Philippine Stagers Foundation: “a league of their own”
Now on its 11th season, the PHILIPPINE STAGERS FOUNDATION has become one of the premier professional theater companies in the country. Recognized as one of the most awarded theater company which broke all box office records of all theater companies nationwide, PSF (Philippine Stagers Foundation) is more than an ordinary performing group. It is a foundation with a cause with the noble objective of helping the poor, the sick, the elderly and the forgotten through the medium of theater arts. At present, the Foundation has more than fifty (50) High School and College Scholars. Aside from its very active Scholarship Program, the Foundation is consistently handling absolutely free Theater Workshop every summer with more than two hundred (200) participants from various schools in the country.
For its regular season runs, the Foundation has also organized out-reach activities at various charitable institutions such as Golden Acres Home for the Aged, Servants of Charity, National Center for Mental Health and Reception Study Center for Children. Through this, Philippine Stagers Foundation is an artistic team with a purpose in the society. Remaining humble and silent despite its phenomenal success, the Foundation has produced several significant and ground-breaking stage plays and smash hits like Mactan 1521, Enzo…Santo, Chi-noi, O’Moises, Pinoy Samurai, Desaparecidos: A Filipino Musicale, Namaste, Ang Makulay na Buhay ni Gandhi and Troy Avenue. It has also made phenomenal ticket-sales, averaging from thirty-five (35) to ninety (150) shows in big venues such as SM Cinemas, UP Theater, St. Scholastica’s St. Cecilias Hall, St. Paul University, Waterfront Hotel, Cebu , AFP Theater Tanghalang Pasigueño, Meralco Theater to name a few.
The aggressiveness of its marketing team remains its inspiration in producing quality plays. Its markets hailed all its plays as spectacular, well-polished and innovative. The Aliw Awards, the only award-giving body in the country honoring live performances, has recognized for numerous times its various stage plays and musicales, as well as its director and cast members. Recently, the company received endorsements from the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and the Department of Education for its contributions not only in theater arts but also to the society.
Philippine Stagers Foundation’s success could be attributed to the men and women who comprise the prestigious company. Here’s the list of some of the most famous members of Philippine Stagers Foundation (PSF):
VINCE TAÑADA is the Bad Boy of Philippine Theater: He is an award-winning playwright, director and actor. He leads as PSF’s President and Chairman of the Board. After his brief stint as an acting student in New York, he went back to Philippine Theater via ‘Hiblang Abo’, directed by Lou Veloso and staged in CCP. He in 2007 got his first Aliw Award as Best Actor for his portrayal in ‘O’ Moises’ in 2007. The following year he got his second nomination for his acting in ‘Bangkay sa Corintho’. His biggest dream as an actor was realized when he played the role of ‘Ninoy Aquino’ in PSF‘s biggest hit ‘Ako si Ninoy’ in 2009. In 2011, he won the Best Actor award in the Aliw Awards for his superb acting as Peter, a writer inflicted with Parkinson’s disease in ‘Cory ng EDSA’. He portrayed the role of Joecas in the record breaking rock’sical, JOE and this 2013 as the Father of Katipunan, Andres Bonifacio in a sarsuwela entitled ‘Bonifacio’. He is the lead actor in the 2013 Sineng Pambansa entry” Otso” by Elwood Perez.
MONIQUE AZERREDA made raves as a theater actress when she portrayed the role of Helen in Troy Avenue. After that she did ‘Bahay Pula’, ‘Bangkay sa Corintho’, ‘Ako Si Ninoy’, ‘San Vicente, A Zarswela’, 4C-I (AIDS), ‘Pest to Pest’, and ‘Papeng ni Kiko’. In ‘Cory ng EDSA’, she also played the role of Anette. She was part of the production network as stage manager of ‘Babae Po Ako’, sound spinner for the plays ‘San Vicente, A Zarswela’, 2010, ‘Enzo Santo’ and ‘4C-3’. As a writer, she wrote the play I Went to My Funeral, which competed at the PSF Theater Festival, 2011. From 2009 to date, she is also a facilitator for the PSF Annual Summer Workshop. Her recent acting assignment was Rizal’s controversial lover, Josephine Bracken in the play ‘Joe A Filipino Rock’sical’. She is the leading lady of Vince Tañada in the movie “Otso”.
PATRICK LIBAO started out as Tai-wu in ‘Chi-Noi’, Gary in ‘Lieutenant’s Princess’, Hosue in ‘O’Moises’, Purok in ‘Pinoy Samurai’ and Art in ‘Desaparecidos’. His first big break was in ‘Namaste’ as ‘Gandhi’. His name became a word of mouth in such plays like Troy Avenue as Agammenon, Oscar in ‘Ako si Ninoy’, Biboy in 4c’s ‘Girl Me’, Erwin in ‘Sako’, Damian in ‘Wagas’, Luis in ‘Lahug’, Kiko in ‘Ang Papeng ni Kiko’ and Lemuel Alonzo in ‘Ang Bangkay sa Corintho’. In 2012, he did one of the most challenging roles in his career as an actor, the role of the hard hitting reporter and Parkinson’s disease patient, Peter in the musical ‘Cory ng EDSA’ and as Jose Rizal in ‘Joe, A Filipino Rockssical, Also a playwright, he wrote and directed plays such as ‘Backstage’ and ‘Bahay-Pula’. He also penned ‘Felipa’, ‘Lahug’, ‘Spirits’ and most recently ‘Bala at Krus’.
CHRIS LIM debuted as a theater actor in 1999 when he played the title role of Rene Villanueva’s ‘Kalantiaw’ under Dulaang Bedista of San Beda College. His esteemed performances include the lead roles in Tennessee William’s Glass Menagerie, Anton Checkov’s Ang Bastos to name a few. After college he joined the Dulaang Bedista Alumni Production (Now Known as Philippine Stagers Foundation) and did plays such as Greg in ‘Desaparecidos’, Isko de Ungria in ‘Joe ni Josephine’, Lt. Dante Cervantes in ‘Moro’, Reyna Valmoria/Haring Valenton in ‘Ang Musa ni Proteus’, Magellan in ‘Mactan 1521’, Lazaro in ‘Enzo… Santo’, Crisanto in ‘Josephine’s Joe’, Ton in ‘Mga Kwentong Balic-Balic’, Kwan-Li in ‘Chi-noi’, Attiwan in ‘Pinoy Samurai’, Azad in ‘Namaste’, Senior Segismundo in ‘Ang Bangkay sa Corintho’, flesh eater Gunying in ‘Lahug’, Benjo in ‘Sa Dilaw o Pula’ and Lt. Dalusong in ‘Cory ng Edsa’ and Ambo in Joe ‘A Filipino Rock’sical’. He was also a finalist in the Aliw Awards as Best Director for the play Ang Bangkay sa Corintho. He is one of PSF’s founders and Members of the Board.
GABBY BAUTISTA’s acting prowess was recognized for his role as Osborne in the multi-awarded musical “Ako si Ninoy”, where he won as the Best Child Performer in the 2009 Aliw Awards. In 2010, he was nominated again for the play “Enzo Santo” in the Aliw Awards as Best Child Performer. His heartfelt performance as Edsa, a young boy with a big heart for his country in the musical “Cory ng EDSA” was much-lauded. His big break came when he acted the role of Batik in Pitik Surplus.
CINDY LIPER’s baptism of fire was in the play Chi-Noi’. She continued to shine as a stage actress as a nurse in ‘Lieutenant’s Princess’, followed as one of the ladies of the court in ‘O’Moises’, and eventually became a geisha in ‘Pinoy Samurai’. Her stage acting credits inlude ‘Desaparecidos’, ‘Namaste’, ‘San Vicente, A Zarzuela’, ‘Troy Avenue’, and ‘Enzo… Santo’, ‘Ang Bangkay’ and ‘Stars’, She got nominated twice as Best Actress in Aliw Awards portraying the role of Cory in ‘Ako si Ninoy’ and reprising it in ‘Cory ng EDSA’. Her most recent accolade was winning the Best Actress in the Broadway World Philippines Awards for her performance as Oryang in ‘Ang Bangkay’. In ‘Joe’ she played the feisty researcher, Joanne.
CHERRY BAGTAS is currently taking up Marketing at Jose Rizal University. As an actress she began her career as Lorenza in Chinoi and got noticed as Faridah in ‘The Lieutenant’s Princess’ and as Lally in ‘Desaparecidos’ respectively. She landed a major role in ‘Namaste’ when she played Kasturba the wife of Gandhi and Andromache in ‘Troy Avenue’. To further elevate her acting skills, she took on more daring and challenging roles as Yvon in Babae po Ako, Ivy in Ako si Ninoy, Oryang in the dark and mysterious multi-awarded and critically acclaimed Vincent M Tanada’s ‘Ang Bangkay’, and was the eldest daughter of the late beloved president Cory Aquino, Ballsy in ‘Cory ng EDSA’. For Joe, she gave life to the character of Julia.
ADELLE IBARRIENTOS,a senior regular stager was Ka Upeng in ‘Enzo…Santo’, Dolores in ‘Chi-Noi’ and Samira in ‘Lieutenant’s Princess’. She also essayed the roles of Ziporah for ‘O’ Moises’, Lara in ‘Desaparecidos’, Saishin in ‘Pinoy Samurai’, Isabel in ‘Ang Bangkay sa Corintho’. During the 8th season she starred as Sarin in ‘Namaste’, Madam de Gondhi in ‘San Vicente, A Zarswela’, Helen in ‘Troy Avenue’, Ms. Nuñez / Ivy for ‘Ako si Ninoy’, Miding in ‘Ang Bangkay sa Corintho’. She acted in various summer plays such as Sayong in ‘Lahug’, Lupe in ‘Pest to Pest’, Diana in ‘I Heart Me’ and France in ‘Mang Hangs Restaurant’. She was Elsie in ‘Cory ng Edsa’ and the fashionista Julia in ‘Joe A Filipino Rock’sical’.
JORDAN LADRA was nominated as Best Actor in Aliw Awards for his portrayal of the role Noli in the musical play ‘Ako si Ninoy’. He is a PSF Thumbs Up Awardee (2009 & 2010).He became a facilitator of the Annual Summer Workshop when he graduated from PSF Acting Workshop in 2007. Onstage he played a Support Actor in ‘Pinoy Samurai’ as Tetsugaku, Putri in ‘Namaste’, Padre Bordaise in ‘San Vicente’ and Lazaro in ‘Enzo Santo’. He also did the lead roles of Hector in ‘Troy Avenue’, Greg in ‘Desaparecidos’ , Lemuel in ‘Bangkay sa Corintho’, Erwin in ‘4C’ (The Sack), Olivio in ‘4C-II’ (Felipa) and Lykah in ‘4C-III’ (OLAH). Behind the stage , he wrote plays in PSF’s Annual Theater fest such as Babae Po Ako, Si Adan at Si Eba and I Heart Me. Last season he portrayed the two equally challenging characters, Bimbo and Hunter in ‘JOE’.
ART GABRENTINA garnered the Best Lighting Design award at the 2012 Broadway World Awards. Com Philippines for his work in Joe a Filipino Rock’sical. He started as a production assistant in the play ‘Mactan 1521’ and ‘Enzo..Santo’. Eventually he was given bigger respons-ibilities to handle the Sound Spinning for the plays ‘Chi-Noi’, ‘O’Moises’, ‘Desaparecidos’ and ‘Troy Avenue’. In the play ‘Namaste’ he took on a bigger challenge as he did Sound Spinning and Stage Management at the same time. Since 2009 he became the technical director and lighting designer for all the Productions of PSF to date.
KEVIN POSADAS is one of the most versatile actors of Philippine Stagers Foundation. He was part of various PSF productions like ‘O’Moises’, ‘Chi-noi’, ‘Lieutenant’s Princess’, ‘Pinoy Samurai’, ‘Namaste’, ‘Desaparecidos’ and ‘4C-2’. Lately he began taking in bigger roles as Menelaus in ‘Troy Ave’., Padre Vicente in ‘Enzo Santo’, and alternated as Ninoy in the re-run of ‘Ako Si Ninoy’. As a performer he is never afraid to take on challenges to improve his craft that is why when he was offered to do the role of the cross-dresser entertainer named Asiah in Japan in OLAH. In ‘Cory ng EDSA’ he played the role of Jason. He alternated last year for the role Joecas in Joe A Filipino Rockssical.
CHIN ORTEGA is a pioneering member of the company. His diverse roles include the Babaylan in ‘Mactan 1521’, Mang Temyong in ‘Desaparecidos’, Lao Shi Tong in ‘Chi-Noi’, Kyo in ‘Pinoy Samurai’, Mr. Patel in ‘Namaste’, Priam in ‘Troy Ave’, Nanding in the musical ‘Ako si Ninoy’, and ‘Sakakibara’ in the critically-acclaimed ‘Enzo… Santo’. He also did challenging roles in other PSF’s plays. He was a standout as Mindy in ‘Cory ng EDSA’ and Ambo in ‘Joe, A Filipino Rock’sical’.
JP LOPEZ played the role of Padre Balaguer in the controversial ‘Joe’. In ‘Cory ng Edsa’ he worked on the technical side as the production’s sound spinner. He made remarkable performances as Col. Agustin in ‘Ako si Ninoy’, Padre Domingo in ‘Enzo… Santo’, Cardinal Mazarin in ‘San Vicente a Zarzuela , Adonis in “‘Si Adan at si Eba’ and Floran in‘Ang Papeng ni Kiko’ to name a few. Offstage he was the stage manager in the various competing plays during the PSF Theater Festival. As a playwright, he wrote the plays Geymshow, Stars and Tang Na Mo Funeral Parlor. He also facilitates acting workshops.
JERIE SANCHEZ started as a chorus girl in various PSF productions,which led her to do character roles with different age range such as Margarita in ‘Enzo… Santo’ and a nun in ‘Cory ng EDSA’. To enhance her talent she participated in various summer productions such as Lola in ‘I Went to My Funeral’, Inang Mother in ‘Kung Hei Batsoy’, Juday in ‘Stars’, and as one of Jose Rizal’s sisters, Narcisa in ‘Joe A Filipino Rockssical’.
DE’ ROTSEN ETOLLE graduated from the PSF Summer Workshop in 2011. He played the role of Ninoy during their recital, from the musical ‘Ako si Ninoy’. Since then he was called back to join PSF. He is part of the chorus for the plays ‘Cory ng EDSA’, ‘Ako si Ninoy’ and ‘San Vicente A Zarzuela’. In the PSF Theater Festival he played the role of Eagle in Pitik Surplus and Moksha in Tang Na Mo Funeral Parlor. He was Mr. Aldeguer in Joe A Filipino Rock’sical.
DARYL CAJUCOM was among the 3 graduates in the PSF’s annual summer workshop in 2011. This is his third season for the company. He became part of the chorus for the plays ‘San Vicente a Zarzuela’, ‘Ako si Ninoy’,‘Cory ng EDSA’ and ‘Joe, A Filipino Rock’sical’.
GERALD MAGALLANES was a former member of the Ramon Obusan Dance Company prior to his joining PSF. He started out as part of the chorus of ‘Ako si Ninoy’ and ‘San Vicente’. Later he was assigned as one of the production staff for ‘4C-1’, ‘4C-2’, ‘4C-3’, ‘Enzo Santo’ and ‘Bangkay sa Corintho’. In 2011 he was with ‘Cory ng EDSA’, and in 2012 he was with ‘Joe A Filipino Rocks’ical.
Next time you watch a stage play, try to look for these great theater performers and cherish them. After all, they’re certainly one of the best things that could happen in the local theater scene now!
WRITTEN BY MR. ARSENIO TAN LIAO