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Celia Diaz Laurel's Coffee-table Book MY LIVES BEHIND THE PROSCENIUM Launches Today, May 29

On Facebook, today, at 4 p.m., Philippine time, join Celia Diaz Laurel to launch her latest book, featuring guests Cocoy Laurel, Audie Gemora, and Lea Salonga.

Celia Diaz Laurel's Coffee-table Book MY LIVES BEHIND THE PROSCENIUM Launches Today, May 29 "To become a painter, one needs a medium such as charcoal, pastels, watercolor, oils, or acrylic. Armed with an instrument such as a brush, a palette knife, or even your fingers to apply the medium on any surface you choose, you are free to paint anywhere you please--indoors or outdoors. But to become an actor, one needs a good script, a director, actors to work with, a producer, a stage, lights, and most of all--an audience." - Celia Diaz Laurel

Manila, Philippines-For someone who saw the dramatic transition of power in the mid-'80s, Celia Diaz Laurel was the supportive spouse of Philippine Vice-President Salvador H. Laurel. She was there--an actress, who eventually chose the craftwork of stage design and costumes--in Repertory Philippines' (REP) very early years in the late '60s. Besides these, she's also a mother, philanthropist, painter, and book writer.

Celebrating nearly nine decades of her love of the stage, Diaz Laurel, A Yale University alumna, launches her latest written work, a coffee-table book titled "My Lives Behind the Proscenium" today, May 29, at 4 p.m., on Facebook.

Celia Diaz Laurel's Coffee-table Book MY LIVES BEHIND THE PROSCENIUM Launches Today, May 29
Salvador Laurel and Celia Diaz Laurel
(undated photo)

The book follows her fascination with the traditional velada, an elaborate musical program at Assumption Convent in Manila, to her first performance for a paying audience via Federico Garcia Lorca's "The House of Bernarda Alba," to her training years at the reputable Yale School of Drama, to her over two decades of work at REP, among many juicy details--for instance, her heart-to-heart talks with REP co-founder, the late Zenaida Amador, and her fondness with REP actors and crew.

Pre-pandemic, Diaz Laurel did the costumes for "Guadalupe the Musical," which tackled the life story of Juan Diego, the first Catholic saint indigenous to the Americas, and The Miracles of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The production also starred Diaz Laurel's son Cocoy Laurel, a "Miss Saigon" original London cast member.

"Celia has written an entertaining story about her theatrical life in a straightforward, simple style that not only will give the curious reader an insight into her life and the social milieu of her time but is a historical narrative of the early years of Manila theatre and the personalities who were part of it. She writes about her early personal life as the background for the successful career she carved out for herself-not only as an actress but as a set and costume designer," REP's veteran actress-director Joy Virata wrote in the book's foreword.

Celia Diaz Laurel's Coffee-table Book MY LIVES BEHIND THE PROSCENIUM Launches Today, May 29
Celia Diaz Laurel in REP production of
"Plaza Suite" (1968)

In her book launch later today, Diaz Laurel also celebrates her 93rd birthday. Jamie Wilson and Nicole Laurel host the virtual event. Guests include Cocoy Laurel, Julie Borromeo, Joonee Gamboa, Audie Gemora, and Tony winner Lea Salonga.

Diaz Laurel did set and costume design for nearly 80 REP productions, including Rodgers and Hammerstein's "South Pacific" and Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Evita."

"My Lives Behind the Proscenium" is edited by Suzie Laurel-Delgado and Cocoy Laurel. Dulce Festin-Baybay is editorial consultant; Miriam Castillo, project coordinator; Sarah Sanz, photo editor; Nestor Amador Malgapo, Jr., book designer; and GA Printing, printer.

For inquiries, contact Miriam Castillo at 63918 4110804.

Photos from the book "My Lives Behind the Proscenium"


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