IN AN emotional win, Angelo Aurelio, director of the “Anatomy of an Octopus Woman” took home two prestigious trophies from the 30th Aliw Awards Tuesday night.
“This win is dedicated to the dreams of people inside prisons, may it be in jail or locked away deep their personal circumstances. Let's give hope a chance,” Aurelio said.
The play set in the confines of the Baguio City Jail won Best New Concept Production and Best Director, besting nominees from all over the country.
The play, was nominated in five categories namely Best New Concept Production, Best Performance (New Concept)-Hiromi Meguro, Best Performance (New Concept)-Benjan Natividad, Best Performance by an Ensemble -Jail Inmates of BJMP Women's Jail, and Best Director (New Concept).
“The money we collected from the last run of the Octopus Woman will be used to construct a modular type of stage in BJMP Baguio. Senior Inspector April Ayangwa herself said that they will now institutionalize the Jail Theater in Baguio as a pioneering project for alternative rehab program for Philippine prisons,” Aurelio added.
In his acceptance speech Aurelio said “this is for the triumph of struggling artists and community theaters in the Philippines. This is for the maddening quest of the artist to exhume truth to keep his own sanilty and sense of purpose. Thank you Aliw Awards for this great honor. This is for the people who deserve second chances at life. This is the spirit of humanity, manifesting itself to counter hatred and violence in our society.”
Most of the cast were women detained in the local jail who depicted the story of their lives to an audience.
The play is emotional and stark, leaving the viewers in awe of the harsh realities faced by women in conflict with the law and how it has changed their lives.
Set in the crude space within the jail, the play has given a new definition of theatre and its power to transform even those languishing in detention.
The play is the first theatrical presentation of the facility and has become part of developmental services the institution is doing for the ladies detained in the jail.
The first run of the play was staged during the Independence Day and had a rerun in November.
Published in the SunStar Baguio newspaper on December 22, 2017.
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