Rodolfo “Rody” Carlos Vera may be receiving lots of screenwriting credits recently but first and foremost, he is a dramaturg, a theater extraordinaire, and an award-winning playwright.
“I was part of a generation that was influenced by foreign playwrights. But from that foundation, gusto ko gumawa ng sarili in my own terms. And that has also spurred my commitment to playwrights’ development.” 1
It is this deep-seated dedication to theater and commitment to playwrights that led to him establishing The Writer’s Bloc in 2004, an independent organization of established and aspiring Filipino playwrights; and his founding (with former Tanghalang Pilipino Artistic Director Herbie Go) and spearheading of the Virgin Labfest (VLF) 15 years ago – an annual playwrights-led festival of untried, untested, unstaged works on theater which has since changed the landscape of playwriting and redefined theatergoing in the country.
Rody’s commitment also extends to education. He has been teaching playwriting and theater acting since the ‘80s and has held more than 50 workshops all over the country and even abroad.
Numerous recognitions and titles aside, Rody, at his core, is a Filipino creative with a deep and profound sense of social empathy.
After enrolling in a summer workshop for teenagers at the Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA), he began to see theater as a powerful medium of advocacy especially during the Martial Law period. Rody would then go on to write plays for other organizations, events, and theater companies -- with a burning desire to help the general public understand current social issues.
Rody was also largely influenced by his mentors: Rene Villanueva, who taught him how to make use of political allegories; Al Santos, who showed him how to develop and modernize traditional forms of theater; and Fritz Bennewitz, who instilled in him Bertolt Brecht’s philosophy for theater-making, how to translate and adapt for the stage as well as play analysis and dramaturgy2.
A great product of renowned playwrights, Rody himself has become one of the greats. As of writing, he has created a large body of work, having written more than 30 original plays and adapted or translated more than 30 foreign works to Filipino.
Rody, a multi-talented, award-winning writer.
A passionate and committed teacher.
A true game-changer.
And now, our artist-mentor.
Awards and Achievements
- “Signal Rock”, Best Script in the Asian Competition Section, Dhaka International Film Festival; Philippine representative to the 76th Golden Globe Awards and 91st Academy Awards; Best Screenplay, Gawad Urian
- Dangal ni Balagtas, Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino
- “Die Beautiful”, Movie Screenwriter of the Year, 33rd PMPC Star Awards for Movies
- Gawad Tanglaw ng Lahi, Ateneo De Manila University
- Gawad Pambansang Alagad ni Balagtas para sa Dula sa Filipino, Unyon ng mga Manunulat sa Pilipinas
- “Norte: Hangganan ng Kasaysayan”, Best Screenplay, URIAN Awards, co-written with Lav Diaz
- "Der Kaufmann", Outstanding Translation or Adaptation, Philstage Gawad Buhay Awards
- "D' Wonder Twins of Boac", Outstanding Original Libretto, Philstage Gawad Buhay Awards
- Hall of Fame, Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature
1st Prize, (Screenplay, Filipino) for the film "Lakambini"
1st Prize, (Screenplay, Filipino) for the film “Death March”
1st Prize, (Full-Length Play, Filipino) for “Paalam, Sr. Soledad”
1st Prize, (Full-Length Play, Filipino) for “Ismail at Isabel”, a play for young people on the Muslim-Christian conflict
1st Prize, (Full-length play, Filipino) for “Luna, Isang Romansang Aswang”
- “Niño”, Best Screenplay, Young Critic’s Circle
- “Boses”, Best Screenplay, Golden Screen Awards, Gawad Tanglaw ng Lahi, co-writer with Froi Medina
- “Senyor Paciano”, 2nd Prize, National Centennial Literary Awards (Screenplay, Filipino)
- 1Vera, Rodolfo C. (2019). Two Women as Specters of History. Quezon City, National Capital Region: Ateneo De Manila University Press.
- 2Vera, Rodolfo C. (2010). Playwriting in the Time of Exigency. Kritika Kultura, 14, 103-110, www.ateneo.edu/kritikakultura.