Abad enters Aliw Hall of Fame with 3rd Aliw Award for Best Direction
While Ateneo triumphed over FEU on November 30 to enter the UAAP 79 men's basketball finals, another Ateneo triumph took place at the Dusit Thani Hotel in Makati where the 37th Aliw Awards paid tribute to last season’s outstanding artistic achievements. Dr. Ricardo Abad, faculty member of the Theater Arts Program, Department of Fine Arts and Professor and Chair of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, bagged his third Aliw Award for Best Direction for his staging of Rolando Tinio’s It’s April, What Are We Doing Here?
Dr. Abad won his first Aliw Award in 2008 for directing Tanghalang Ateneo’s production of Glenn Mas’ The Death of Memory. His second Aliw award came in 2012 for the long-running Tanghalang Ateneo production of Sintang Dalisay, the show that also brought Ateneo theater wide international recognition. Both these shows also won Aliw Awards for Best Non-Musical Production of the Year. The third award in 2016 gives Dr. Abad a place in the Aliw Awards Hall of Fame, a recognition which will be made official in next year’s Aliw Awards ceremonies.
It’s April, What Are We Doing Here is high comedy, Philippine style -- a rarity in Philippine playwriting! Tinio takes the all-too familiar situation of a love triangle – husband, wife, and mistress – and turns it into an acerbic, witty romp that also works as a commentary on marital relations among the Filipino upper class. A rarely staged play, It’s April combines the appeal of a telenovela narrative with the intelligence of Oscar Wilde, the dramaturgy of Bertolt Brecht, and Shakespearean-like references to Greek epics. A new company, Ikarus Productions, mounted the play last October 2015 at DITO: Bahay ng Sining in Concepcion Uno, Marikina. Audience reception was overwhelmingly positive.
Three actors – Judy Celine Ick, Teroy Guzman, and Missy Maramara – gave incisive performances as characters in the love triangle. Their work got tremendous support from production designers BJ Crisostomo and Claudine Delfin (who were also the producers), original music composer and light designer Jose Gonzales, sounds designer Reamur David, and lighting assistant James Pangan. Regina Saquin was stage manager.
“I’ve waited 15 years to do this play,” said Abad,” and I’d like to thank BJ Crisostomo, my former student, head of Ikarus Productions and owner of DITO: Bahay ng Sining, for giving me the space and the resources to stage this adult material.” He adds: “I couldn’t have done this kind of play in Tanghalang Ateneo, and I am grateful to Judy, Teroy, and Missy for going all the way to Marikina for rehearsals and performances. I also like to thank Tonchi Tinio for giving us permission to stage his father’s play.” Abad also thanked the Aliw Awards Foundation for recognizing stage productions in small venues located in the fringe areas of the Metro Manila theater scene. What theater in these spaces lack in glamour and spectacle, they make up for it in immediacy, intimacy and intense performances.