Apart from being a multi-award-winning playwright and screenwriter, Carlito (Lito) Casaje is also a licensed optometrist, professor, journalist, theatre and independent film actor, director, producer and cancer survivor. Lito earned his Master of Arts in Creative Writing degree from the University of the Philippines Diliman.
He co-founded Dramatis Personae, a theatre-events-multi-media company with multi-award-winning playwright and Harvard trained economist-banker Bienvenido M. Noriega, Jr. in 1989, and up to this very day, Lito remains as DP’s president and artistic director, planning and plotting the direction and seasons of this alternative production company.
He likewise serves as faculty of the Literature Department of the De La Salle University in Manila. Lito is a recipient of awards, citations and grants from the Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature, Experimental Cinema of the Philippines, Cultural Center of the Philippines, National Commission for Culture and the Arts, Manila Critics Circle, Catholic Mass Media Award, Film Academy of the Philippines and from the University of Exeter Student Drama Playwrights’ Festival.
He has attended in London an advanced theatre directing workshop under the auspices of the British Council Philippines. He was also a recipient of a cultural grant to Berlin awarded by the Goethe-Institut Manila, in Stockholm to the Strindberg in Stockholm Festival awarded by the Swedish Institute, and in Oslo to the Ibsen International Stage Festival awarded by the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Manila and Norway’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Lito’s anthology of award-winning plays, ‘Mga Premyadong Dula’ (Prize-winning Plays), published by the De La Salle University Press, won the Manila Critics Circle’s 2006 National Book Award for Drama.
His 2009 independent feature film, ‘Dolores,’ was in the Official Selection to the Digital Lokal section of the 11th CineManila International Film Festival, as well as in the 2010 Culture Unplugged Online International Film Festival.
His recent awards include winning two 3rd prizes for his full-length plays, “Shooting the Boys” and “Chiaroscuro” in the 2010 and 2016 Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature. He continues to serve as board member to the Philippine Center for International P.E.N. (Poets, Playwrights, Essayists and Novelists), an organization of creative writers in which its main network is based in London, UK.
He is also one of the twelve fellows who participated in this year’s University of the Philippines mid-career 57th National Writers Workshop which was recently held in Baguio City.
“Bro (2018)”, a one act play presented by the DLSU’s Culture and Arts Office and DLSU’s Harlequin Theatre Guild, April 2018, William Shaw Theatre
“Mishima (2017)”, a full-length play presented by Dramatis Personae and the FEU President’s Committee on Culture, November 2017, FEU Studio Theatre
“Trillianes in my Mind”, “To a Chemo Drug named Rituximab”, “Tsunami Blues”, “Damascus Reimagined (2017)”, poems published in the 2017 Anthology of the Best Literature from 40 Countries, volume 2, Publishing Committee for the World Best Literature, PEN Korean Center, Seoul, Korea, 10 September 2017
“Chiaroscuro (2016)”, a Palanca award-winning play presented in CCP’s 2011 Virgin Labfest, May 2011, CCP Black Box Theatre
“Blood and Blue (2014)”, poem published by the Philippine PEN Journal volume 1, “Healing”, edited by Herminio S. Beltran, Jr., Manila, 2014
Directed Jean Paul Sartre’s “No Exit (2014)”, presented by the Embassy of France and Dramatis Personae, September 2014, Rajah Sulayman Theatre, Intramuros, Manila
“Tsunami Blues (2011)”, a poem published in “Under the Storm”, an anthology of Contemporary Philippine Poetry, .mov, edited by Khavn de la Cruz and Joel Toledo, Manila, 2011
“Shooting the Boys (2010)”, a Palanca award-winning play premiered at the ITI-UNESCO International Theatre Festival, May 2006, CCP Black Box Theatre.
“Shooting the Boys”, published in the 2009 UP Diliman Review, volume 56, numbers 1-4, Anniversary Edition 1, edited by Priscelina Patajo-Legasto, Quezon City, 2009
Directed Ingrid Lausund’s “Slipped Disc (2008)”, presented by the Goethe-Institut Internationes Manila and Dramatis Personae, September 2008, Goethe -Institut, Makati City