Virgin at 13 – Manila Standard

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THE Cultural Center of the Philippines, in partnership with its resident theater company Tanghalang Pilipino and the playwright group Writer’s Bloc Inc., is hosting the 13th Virgin Labfest, an annual theater festival that is dedicated to providing an opportunity for aspiring playwrights to create new works for the stage.

The three-week festival, which runs until July 16 at various venues of the CCP, promises to be a spectacular one offering twelve unpublished and unstaged plays and five new staged readings, written by 21 virgin playwrights, and three revisited plays all performed by 76 theater thespians and stalwarts and directed by 20 upcoming and established directors.

With overall theme “Wagas,” the festival of untried, unstaged and untested one-act plays offers a chance for new writers to see their creative skills taken from script to the stage. Now on its 13th year, the annual theater festival has picked 12 new featured one-act works, out of more than 190 manuscripts submitted, with each expresses the complexity of human experience, create dialogues on social issues, and engage the audience to reflect.

The new plays are divided into four sets. Set A includes: Loveteam, written by Oggie Arcenas and directed by actor-director Michael Williams; Pilipinas Kong Mahal with All The Overcoat, written by Eljay Castro Deldoc and directed by Roobak Valle; and Birdcage, written by Rick Patriarca and directed by Ian Segarra.

For Set B, audience can look forward to Ang Mga Puyong, penned by Ryan Machado and directed by Ricardo Magno, Hindi Ako Si Darna by playwrights Maynard Manansala and U Eliserio, directed by Andoy Ranay, and Boses ng Masa by Joshua Lim So and directed by Guelan Luarca

 Actor and stage director Topper Fabregas (left) with the cast of “Ang Bata Sa Bus Stop”

Meanwhile, Set C is comprised of Si Dr. Dolly Dalisay at Ang Mga Ladybugs by Layeta Bucoy, directed by Jonathan Tadioan, Ang Bata Sa Bus Stop by Sari Saysay and directed by Topper Fabregas, and Dear and Unhappy by Carlo Vergara and directed by Ricky Villabona.

Sincerity Biker’s Club by playwright Adrian Ho and director Jenny Jamora, Nothing But Dreams by playwright Dingdong Novenario and director Carlitos Siguion-Reyna, and Ang Bahay sa Gitna ng Kawalan by playwright Eliza A. Victoria and director George de Jesus complete the list.

Three plays in the 2016 edition of the VLF will be mounted again this year. The revisited plays include: Ang Sugilanon ng Kabiguan ni Epefania written by May Cardoso and directed by Charles Yee; Ang Bata sa Drum by Dominique La Victoria and directed by Dudz Teraña; and Mula sa Kulimliman by Carlo Vergara and directed by Hazel Gutierrez.

The Staged Readings will feature Point and Click by playwright Jamie Bautista, directed by Mara Marasigan; Vertigo by playwright Nicko Manipis de Guzman, directed by Yong Tapang; Walang Forever Virus by playwright Fatrick Tabada, directed by Elmer Rufo; Ang Pag-uulyanin ni Olivia Mendoza by playwright Rolin Migyuel Cadallo Obina, directed by Emmanuel dela Cruz; and Andiyan Lang by playwright Kevin Tabora, directed by Dennis Marasigan.

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 much-awaited 3rd Virgin Labfest Anthology, composed of selected plays featured in the latest editions of the festival, will be unveiled during the festival. 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.

Tickets are for sale at the CCP and all TicketWorld outlets. For ticketing information, call the CCP Marketing Department at 832-3706 or 832-3704 or email the Sales and Promotions Division at [email protected]

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