “Wedding Night Tweets” by Daniel Guyton; “Dekada” by Genesis Santos; Stuck by Scott Mullen; “Huwag Mong Lilimutin” by Tim Lagundi; One Night Stan by Adam Szudrich; “Mga Nakakasuyang Putahe” by Tim Rone Villanueva; End of the Rope by Nancy Hopps; “Leprechaun” by Nick Subjak; and” The Courier,” the Witch and the Cursed Parcel by Joshua Calero.

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