Tuesday, April 13, 2004

the play's the thing

I just got a surprise phone call from Bart Guingona, the president and artistic director of Actor's Actor Inc - one of the best theatre groups in the country.

He wants my permission to stage my play, The Onan Circle, which won the Carlos Palanca Memorial Award for Literature last year. So of course, I'm like "yay, nipple, yay" (to quote Buddha).

"I really enjoyed your play," Bart said, and he should, considering he was one of the judges in my category last year.

It's doubly exciting for me because I will get to see my paper creation live and breathe (and writhe and angst away) on stage. I'm curious to see who will be cast and in what role. I want to see how Bart will stage the scenes, especially my favorite sequence wherein everyone gives their Rashomic version of what happens. I want to see it performed!

Some say that a play is not a play until it's staged. To a certain extent, that's correct - which is why the world abounds with closet dramas. Having your play produced is a vindication of sorts, regardless of whether it makes money or not. The fact it, for the span of an hour, the world is your oyster.

I've known Bart for some time now, stretching back to my first acting workshop with Repertory Philippines when dinosaurs walked the earth. He always gave a good performance - most memorable for me was his role as John in The Lion in Winter. After he left Rep, he set up his own show and consistently produced and staged plays both intelligent and provocative. Which implies that my play is also intelligent and provocative (hahahaha).

So, what a year so far! It's only month 4 and I have a story coming out in Year's Best, a grafiction anthology coming out in September, and now a play sometime during the year. Oh, plus the Simeon Rex project and assorted little things.

Blessed. Yes, that's how I feel right now.

speaking of the palanca awards

If you're thinking about joining this year, the deadline for entries is at the end of this month.

Hurry up and finish your cramming! Find someone who can give constructive criticism, listen and implement changes you feel are destined to make a winning piece.

Then follow all the formatting guidelines, accomplish the forms and have them notarized, and submit your manuscript/s via hard copy or soft copy (yes, you can email the Palanca people and have them shoulder the cost of printing out and binding your stuff - I did that with The Onan Circle) before midnight of April 30, 2004.

Then kick back, relax, live your life and forget about it.

If your stars are in alignment, then you'll receive a little notification around August.

If not, just keep writing.

It's the best way to improve, you know.


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