So being in media doesn't pay that much, but it does have its perks. I get to travel every now and then, I meet so many interesting people (Piolo Pascual in an interview just this afternoon, would you believe?), I learn new things every day, and because I cover theater and the arts, I get invited to watch movies, plays and musicals. Which is a thrill, and not a job at all because I like films and theater, anyway.
What a long-winded intro, but hang on...
Theater companies usually offer us free tickets to watch their shows--two tickets at the most. Beyond that, I consider it an obligation to offer to pay, since theater in the Philippines hardly makes any money as it is, and what more if they have to deal with freeloaders. Yep, I have no problem paying for my own tickets, much as I did for many years before I earned the right to my own Press ID.
For the Virgin Labfest, I was offered the usual free pass to all the shows. But I had a different arrangement in mind. I told them I'd pay for the P200 tickets to each of the shows--but could they give the free ticket instead to interested bloggers through this site? They said yes.
That's right. I have free tickets to the Virgin Labfest--one for each of the six trilogies in the festival. Anyone who's interested can reserve a ticket by e-mailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are only two conditions: 1) You'd have to be an active blogger; and 2) You'd have to blog afterwards about the plays you've seen. I don't mean that you should write a review, though you're certainly free to do that if you feel up to it. You can leave the professional kibitzing to me. Write, instead, about your experience of theater-going, about what you saw and how you felt--the way Dine and AnnaManila did after they got to watch the musical "Zsa Zsa Zaturnnah."
No minimum or maximum length of post, and no editorial slant from me, either. If you end up not liking the plays, you're free to say so. It's entirely your call. My only selfish reason for this condition is, I want to see more bloggers write about Philippine theater. The more people who comment about theater in their blogs, the better! And if this goes well, I'll try to wangle similar arrangements for all the other plays I get invited to.
Oh, there's a third condition: You can't choose your own schedule. You'd have to join me in watching a particular trilogy, since they're issuing the free tickets to me. The upside of that is, we might hit it off and become friends. The downside? You might find me a boring, even odd, companion since I'll be in my own zone during the length of the play, terribly focused on what's going on and scribbling notes in my little notepad every now and then (call of duty). We can resume getting to know each other after curtain call.
But you can take your chances. I certainly welcome new company. Here are my preferred show dates; let me know which trilogy you'd like to watch, and if you make the first reservation via e-mail (include your full name and contact number, please), well then, see you at the Virgin Labfest!
June 28, Thursday, 8 p.m. INTERNATIONAL NIGHT is a compilation of plays submitted by foreign playwrights: "He-Me-She-It" (by Narumol Thammapruksa, directed by Jaime del Mundo), "Lizard" (Haresh Sharma, directed by Nicolas Pichay), "Three Sisters (a Noh play by Yoji Sakate, directed by Jose Estrella)
June 29, Friday, 8 p.m. MADADRAMANG PAMILYA--Household drama but not telenovela fare: "Teroristang Labandera" (Debbie Ann Tan, directed by Yoshi Toshihisa), "Bagahe" (Dennis Teodosio, directed by Rito Asilo), "Looking for Darna" (Lani Montreal, directed by Khryss Adalia)
June 30, Saturday, 3 p.m. CHILDREN’S PLAYS: "Bertdey ni Guido" (Rene Villanueva’s Bertdey ni Guido, performed by the Dulaang Sipat Lawin Ensemble and directed by George de Jesus III), "Mga Obra ni Maestra" (Niel De Mesa), "Kung Pwede Sanang Ipagpalit ang Tatay" (James Cansanay, directed by Catherine Racsag)
June 30, Saturday, 8 p.m. XX AND X promises to be the most unsettling and disturbing compilation of the season. "Séance" (Auggie Arcenas, directed by EricK Castro), "Kasaysayan" (Allan Lopez, directed by Victor Villareal), "My Padir is an OCW" (George Vail Kabristante)
July 7, Saturday, 3 p.m. ANG PAGDADALAGA AT IBA PANG REBELASYON provides another take on forbidden loves, sexual desire and the fruits it reaps, both good and evil: "Kuyom" (Argel Tuason, directed by John Abul), "Three Unsent Letters" (Arlo De Guzman, directed by Nor Domingo), "Ellas Inosentes" (Layeta Bucoy, directed by Tuxqs Rutaquio)
July 8, Sunday, 3 p.m. IDENTITY AND POLITICS: "May Bumubulong" (Job Pagsibigan, directed by Christian Bautista), "Pobreng Alindahaw" (Dennis Teodosio, directed by Delfin Ilao), "Sa Pagdating ng Barbaro" (Rogelio Braga, directed by Nick Olanka)
PLUS: Playwright Alvin Dacanay "unmasks" the featured dramatists in this year's Labfest here.