The Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) is set to launch its third and thickest anthology of Virgin Labfest (VLF) one-act plays—which includes prize-winners, as well as the works of a bestselling author-cum-spoken-word artist and the creator of the Zsazsa Zaturnnah graphic novels—at its Silangan Hall on July 6, 2017 at 6 p.m.
The 19 plays in Mga Piling Dula mula sa Virgin Labfest 2013–2016: Ikatlong Antolohiya, edited by Palanca Hall of Fame inductee Rody Vera, “were chosen from 48 that were staged in the 9th to 11th editions of the VLF, the annual theater festival that aims to provide a venue for emerging and established Filipino playwrights to present their unpublished, unstaged, untested, and untried works to the theatergoing public,” the CCP said in a statement.
These plays are “Bait” by Guelan Varela-Luarca; “Ang Bata sa Drum” by Dominique Beatrice T. La Victoria; “Betang” by J-Mee Katanyag; “Ang Mga Bisita ni Jean” by Ma. Cecilia de la Rosa; “Daddy’s Girl” by Dingdong Novenario; “Dalawang Gabi” by Maynard Manansala; “Ang Goldfish ni Prof. Dimaandal” and “Si Maria Isabella at ang Guryon ng mga Tala” by Eljay Castro Deldoc; “Hintayan ng Langit” by Juan Miguel Severo; “Imbisibol” by Herlyn Alegre; “Isang Daan” by Liza C. Magtoto; “Kublihan” by Jerome Ignacio; “Kung Paano Ako Naging Leading Lady” and “Mula sa Kulimliman” by Carlo Vergara; “Mapagbirong Haplos” by Kevin Tabora; “Ang Nanghihingalo” by Raymund Reyes; “Pamamanhikan” by Bernadette Neri; “Sa Lilim” by Reya May Laplana; and “Ang Sugilanon ng Kabiguan ni Epefania” by Alexandra May Cardoso.
One of the featured playwrights, Severo, is considered the most popular spoken-word artist today. He is the author of Habang Wala Pa Sila: Mga Tula ng Pag-ibig and Tuwing Ikatlong Sabado.
Another, Vergara, is the artist-writer of Ang Kagilas-gilas na Pakikipagsapalaran ni Zsazsa Zaturnnah and its sequel Zsazsa Zaturnnah sa Kalakhang Maynila, as well as One Night in Purgatory.
Three of the plays— “Pamamanhikan”, “Bait”, and “Ang Mga Bisita ni Jean”— won Palanca awards, while another, “Imbisibol”, was adapted into a prize-winning film by Lawrence Fajardo.
The CCP said the anthology “celebrates the rich harvest of unbridled creativity and undiscovered talents in the VLF over the years,” adding that this year’s festival “is dedicated to National Artists Daisy Avellana and Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero, who had contributed greatly to Philippine theater.”
Avellana elevated legitimate theater and dramatic arts to a new level of excellence by staging and performing in breakthrough productions of classic Filipino and foreign plays. She also encouraged the establishment of performing groups and the professionalization of Philippine theater.
Meanwhile, Guerrero pioneered the concept of the theater campus tour, and allowed students and audiences to experience the basic grammar of staging and acting in familiar and friendly ways through his plays that humorously reflect the behavior of the Filipino.
VLF fans will have a chance to meet the featured playwrights and have copies of the anthology signed during the launch, which is open to the public. Mga Piling Dula mula sa Virgin Labfest 2013–2016: Ikatlong Antolohiya will have a launching price of P400, while copies of the first two VLF anthologies will be sold at discounted prices. ALVIN I. DACANAY
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