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This is the blog of Ian Rosales Casocot. Filipino writer. Sometime academic. Former backpacker. Twink bait. Hamster lover.

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

entry arrow8:48 PM | The Virgin Labfest 4

The Virgin Labfest — local theater's best laboratory for emerging playwrights — turns four-years old this year with a run of new plays from June 25 to July 6, 2008 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines. This year’s festival features twenty-three new plays and three plays from the previous season in six main exhibition trilogies and staged readings. Activities include a book launch, audience talk back sessions and a symposium.

The Virgin Labfest has earned a solid eputation for its exciting and provocative line-up of "untried, untested, unpublished and unstaged" new work from playwrights. The line-up for Virgin Labfest 4 includes plays by National Artist F. Sionil Jose, award-winning playwrights Floy Quintos, Layeta Bucoy, Tim Dacanay, Allan Lopez, Debbie Tan, Job Pagsibigan, Njel de Mesa, George de Jesus III and J. Dennis Teodosio, previous labfest entrants Yoji Sakate, George Vail Kabristante, Rogelio Braga and Argel Tuazon, as well as newcomers to festival: Carlo Garcia, Anna Marie Gonzales, Jovi Miroy, Khavn de la Cruz and Malaysian writer Koh Jun Eiow. Summaries, director and cast lists of the plays in the six trilogies are available at the festival's website.

The Labfest Lab

As part of its objective to train young writers and to discover new talents and works, the Virgin Labfest 4 will also have as a new component called the Labfest Lab, for secondary school students who are interested in theatre and playwrighting. As part of their training, they will be given complimentary tickets to all the Labfest performances and will have workshops sessions on playwriting. At the end of the period, a reading of their works will be featured as a separate showcase. Please see the website for details of how to participate.

Children’s Plays

The festival will feature a trilogy of stage adaptations of published and well-loved children’s books, commissioned by the Philippine Board on Books for Young People. The set “Mga Premyadong Kuwentong Pambata” will feature Niel de Mesa’s adaptation of “Terengati” by Victoria Añonuevo; Argel Tuazon’s adaptation of “Bru-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha, Bru-hi-hi-hi-hi-hi” by Ma. Corazon Remigio; and Job Pagsibigan’s adaptation of “Uuwi Na Ang Nanay Kong si Darna” by Edgar Samar.


Ma-Yi Theater Company — the much-lauded Filipino theater company based in New York City led by executive director Jorge Ortoll and artistic director Ralph Peña. — will have a booklaunch of ‘Savage Stage’, an anthology of nine plays developed and mounted by the company. Ma-Yi's artistic director, Ralph Pena, is himself flying to Manila to direct the reading and launch the book. Among the plays are Han Ong's Middle Finger, Pena's Flipzoids, Chris Millado's PeregriNasyon and Lonnie Carter's The Romance of Magno Rubio (2003 special Obie awardee).


From Page to Stage; The Novelist in Front of the Footlights: An interview of National Artist for Literature F. Sionil Jose by Manuel L. Quezon III

Contest for Bloggers

Each of the five sets is scheduled to be staged four times. Attendees to the first weekend performances will have a chance to win prizes. All active bloggers need to do is write a blog [web log or online journal] review about a specific set and post it in their blogs within 48 hours after watching, Winners will be chosen for each set of Labfest plays and receive gift certificates and other merchandise.

Tickets to the Virgin Labfest are at P200 for main exhibition sets, P100 for the symposium and "Pay What You Can" for play readings. For more details, please contact Tanghalang Pilipino at 832-3661, or the CCP Box Office at 832-3704. For details on how to apply for a slot in The Labfest Lab, call Nikki Torres at 8321125 loc. 1607 or 832-2314 or email drama_ccp(at)yahoo(dot)com. The Virgin Labfest 4 is presented by the National Commission for Culture and Arts, the Cultural Center of the Philippines, Tanghalang Pilipino, Inc,. and the Writer's Bloc, Inc., in cooperation with Boysen Paints, The Japan Foundation and Ms. Mae Paner.

[sent in by allan lopez]

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