Gawad Buhay Theater Awards Announce Best Filipino Stage Shows

They're considered the local version of the Tony Awards.

(SPOT.ph) The ongoing community quarantine in Metro Manila may have caused a huge hitch in all our theater plans for 2020, but that didn't stop the 12th Gawad Buhay from pushing through this year despite delays. Touted as the Philippines' Tony Awards, the awards night—which is a combination of clips recorded at the PETA Theater, a massive Zoom conference, and captured performances of artists from their homeswent live on TheaterFansManila.com and Philstage's Facebook page at 8 p.m. on October 8, with Meann Espinosa and Phi Palmos hosting.

Normally, Gawad Buhay is held every April, but Philstage "decided to put it on hold so [they] can focus on pressing concerns like raising funds for [their] displaced colleagues through the open house," explained Philstage President Audie Gemora while clad in coat and tie and a pair of shorts (as most video calls go). Since March, the 16-member alliance of theater organizations and dance companies have been holding workshops, digitally staging performances, and offering one-on-one sessions not only to keep theatergoers entertained, but also to raise funds.

For the 12th Gawad Buhay, the eligible 12 plays and musicals from 2019 were Philippine Opera Company’s Passion, The Sandbox Collective’s Every Brilliant Thing and Dani Girl, Philippine Educational Theater Association’s Charot, Tanghalang Pilipino’s Coriolano, Lam-Ang, and Katsuri, Repertory Philippines' Father’s Day, The Dresser, Miong, and The Quest for the Adarna, and Twin Bill Theater’s Dancing Lessons. The nominees and winners were chosen by an independent jury composed of theater practitioners, arts journalists, and members of the academe.

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Also read: 10 Ways Theater-Going Will Change After the Pandemic

Here are the winners of the 12th Gawad Buhay Awards:

Outstanding Original Book of a Musical
Luna Griño-Inocian, The Quest for the Adarna (Repertory Philippines)

Outstanding Translation or Adaptation
Guelan Luarca, Coriolano (Tanghalang Pilipino)

Outstanding Choreography
JM Cabling, Lam-ang (Tanghalang Pilipino)

Outstanding Original Score
Fitz Bitana, Jen Darlene Torres and Eljay Castro Deldoc, Lam-ang (Tanghalang Pilipino)

Outstanding Musical Direction
Daniel Bartolome, Passion (Philippine Opera Company)
TJ Ramos, Lam-ang (Tanghalang Pilipino)

Outstanding Costume Design
Bonsai Cielo, Lam-ang (Tanghalang Pilipino)

Outstanding Lighting Design
Barbie Tan-Tiongco, The Dresser (Repertory Philippines)

Outstanding Sound Design
Arvy Dimaculangan, Every Brilliant Thing (The Sandbox Collective)

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Outstanding Set Design
Ed Lacson Jr., The Dresser (Repertory Philippines)

Male Featured Performance in a Play
Brian Sy, Coriolano (Tanghalang Pilipino)

Female Featured Performance in a Play
Sherry Lara, Coriolano (Tanghalang Pilipino)

Male Lead Performance in a Play
Marco Viaña, Katsuri (Tanghalang Pilipino)

Female Lead Performance in a Play
Kakki Teodoro, Every Brilliant Thing (The Sandbox Collective)

Male Featured Performance in a Musical
Paw Castillo, Lam-ang (Tanghalang Pilipino)

Female Featured Performance in a Musical
Tex Ordoñez-de Leon, Lam-ang (Tanghalang Pilipino)

Male Lead Performance in a Musical
Vien King, Passion (Philippine Opera Company)

Female Lead Performance in a Musical
Shiela Valderrama-Martinez, Passion (Philippine Opera Company)

Outstanding Ensemble Performance for a Play
Katsuri (Tanghalang Pilipino)

Outstanding Ensemble Performance for a Musical
Passion (Philippine Opera Company)

Outstanding Stage Direction for a Play
Jenny Jamora, Every Brilliant Thing (The Sandbox Collective)

Outstanding Stage Direction for a Musical
Robbie Guevara, Passion (Philippine Opera Company)

Outstanding Production for Children
The Quest for the Adarna (Repertory Philippines)

Outstanding Production of Existing Material for a Play
Every Brilliant Thing (The Sandbox Collective)

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Outstanding Production of Existing Material for a Musical
Passion (Philippine Opera Company)

Natatanging Gawad for Theater: Freddie Santos

Natatanging Gawad for Dance: Julie Borromeo

If you missed last night's stream, you can still watch it on Theater Fans Manila's YouTube channel:

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