This year’s festival offers a repertoire of 15 short plays in five trilogies as the main exhibition list. One of the trilogies features contributions of playwrights from Thailand, Singapore and Japan. Another independently produced trilogy of plays has been added to the festival--totalling the entire festival to a treat of 18 short plays. Full-length plays will also be featured in a series of dramatic readings at the Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino.
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). Tanghalang Huseng Batute, June 28 (3pm/8pm), July 7 (8pm) and July 8 (3pm).
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). Tanghalang Huseng Batute, June 29 (3pm/8pm), July 5 (3pm) and July 8 (8pm).
XX AND X is the most unsettling and disturbing compilation of the season. We enjoin you to widen your understanding, come in with an open mind and expect the unexpected: "Séance" (uggie Arcenas, directed by EricK Castro), "Kasaysayan" (Allan Lopez, directed by Victor Villareal), "My Padir is an OCW" (George Vail Kabristante). Tanghalang Huseng Batute, June 30 (3pm/8pm), July 5 (8pm) and July 6(3pm).
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). Tanghalang Huseng Batute, July 1 (3pm/8pm), July 6 (8pm) and July 7 (3pm).
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). Bulwagang Amado Hernandez, June 29 (3pm), June 30 (10pm/3pm) and July 1 (3pm).
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). Bulwagang Amado Hernandez, July 6 (8pm), July 7 (3pm/8pm) and July 8 (3pm).
PUBLIC READINGS of full-length plays will be at the Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino (7pm): Glen Mas’ "Games People Play" (June 29), Rene Villanueva’s "Baby B." (June 30), Tim Dacanay’s "Teatro Porvenir" (July 6) and "Huling Salubong" by Malou Jacob (July 7).
PLATFORM EVENTS at the Bulwagang Carlos Francisco at 5:45pm June 28-July 1 and July 5-8.
The Virgin Labfest is a joint venture of the Cultural Center of the Philippines, Tanghalang Pilipino and the Writer’s Bloc, Inc. with the generous support of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and the Japan Foundation Manila.
The festival has witnessed the works of stage directors Tuxqs Rutaquio,Denisa Reyes, Herbert Go, Phil Noble, Victor Villareal and Roobak Valle, among others. Professional actors like Neil Ryan Sese, Irma Adlawan-Marasigan, Nonie Buencamino, Mailes Kanapi, Tess Jamias and Marj Lorico have supported the festival with their theatrical talent and dedication. Even new actors have been discovered with the performances of the Dulaang Sipat Lawin Ensemble, the Tanghalang Pilipino Actors' Company, actors from PETA, Gantimpala Foundation, as well as freelance professionals and even student theater artists.
The past two years has seen these stage actors and directors from various theater companies coming together to explore new expressions in the field of drama. Rehearsing in small venues, sometimes even in open air spaces, revising the pieces along the way, the festival has turned out to become an exciting celebration of Philippine theater. Dynamic, creative, experimental, at times edgy, always provocative, the Virgin Labfest, on its 3rd year, has proven that Philippine theater remains to be one of the most vibrant of the arts despite the sorry lack of funding support. It has remained to be a wellspring of new ideas, expressions and discourses.
Tickets to the Virgin Labfest are at P200 (for plays to be shown at the Tanghalang Huseng Batute and Bulwagang Amado Hernandez) and “Pay What You Can”(for play readings at the Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino). Call Tanghalang Pilipino 8323661 or CCP Box Office 8323704.