MANILA -- The Cultural Center of the Philippines' (CCP) annual festival of "untried, untested, and unstaged plays" is turning 18 this year.
The 18th edition of Virgin Labfest (VLF) will feature 12 new plays from both veteran and upcoming playwrights. These will be staged from June 7 to 25 at the CCP Blackbox Theater.
Themed "Hitik," the festival will open with four thematic sets of one-act plays:
Set A: Adulting 101
- "O" by playwright Raymund Barcelon and director Missy Maramara
- "Regine: The Fairy Gaymother" by playwright Chuck D. Smith and director Daniel Dalacat
- "10 to Midnight" by playwright Juliene Mendoza and director Sarah Facuri
Set B: REBELasyon
- "Ang Awit ng Dalagang Marmol: by playwright Andrew Estacio and director Nazer Salcedo
- "Dominador Gonzales: National Artist" by playwright Dingdong Novenario and director George De Jesus
- "Tuloy Ang Palabas" by playwright Layeta Bucoy and director Tuxqs Rutaquio.
Set C: Y.O.L.O.
- "Room 209" by playwright Zheg Arban and director Delphine Buencamino
- "Hukay" by playwright Ophalain Margaux Serrano and director Melvin Lee - "Mga Halimaw Rin Kami" by playwright Jules Pamisa and director Tat Soriano
Set D: Muwang
- "Hawaii, Here We Come!" by playwright Shenn Apilado and director Mark Mirando
- "O'Donnell" by playwright Jerry O’Hara and director Issa Manalo Lopez
- "Ang Tuyom" by playwright Marjay Manalastas and director Gio Potes
Three plays from the 2022 of Virgin Labfest will be revisited in Set E: Hinog. These are "Nay May Dala Akong Pansit" by playwright Juan Ekis and director Karl Jingco; "Punks Not Dead" by playwright Andrew Bonifacio Clete and director Roobak Valle; and "Fermata" by playwright Dustin Celestino and director Antonette Go-Yadao.
Staged readings will also make a comeback after three years, featuring selected scripts from submissions at the 18th VLF.
Set 1 includes "My Lover's Presscon" by playwright Ross Manicad and director Katreen Dela Cruz; and "Kamay Ng Orasan" by playwright Marc Noesis Marquez and director Eljay Castro Deldoc.
The second set of staged readings, on the other hand, are "Sino Ang Pumatay Kay Mr. Masangkay?" by playwright U Z. Eliserio and director Rolando T. Inocencio; and "TBT: Takbo, Batang Tondo" from playwright Mikaella Yoj B. Sanchez and director Chic San Agustin.
On top of these are theater talks and a fair with young and veteran playwrights speaking about their experiences and writing journeys.
More details are available on the social media pages of CCP, VLF, Writer's Bloc, and Tanghalang Pilipino.