Here's all 12 finalists' plays from the Short+Sweet Theater Manila 2015 festival of 10-minute plays taken from the audience seats on two dates: Half from September 26, and another half from the September 27, playdates.
From half you will obviously see the audience heads which was our predicament since we were seated about 5 rows from the front, so I decided to transfer to the front row on the second day to be able to get a front view of the remaining half of the plays.
I also intended to divide my video coverage so that I can use the other half of my camera batteries for the backstage interviews and for photos during the plays. What I intentionally left out was to take photos during the backstage interviews because I was really sure I will ran out of juice if I also do that extra activity. Anyway, I can screen grab from the videos if I wanted to.
I have nothing but praises for the 12 plays that I've seen, and it was very unfortunate I was not able to watch the earlier weeks due to a week-long flu followed by a week-long assignment in Bohol. The same things always happen to us whenever we plan for an activity, other unavoidable circumstances and necessities will become obstacles to the earlier goals.
Anyway, we were still able to watch the "best of the best" and were glad our normally hectic schedule no longer got into the way. All the plays were awesome, and we have to admit that we can't really pick a single favorite.
"Speaking Freely" was like a less complicated "Inside Out" movie though it's totally better since it's not representing several emotions separately. The casts were really cool and memorable since they have unique personalities highlighted in the story. If you're going to ask me, it may not be as cute as the movie, but it totally outshines the animation with their superb facial expressions and acting.
A real stunner on stage was "Si Nelson, Ang Nanay, Ang Pancit Canton." The play kept us at the edge of our seat wondering what kind of ghosts were all wrapped up in plastic and seemingly haunting Nelson, plus the surprise revelation that it was not only Nelson that was aware of their presence. Congratulations to "Nanay" for winning the Best Actress award.
"Modus: The Art of Crying Wolf" gets our vote for a very interactive and global quality performance. It was like we're watching a foreign act as both actors were superb in their roles. You can see them sweating it all out on stage like they would give all just to make the act as awesome as it was. I like how they devised a movement accompanying their "Modus!" shout, and thank you for incorporating that for the Wazzup Pilipinas greeting!
"Lunes" pokes fun of senior citizens whose past time are now watching movies provided for free by the local government as a benefit for their constituents. We are deeply impressed with how the actors were able to successfully portray the role of old people when they were probably only somewhere within their late 20s. The love interest gave us "kilig" moments and were sort of "bitin" when nothing really happened at the end.
"Decisions, Decisions" was surprisingly better than what we expected it to be. The two stars elevated an otherwise boring life story working at the railways into a crazy life-changing point of coming up with the right decision. The director of the play won one of the Best Director awards for this play. This is an achievement since the team were so young yet talented enough to get noticed for their exceptional work.
Two brothers team up to present you "Crossbow Cat." It's an amusing play about a talking cat with a crossbow pierced through his head and now seeks revenge against the human responsible for it. It would have been a lot more fun if it was an actual cat doing the acting but that's asking too much. Seriously, the play's strength was provided by how fluid the actors were in delivering their lines.
The steamy "Voicing Up The Marriage" caught my attention when they started hugging and touching each other intimately. But the oddness of the couple and their varied role-plays that seemingly led to foreplays will make you giggle with glee. The heated ending was a cross between sensuality and humor - I wanted to laugh out loud but was eager to see more provocative "action" done on stage. Lol! Would it have been better if the lady was a sexy and voluptuous model-like seductress with a face that can make all men get down on their knees? Nah! I loved her just the way she is!
Though we have to be biased with "Captain Everything" since he really did everything on stage plus the fact the play let us reminisce our childhood heroes like characters from Dragonball Z, Street Fighter, Mario Brothers, Dyesebel (not that it was my favorite) and a lot more. The actor rightfully deserves the recognition. This will prompt me to look for his 2014 performance where he also won as Best Actor.
"Broken" matched a Filipino with a foreigner so that added diversity to the story, plus the fact that the former intentionally had a special haircut just for the play to make it look convincing he was a "real tough" prisoner. Though the tattoos were fake, the acting were as real as it can get. The other guy actually played two roles for different plays but he was able to portray his role convincingly in both plays.
We are still rolling on the floor laughing every time we remember "A Good Deed for Mr. Stinky." Everyone could really relate to the story especially if they're familiar with the current situation in the Philippines where the characters they portray really exist. They were such a cute couple that it was a shame their story had to end when the dead girl finally went off to heaven.
"Thank You Mr. Pongpat" delivers a well-executed performance that would make you think that a total stranger could very well be the answer to an unfair relationship, and that "karma" really works in our favor. I feel sorry two people will eventually be dead in the story but it's better to end the relationship for the guy than suffer an otherwise pitiful existence with the obnoxious lady who treats the guy like shit.