#TheaterPH - Curtains Up For The 11th Gawad Buhay Awards!

The 11th Philstage Gawad Buhay Awards is all set on May 28, Tuesday at 8 p.m. at Onstage Theater, Greenbelt 1, Makati City.

The awards show, with the theme “Generations,” will be hosted by Carlo Orosa and Kakai Bautista, and will feature an original song aptly titled “Buhay na Buhay,” jointly composed by veteran writer-director Freddie Santos and musical director Ejay Yatco.

Philstage President Audie Gemora, who is directing the event, says, “The dream of the founding members of Philstage companies — the likes of Zeneida Amador—was to build a thriving performing arts industry. That dream is now a reality, with several theater companies having been established in the last decade. Workshops are teeming with youngsters while theaters in the campuses are vibrant. The influx of Broadway touring companies in Manila has not put a dampener on the local theater scene.  And in 2018, we saw groups that usually stage Western musicals take a stab at staging original Filipino musicals, which is a positive trend.”

Presenters of the 23 competitive and two lifetime achievement awards will include past Gawad Buhay winners namely Lisa Macuja-Elizalde, Menchu Lauchengco Yulo, Michael Williams, Dennis Marasigan, Jaime del Mundo, and National Artist for Dance Alice Reyes;  Tanghalang Pilipino artistic director Fernando “Tata Nanding” Josef; Peta President CB Garrucho; newly minted “Miss Saigon” alumni Gerald Santos and Aicelle Santos; and Joanna Ampil, who will headline the touring production  of “Cats” in November. The trophies will be designed by sculptor and longtime Gawad Buhay collaborator Reg Yuson.

The awards show will feature performances by the original casts of the nominated musicals of 2018—“Ang Huling El Bimbo,” “Eto Na! Musikal nAPO!,” “Himala, Isang Musikal,” and “Balag at Angud” — as well as tribute performances by Ballet Manila and PETA for this year’s Natatanging Gawad Buhay awardees, dance icon and teacher Felicitas 'Tita' Radaic and Lutgardo Labad, Head National Drama Committee Philippine National Commission for Culture and the Arts.

Capping off the evening, and in keeping with the theme, will be a special performance by the “future of Philippine theater” — children of theater practitioners who are now taking to the stage, members of the Ateneo Blue Repertory, students of Trumpets Playshop and Don Bosco Tulay Performing Arts Group, and scholars of Philippine Opera Company to be coached by Sweet Plantado-Tiongson. Joseph Matheu will be the show’s lighting designer.

It will be open to the public on a first-come, first-serve basis.

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