Filipino Americans win at 42nd SF Bay Area Critics Circle Awards

May 8, 2018
USA and Canada Section,

SAN FRANCISCO  Rinabeth Apostol and Tiffany Villarin both won Best Actress in a Playfor playing twinsat the San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle's 42nd Annual Excellence in Theatre Awards.

Villarin (left) and Apostol (far right) played twins in "peerless."
Photo by Kevin Berne

Robert Brill won Best Set Design for his work on Berkeley Repertory Theatre's production of the musical "Ain't Too Proud: The Life and Times of The Temptations."

The awards-for productions staged in 2017-were announced and presented to the recipients at the Victoria Theatre.

Brill won for his work in the Best Set Design-in a House with more than 300 Seats category. Written by Dominique Morisseau, "Ain't Too Proud" was staged August to November last year, directed by Des McAnuff.


Apostol and Villarin were nomiated as a duo and won for their roles as twins L and M, respectively, in Marin Theatre Company's staging of "peerless," in the Best Actress in a Play-in a House with 100 to 300 Seats category.

Staged in March of 2017, Jiehae Park's dark comedy was directed by Margot Bordelon.

WATCH: Trailer of Marin Theatre Company's "peerless"

Loosely based on Shakespeare's "Macbeth," the sisters delve into diabolical means when one of them loses a slot to a prestigious university.

Recent credits

Apostol's credits include Jessica Hagedorn's "Dogeaters" staged by Magic Theatre in San Francisco in 2016 as well as stints with San Jose Repertory and East West Players, among others.

From left: Tiffany Villarin, Rinabeth Apostol and Robert Brill.

Villarin's credits include Goodman Theatre and Silk Road Rising in Chicago and Ensemble Studio Theatre and Diverse City Theater in New York, among others.

Both actors recently concluded acting stints at Actors Theatre of Louisville's 42nd Humana Festival of New American Plays in Kentucky.

Villarin (left) and Apostol in "peerless."

Apostol was part of the cast of Susan Soon He Stanton's "we, the invisibles" and Villarin was part of the cast of Mara Nelson-Greenberg's "Do You Feel Anger?"

Villarin will be in Ma-yi Theater's production of "Teenage Dick" in New York from June to July. (She was previously in Ma-yi's "House Rules," a comedy about Filipino American familes.)

"Teenage Dick" is Mike Lew's reimagining of Shakespeare's "Richard III" set in a high school. It will be staged at Public Theater. Sound design will be by Fil-Am Fabian Obispo.


Brill has also designed the sets for "Frozen: Live at the Hyperion" at Disney California Adventure Park (where costumes were designed by Tony Award winner Fil-Am Clint Ramos) and the Broadway production "Summer: The Donna Summer Musical."

Robert Brill designed the sets (shown in this screenshot from the trailer)
for Berkeley Repertory Theatre's "Ain't Too Proud: The Life and Times of The Temptations."

A recipient of the Michael Merritt Award for Excellence in Design and Collaboration, Brill is a founding member of Sledgehammer Theatre and a professor of scenic design at University of California-San Diego.

"Ain't Too Proud" will be staged in Washington, DC at John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts from June to July and in Los Angeles at Ahmanson Theater from August to September.

READ about Rinabeth Apostol preparing for her role in Jessica Hagedorn's "Dogeaters" here.

READ about Ma-yi Theater's staging of "House Rules" here.