Rody Vera is a playwright, screenwriter, and director. He has written around sixty plays, (original and adaptations). He won in a number of competitions, notably, the Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature (Hall of Fame). His Palanca Winning works include: “Luna: Isang Romansang Aswang”, “Ismail at Isabel”, “Paalam, Sister Soledad”, “ Indigo Child” and the film scripts “Death March”, “Lakambini”, and “Ang Aking Juan Luna” among others.
His adaptations of novels and plays include: “Masa”, Ang Mga Huwad” and “Balete”, adaptations of three novels of the Rosales saga by F. Sionil Jose; “Arbol de Fuego“ (The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov) – Best Adaptation Buhay! PhilStageAwards, “D’ Wonder Twins of Boac” (12th Night by William Shakespeare) – Best Adaptation Buhay! PhilStage Awards, and Manila Notes, adaptation of Oriza Hirata’s Tokyo Notes.
He has also penned the acclaimed TV series, “Bayan Ko” produced by GMA News TV, which was given the Quill award in 2013.
His film scripts include: “Senyor Paciano,” (2nd Prize National Centennial Literary Awards 1998); “Boses” co-written with Froilan Medina, (Best Screenplay Golden Eagle Film Awards); “Niño,” (Best Film 2011 Busan International Film Festival, South Korea and Best Screenplay Young Critics’ Circle 2011); “Requieme”(Cinemalaya 2012 Best Screenplay), and “Death March”(nominee, Best Screenplay Urian 2014). He also co-wrote the critically acclaimed Cannes Film Festival entry to Un Certain Regard, “Norte, Hangganan ng Kasaysayan” (Best Screenplay and Best Film, Urian 2014). In 2013, he also wrote “Badil” (nominee Best Screenplay, Urian 2014), “Die Beautiful” (Audience Choice Award, Tokyo International Film Festival and Metro Manila Film Festival), and more recently, “Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral (co-written with Jerrold Tarog), and “Signal Rock” (2018), (Best Script Dhaka International Film Festival)
Rody Vera is also an actor and a singer. He has performed on stage since the 90s: as Taga-ilog in PETA’s “Kahapon, Ngayon at Bukas,” and as Andres Bonifacio in the musical, “1896.” He also appeared as Iago, in Tanghalang Ateneo’s Otelo (2008); as Padre Damaso in Tanghalang Pilipino’s Noli Me Tangere, the musical (2005), as Edgar Jopson in Ed Maranan/The Dawn’s musical EJ, Ang Pinagdaanang Buhay nina Evelio Javier at Edgar Jopson by (TP, 2008), as Reuven in Savyon Liebrecht’s Mga Mansana sa Disyerto (TP, 2009); as Gov. Danforth in MEHTA’s production of The Crucible, (2010); as Bobby Gonzales in Mario O’Hara’s “Stageshow” by (TP, 2012), where he was awarded Best Featured Actor in Gawad Buhay! 2013 Philstage Awards; as Fernan in PETA’s hit musical, “Rak of Aegis”; and as the installation artist Junyee in Tanghalang Pilipino’s “Balag at Angud.”
He also acted in a number of international collaborative projects of The Necessary Stage (TNS) in Singapore: “Mardi Gras” and “Top or Bottom”, and “Good People”, where he was nominated as Best Actor in Singapore’s Life Awards. He appeared in the TNS production of “godeatgod”, which also toured several theater festivals in Hong Kong, Sibiu (Romania), and Budapest (Hungary); and the collaborative project “Mobile”, staged in Singapore and Tokyo. He will soon participate in another theater collaboration to be performed in 2020. He also participated in fringe/lab productions with the Internatonal WOW company by Josh Fox in New York (“A History of God/The Plague of Fantasies”) and Tokyo (“The Death of Nations”).
Rody also participated in a 3-year collaboration project with 15 other actors/directors/playwrights from key Southeast Asian countries, which culminated in the production of “Hotel Grand Asia” at the Setagaya Public Theater Tram, Tokyo in 2005. He also played in productions by the Rinko-gun Theater Company (Tokyo), titled Philippine Bedtime Stories 1, 2, & 3 (2004-2007) and collaborated with the Black Tent Theater (Tokyo) in “Romeo at Julieta: Isang Komedi” (1998).
He is an UMPIL Gawad Balagtas Awardee for his literary contributions to Philippine Drama and a Gawad Tanglaw ng Lahi Awardee by the Ateneo de Manila University in 2015. He was also awarded the Gawad Dangal ni Balagtas by the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino in 2019.
Rody is co-founder of the Virgin Labfest, an annual theater festival of new works for the stage and he currently heads the Writer’s Bloc, Inc, a group of Filipino playwrights.