Tanghalang Pilipino’s Mabining Mandirigma, a reappraisal in musical form of the heroism and legacy of Apolinario Mabini that featured the radical casting of a female actor in the role of the revolutionary patriot, took the lead in the 2015 nominations for the Gawad Buhay, the Philstage Awards for the Performing Arts, with 13 nods in the performance and technical categories.
Following Mabining Mandirigma is the Philippine Educational Theater Association’s Arbol de Fuego, which transposed Anton Chekhov’s “The Cherry Orchard” to the haciendas of Negros in the martial law era, with 12 nominations.
Receiving 10 nominations each are 9 Works Theatrical’s production of the Broadway musical La Cage aux Folles, the Philippine premiere of Larry Kramer’s AIDS drama The Normal Heart staged by Actor’s Actors Inc. and The Necessary Theater, and Ballet Philippines’ Christmas presentation Peter Pan.
Now on its eighth year, Gawad Buhay is the first-ever industry awards exclusively for the performing arts 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 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 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 Ballet Manila, Ballet Philippines, Gantimpala Theater Foundation, Peta, Repertory Philippines, Tanghalang Pilipino, Trumpets, Actor’s Actors Inc., 9 Works Theatrical, Philippine Opera Company, Resorts World Manila’s Full House Theater Company, Red Turnip Theater and Philippine Ballet Theater.
Awarding ceremonies will be held on the evening of April 28 at Onstage, Greenbelt 1, Makati City, directed by Jenny Jamora.
To give the local theater scene the recognition they deserve for persevering in the performing arts, The Manila Times will print today as many of the nominees for this year’s Gawad Buhay Awards permitting space.
Outstanding Translation or Adaptation: Elmer Gatchalian, “Juego de Peligro” (TP); Rody Vera, “Arbol de Fuego” (Peta); Luna Griño-Inocian, “The Horse and His Boy” (Trumpets)
Outstanding Musical Direction: Joseph Tolentino, “La Cage aux Folles” (9WT); Rodel Colmenar, “Bituing Walang Ningning, The Musical” (Full House); Joed Balsamo, “Mabining Mandirigma” (TP)
Outstanding Female Lead Performance in a Play: Ana Abad Santos, “Time Stands Still” (RTT); Shamaine Centenera-Buencamino, “Juego de Peligro” (TP); Cherie Gil, “Arbol de Fuego” (Peta); Shamaine Centenera-Buencamino, “33 Variations” (RTT); Irma Adlawan, “Mga Buhay na Apoy” (TP)
Outstanding Male Lead Performance in a Play: Arnold Reyes, “Juego de Peligro” (TP); Raffy Tejada, “Arbol de Fuego” (Peta); Bart Guingona, “The Normal Heart” (AAI/TNT); Jef Flores, “This Is Our Youth” (RTT); Nicco Manalo, “This Is Our Youth” (RTT)
Outstanding Stage Direction for a Play: Loy Arcenas, “Arbol de Fuego” (Peta);Jenny Jamora, “33 Variations” (RTT); Bart Guingona, “The Normal Heart” (AAI/TN; Kanakan Balintagos, “Mga Buhay na Apoy” (TP); Topper Fabregas, “This Is Our Youth” (RTT)
Outstanding Production for Children: “The Horse and His Boy” (Trumpets); “Snow White” (Rep); “Peter Pan” (BP); “Tatlong Kuwento ni Lola Basyang” (BM); “The Nutcracker”