Check out the schedules below, e-mail me your preferred set and date (firstname.lastname@example.org), and just get your ticket from the front desk before the play. One blogger, one ticket, first-come, first-served. Oh, and the usual fine print--blog about the play, will ya? I'll do a round-up of Labfest blog reviews after I'm back from my trip. You might also win a prize from the Labfest organizers. Enjoy the show!
1. KAPAMILYA, KAPUSO, KABISYO
June 26 (TH)-3PM/8PM, July 5 (SAT)-8PM, July 6 (SUN)-3PM
Hase Hiroichi’s Amoy ng Langit
Directed by Toshiisa Yoshida
Featuring Mailes Kanapi, Martha Comia, Ana Deroca,Mica Froilan and Tara Cabaero
Ghosts are known to roam the world of the living because of unfinished business. This small and simple play about suicide, leaving and death happens on the rooftop of a school where no one is allowed to loiter. Yet a spirit manages to reconnect before finally heading “home.”
Layeta Bucoy’s Las Mentiras de Gloria
Directed by Tuxqs Rutaquio
Featuring Bart Guingona and May Bayot
Gloria, whose cancer kills her, appeals to her fraternal twin Utoy, to whom she appears as a bleeding ghost, to maintain the lies that she has been spreading to her faculty colleagues in the university. Utoy is compelled to obey by forced guilt and a macabre 'umbilical' connection. But beneath these secrets and lies are more secrets and lies and it seems the death of Gloria, no matter how sanitized, would only leak their foul stench even more.
Carlo Garcia’s Ang Mga Halimaw
Directed by Paolo O'Hara
Featuring JK Anicoche, Amihan Ruiz, Kristine Balmes, Alvin Obillo, Nar Cabico, Isab Martinez, Mara Marasigan,Philip Evangelista and Oscar Garcia and the Dulaang Sipat Lawin
Small time criminals think big like their bosses. In this car scene, drama effectively unfolds with strange bedfellows for characters and a wonderful poetic wit that speaks the language of the damned. These murderers, who include an Operadang Bakla, a Taxi Drayber and a Lalaking May Pakpak, make for one short glimpse of surreo-realism.
2. KATOTOHANAN, KATARUNGAN, KAPATIRAN
June 27 (F)–3PM/8PM, July 2 (W)-3PM, July 6 (SUN)-8PM
F. Sionil Jose’s Dong-Ao
Translated by Rody Vera
Directed by Chris Millado
Featuring Carme Sanchez, Nanding Josef, Tommy Abuel, Bembol Roco, Dido de la Paz, Gigi Escalante and Monica Llamas
Dong-ao is a traditional Ilokano funeral ceremony where relatives and friends pay tribute to the deceased. In this short play, Pepe Samson, the lead character in F. Sionil Jose’s novel Mass is dead. Several characters speak in front of his coffin, before he is laid to rest: Senator Reyes, Pepe’s Aunt Bettina, his college professor-mentor Badong Hortenso, his parish priest friend Father Jess, Colonel White Sidewall, and an old woman Tia Nena who served in the parish where Pepe once stayed. The divergent views uttered by the characters depict a fragmented nation, teetering between complete collapse and newfound hope and direction.
Allan Lopez’s Masaganang Ekonomiya
Directed by J. Victor Villareal
Featuring Katherine Sabate and Abner Delina
Framed by an unfinished game of chess between Vera, a highly decorated military officer, and Guzman, an esteemed activist, the play unfolds as an interrogation of Gomez, a younger militant. In layered scenes that shift from intense examinations to harrowing scenes of humor, budding fascism, and brutish attacks on human sensibility, the play offers an emasculated contemporary look on the age-old conflict between the establishment and the insurgents, in the context of a globalization-obsessed nation.
Tim Dacanay‘s Pamantasang Hirang
Directed by Hazel Gutierez
Featuring Jonathan Tadioan, Ian Bautista, Nicco Manalo, Ryan Guzman, Nicole Andrew Guila, Russell Legaspi, Alexis Dorola, Jay del Rosario, Jonathan Cabrera and Jacqueline Amper
At a fraternity initiation in the state university, ambitious Congressman Chok Villanueva, an alumnus interfering with the proceedings, uses everything at his disposal to win back his friend, Dan, an advertising man who went back to the university to revive his literary talents. No institution is sacred, and everything is subverted, as persuasion fails and spirals downward to an orgy of brutality and excess.
3. PAGBABAGO, PAGHAHANAP, PAGKAKATAON
June 28 (SAT)–3PM/8PM, July 2 (W)-8PM, July 3 (TH)-3PM
George Vail Kabristante’s Ang Kuwento ng Menginga ng New York City na Kamukha ng Bee-Stung Lips ni Julia Roberts
Directed by George de Jesus III
Featuring Ricci Chan, Jojo Riguera, Xeno Alejandro, Jef-Henson Dee and Gem Padilla
Denise fulfills the almost impossible condition given him by Victor, his sole object of obsession. He undergoes a sex change operation hoping that Victor’s promise of love will finally be requited. To Denise’s utter dismay, the condition turns out to be a half-forgotten joke. This melodramatic (and literal) reversal of fortune becomes black hilarity in the hands of George Kabristante. More like his reprise and variation on a theme that he started in last year’s Labfest, My Padir is an OCW.
J. Dennis C. Teodosio’s Gumamela
Directed by Roobak Valle
Featuring Phil Noble, Chrome Cosio, Riki Benedicto and Russell Legaspi
"Gumamela" is more than just about hibiscus rosa sinensis or its botanical characteristics and pharmacological effects. It tells the bittersweet, campy story of a man who contemplates what's there in 40 missed calls, in 40 minutes of waiting, and in 40 years of loneliness, love, and life, between serious bouts of suicide attempts and the desire to eat a sumptuous slice of chocolate cake.
Rogelio Braga’s Ang Bayot, Ang Meranao,at ang Habal Habal sa isang Nakababagot na Paghihintay sa Kanto ng Lanao del Norte
Directed by Nick Olanka
Featuring Joey Paras and Arnold Reyes
An unusual rendezvous of two beautiful and sharp-tongue outspoken creatures living at the margins of our society. Take a peak on their engagement as they courageously travel--devoid of any inhibitions, political correctness, and social graces--that rough and ‘older than history’ roads of discrimination, hypocrisy, bigotry, social divides, corruption and unspoken violence to arrive in a decent friendship. The play is a bitter yet funky kick-ass take on the cruelties of our society that condones discrimination, which is definitely not so cool.
4. PAGKAGAHAMAN, PANLILINLANG, PANANAMPALATAYA
June 29 (SUN)-3PM/9PM, July 3 (TH)-8PM, July 4 (F)-3PM
Floy Quintos’ Ang Kalungkutan ng mga Reyna
Directed by Floy Quintos
Featuring Shamaine Buencamino, Tuxqs Rutaquio, Nar Cabico, Jonathan Tadioan, Riki Benedicto and Jerald Napoles
Megalomania is witnessed by Marcel, a hairdresser who accedes to the leader of the land’s Yolanda Cadiz. The empty, vacuous preoccupation with hair and beauty is, after all, the most important ingredient to governance. The elegance of decadence and its inevitable slide into self-destruction introduces one of this year’s Labfest’s most endearing/terrifying characters.
Debbie Ann Tan’s Mga Babaeng Too Bright
Directed by Ana Valdez-Lim
Featuring Peewee O'Hara, Mailes Kanapi, Kathlyn Castillo, Charissa Litton and Wenah Nagales
To settle who among the two is stronger in a woman, Harmony and Discord was given a scenario where their counterparts Ms. Ferra and Georgia Oh influence the lives of Porcelaine and Virni. Porcelaine is an egoistic woman who got a Toobright Scholarship. Virni is a manipulator, but when she met Porcelaine, they somehow agreed on what constitutes art. The interplay of the women and the "Goddesses" results in a battle where no one is the winner and the loser. The politics of women are hard to define, they can betray each other and they can come together. In this world of faux art, what is real and what is unreal?
Koh Jun Eiow’s Ang Dalawa Niyang Libing
Translated by Terrence Co
Directed by Leo Rialp Featuring Noel Taylo, Billy Parjan, Tina de Guzman,Sherwin Sozon, Mc Do Bolanos, Alexis Dorola, Jeffrey Ramos, Jorge Walter Ladera, Paul Domine, Cara Mercado and Ailen Mojica
This play is based on a true story that happened in Malaysia. An old Malaysian Chinese businessman dies leaving his wife and son the beginning of their troubles. In the middle of funeral, following the traditional Chinese ceremony, two Muslims come to claim the body of their brother Muslim insisting that the dead man should be buried in proper Muslim cemetery. They have proof that the deceased Lin Shunfu has converted to Islam. His official I.D. bears the name of a Muslim. Thus begins the travails of a family caught in between two faiths and a government unable to address the problem that has turned into a national issue.
5. MGA PREMYADONG KUWENTONG PAMBATA
July 5 (S)–10AM/3PM, July 6 (SUN)–10AM/3PM
(Bulwagang Amado Hernandez)
Niel de Mesa’s adaptation of Terangati by Victoria Anonuevo
Directed by Niel de Mesa
Featuring Bong Cabrera, Nar Cabico and the Koine Theater Foundation
This is a retelling of the Manobo version of the sky maiden who marries a mortal lad. Terengati, the protagonist whose name means bird hunter, does exactly that – he hunts birds for a living. Like other folktales, this story is rich in fantasy and has a touch of romance. Terengati’s search for his wife is as an adventure that may be hard to believe but its resolution is realistic and is drawn from actual family experience.
Argel Tuazon’s adaptation of Bru-ha-ha-ha- ha-ha, Bru-hi-hi-hi- hi-hi by Ma. Corazon Remigio
Directed by Mayen Estañero
Featuring Eric Sindol, Kat Castillo, Nicco Manalo and Bea Sara Angoba
Maggie is terrified whenever she sees Mrs. Magalit, an old woman who lives by herself. She laughs like a witch and acts like a witch. Her face is wrinkled and looks oh so frightening. And the way she laughs sends chills down Maggie's spine. But is Maggie just imagining things, or is Mrs. Magalit a real witch?
Job Pagsibigan’s adaptation of Uuwi na ang Nanay Kong si Darna by Edgar Samar
Directed by Catherine Racsag
Featuring Tess Jamias, Paolo Cabañero, Ian Lomongo, Vanessa Liwanag and MarkGil Bacea