Six ‘Virgins’ playwrights made it to the 16th edition of the Virgin Labfest, the annual festival of untried, untested, unstaged and unpublished theater works, happening on June 10 to 28, at the Cultural Center of the Philippines.
The VLF virgins who will make their debut in the upcoming theater festival include: Sorsogon-based writer Jobert Landeza who penned “Titser Kit”; Mark Norman Boquiren, with his “Mayang Bubot sa Tag-araw”; Floyd Tiogangco, with “Pilot Episode”; Daryl Pasion, with “Papaano Turuan Ang Babae Humawak ng Baril”; Luis Nario, with “Gin Bilog”; and film director Bibeth Orteza who is the only woman playwright, with “Bituing Marikit.”
Completing the final list are: Tyron Casumpang, with “Black Pink”; Anthony Kim Vergara, with “The Boy Boy and Friends Channel”; Juliene Mendoza, with “Multiverse”; Jay Crisostomo, with “Dapithapon”; Juan Ekis, with “‘Nay May Dala akong Pansit”; and Dustin Celestino, “Doggy.” These six playwrights have participated in the previous editions of the festival.
For the Stage Readings, six works have been selected; three of which are written by “virgin” playwrights, namely “Jenny Li” by Buch Dacanay, “Matira ang Matibay” by Bernice Dacara, and “Mongoloida’s Casa de Pun” by Claro delos Reyes. Other featured stage reading works are: “LadyMasters” by Rouchelle Dinglasan, “Bagahe” by Nicko de Guzman, and “Dominador Gonzales — National Artist” by Dingdong Novernario.
VLF festival director JK Aninoche expressed his gratitude to all the writers who “have shared their visions and voices to us.” The 12 finalists chosen for full-staging were selected from the 290 submitted entries.
VLF founder and former festival director Rody Vera and dramaturg Ina Azarcon Bolivar helped in selecting this year’s unique set of plays.
“I’m very excited on the richness of thought-making and breadth and depth of representation of human condition and contemporary life in this year’s edition of the VLF. Masayang may mga kasana sa pagsulong at paglikha. I’m looking forward to the VLF as a collaborative development platform for untried, untested and unstaged plays,” shared Aninoche.
Co-presented by the Cultural Center of the Philippines, acclaimed theater company Tanghalang Pilipino and Manila-based playwrights’ group Writer’s Bloc Inc., this year’s VLF follows the theme “Rurok.” Established in 2005, the VLF aims to provide Filipino playwrights a venue to present their unpublished, untried, untested and unstaged works to the theater-going public.
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