Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Natatanging Gawad Buhay!--Tony Mabesa

Outside of my jury duties, I had nothing to do with the preparation for this year's Gawad Buhay! ceremonies, so it was an honor and a delight to discover that Philstage had quoted something I had once written about lifetime achievement awardee Tony Mabesa as his profile write-up in the souvenir program.

Thus: Tony Mabesa is a multi-awarded director, actor, playwright and teacher who, in over five decades of prolific artistic work, has become a lion of local theater. Under his firm, steady stewardship, Dulaang UP, the official performing group for theater of the University of the Philippines, has staked out a robust position as the country’s most consistent interpreter of Filipino and world drama, as well as the birthing ground for generations of artists and performers who have enriched Philippine theater, movies and TV.

[The quote is from a 2006 feature I did of Mr. Mabesa directing Hamlet Redux for Dulaang UP. Unfortunately, the Inquirer archives are down at the moment, so can't link to the page.]

But the far better introduction, really, was done by Floy Quintos and Irma Adlawan, just two of Mr. Mabesa's former students who are now hugely accomplished in their own multi-hyphenate careers, who paid tribute to their beloved mentor by sharing a bit about how it was getting molded by Mr. Mabesa, before the legendary director and founder of Dulaang UP was called to the stage. Watch:

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