The Play Project, a theater program that lets audiences experience a free workshop-style open rehearsal performance, is happening on BGC this February.
The program brings New brings New York and Manila together to share with the local community an intimate, behind-the-scenes glimpse into how theater is made. Initiated by New York and London based actor and theater director Victor Lirio, and with generous support from The Alvarez Foundation and the BGC Arts Center, The Play Project is a global bridge program that brings a seasoned director to collaborate with theater actors, practitioners, and audiences in Manila.
For this upcoming session, Lirio will be working with seasoned theater actors Reb Atadero, Caisa Borromeo, and Topper Fabregas in a workshop of a to-be-announced contemporary play.
Lirio shares, “The Play Project workshop is a safe, creative gym for actors to explore and investigate the world of the play, its extraordinary circumstance, and the complex relationships of the human beings in it without the pressure of performance in a production. I’m excited to collaborate with this brilliant cast. Together, we will endeavor to mine from the erudite text the richest and nuanced version of this gorgeous play.”
Lirio was recently on Tom Morris’ (War Horse) directing team in the UK for the world premiere production of Dr Semmelweis at Bristol Old Vic starring Oscar winner Mark Rylance (with Royal National Theatre and Sonia Friedman Productions). He directed the London premiere of Adam Rapp’s Red Light Winter at The Turbine Theatre and was recently resident director for Islander in New York, a production transfer from London’s Southwark Playhouse. Whilst in lockdown, Victor produced and directed a full production live broadcast of Edward Allan Baker plays, North of Providence and Dolores, on the Bristol Arts Channel (UK).
In New York, Victor directed Cassandra Medley’s Coming Up for Air starring Tony Award winner Tonya Pinkins, and Cell starring Condola Rashad (Showtime’s Billions, A Doll’s House Part 2). He directed the world premiere of Warren Bodow’s Race Music (New York Times Critic’s Choice) and Cassandra Medley’s award-winning Noon Day Sun (Time Out New York Critic’s Choice), starring Emmy Award winner Ron Cephas Jones (NBC’s This is Us).
Both as writer and director, Victor has worked with Lea Salonga in her solo concerts in Manila, San Francisco as well as in New York’s legendary venues Town Hall, Café Carlyle, and Jazz at Lincoln Center. With special permission from Stephen Sondheim, he wrote and directed Suites by Sondheim, a star-studded concert event that featured Filipinos on Broadway at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall (November 7, 2011).
Lirio trained in classical text as an actor at London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. He earned his MA in Drama Directing from Bristol Old Vic and is the recipient of the Classical Directing Fellowship at The Old Globe. He will be returning to London in May 2023 to begin rehearsals as resident director for a soon to-be-announced West End production.
The Play Project will be happening on February 13 to 17 at the Zobel de Ayala Recital Hall in the Maybank Performing Arts Theater, BGC. Only the February 17, 7pm performance will be free and open to the public. For more information and inquiries, email email@example.com or visit www.bgcartscenter.org.