THE Cultural Center of the Philippines, in partnership with its resident theater company Tanghalang Pilipino and the Writer’s Bloc Inc., hosts the Virgin Labfest, an annual theater festival dedicated to the staging of untried, untested and unstaged works, from June 27 to July 15, 2018 at various venues of the CCP.
The three-week festival promises to be a spectacular one, offering twelve new plays and four staged readings, and three revisited plays from last year’s festival all performed by outstanding thespians and directed by upcoming and established directors.
Taking “Silip” as its catchphrase, the festival offers a chance for writers to see their creative skills taken from page to stage. Now on its 14th year, the annual theater festival picked 12 new featured one-act works, out of more than 150 manuscripts submitted. Each expresses the complexity of human experience and create dialogues on social issues.
The new plays are divided into four sets. Set A includes: “Mga Eksena sa Buhay ng Kontrabida,” written by Dustin Celestino and directed by Roobak Valle; “Mga Bata sa Selda 43,” written by Rolin Migyuel Cadallo Obina and directed by Ian Segarra; and “Ang Inyong mga Anak: Si Harold at Napoleon,” written by Anthony Kim Vergara and directed by Ricardo Magno.
For Set B, audience can look forward to “Bagyolanda,” written by John Lapus and directed by Tuxqs Rutaquio, “Ang Mga Propesyunal,” penned by Sari Saysay and directed by Carlitos Siguion-Reyna, “Rosas” by playwright J. Dennis Teodosio, directed by Charles Yee, and “Edgar Allan Hemingway” by Carlo Vergara and directed by George de Jesus III. Meanwhile, Set C is comprised of “Labor Room” by Ma. Cecilia “Maki” dela Rosa, directed by Jose Estrella and Issa Manalo Lopez, “Ensayo” by Juan Ekis and directed by Eric Villanueva dela Cruz, and “Tulad ng Dati” by JV Ibesate and directed by Olive Nieto.
Set D includes “Amoy Pulbos ang mga Alabok sa Ilalim ng Riles ng Tren” by playwright Lino Balmes and director Tess Jamias, “Marawi Musicale” by playwright Tyron Casumpang and director Ariel Yonzon, and “River Lethe” by playwright Allan Lopez and director Chris Martinez complete the list.
Three plays in the previous edition of the VLF will be remounted. These are: “Birdcage” written by Rick Patriarca and directed by Ian Segarra; “Sincerity Biker’s Club” by Adrian Ho and directed by Jenny Jamora; and “Pilipinas kong Mahal with all the Overcoat” by Eljay Castro Deldoc and directed by Roobak Valle and Tuxqs Rutaquio.
The Staged Readings feature “Without the Drama” by playwright Jay Crisostomo, directed by Renate Bustamante; and “Dolorosa” by playwright Peter Zaragoza Mayshle, directed by Chic San Agustin.
The main play features will be staged at Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino (CCP Little Theater), while the VLF Revisited will be performed at Tanghalang Huseng Batute (CCP Studio Theater), and the Staged Readings will be at Tanghalang Amado V. Hernandez.
The Virgin Labfest Writing Fellowship Program, a two-week mentorship program on the study and practice of dramatic writing for the stage, will also be held as part of the festival. The fellowship program aims to train young aspiring playwrights through a series of lectures, script critiquing, writing sessions and interactions with known playwrights, directors and selected actors.
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