2009 Virgin Labfest Plays (This June at the Cultural Center of the Philippines)

By | May 31, 2009
The Virgin Labfest is a venue for playwrights, directors and actors to bring to life ‘untried, untested, unpublished and unstaged’ one act plays. The festival is sponsored by the Cultural Center of the Philippines, Tanghalang Filipino, National Commission for Culture and the Arts, and The Writers Bloc, Inc.

SET A School of Life (Mga Dulang Walang Pinag-aralan)

June 23: 3pm, 8pm
July 4: 8pm
July 5: 3pm

MPC ni Job Pagsibigan, to be mounted by the Dulaang Sipat Lawin
Humdrum pupil Felix Bakat is already the brightest student in the sub-
standard Mababang Paaralan ng Caniogan or MPC. He and his two other
friends, Erwin & Didai, had the misfortune of being the only three
students to report to their class one stormy school day. Their
teacher, the terrifying Miss Magnaye, prepares them for her teaching
demo which she and her students are scheduled to present before their
visiting school superintendent, Mr. Catacutan.
On the day of the teaching demo, Erwin & Didai plan to steal from Miss
Magnaye’s stock of canned goods; a business the teacher keeps to
augment what she earns from the profession she herself despises. But
just when Mr. Catacutan is already enjoying the teaching demo, Erwin
and Didai are found out. Miss Magnaye points to Felix as the one
behind the conspiracy. How the children are eventually cleared of
the mischief is no small help from the school’s legendary ghost,
Pilita and the violent storm that ties Pilita’s fate to that of Miss

Ang Huling Lektyur ni Misis Reyes ni Tim Dacanay, director Hazel
A high school music teacher at the crossroads of life decides to
retire. She faces her class for one last session and improvises a
lecture on a topic she considers most important for her audience: sex.

Pandaraya ni Oggie Arcenas, director Roli Inocencio
Isadora, a student who is about to graduate summa cum laude from a
prestigious university is accused of cheating during an examination.
The accuser is Amor, an underachieving student, and the campus slut.
The two face-off before the Student Disciplinary Tribunal which is
hearing the cheating case. As the hearing unfolds, secrets are
revealed, and a jaded society’s value system takes the spotlight.

SET B It’s Complicated (The Buhul-Buhol Trilogy)
June 24: 3pm, 8pm
July 3: 8pm
July 4: 3pm

Salise ni J. Dennis Teodosio, director: Roobak Valle
A laptop was stolen. In a desperate attempt to retrieve it, a soap
opera writer discovers a life story that’s stranger and juicier than
the teleseryes he’s been writing.

Ang Mamanugangin ni Rez ni Clarissa Estuar, director: Paolo O’Hara
Enter Pinay’s world, which for most of the day is compressed into a
small bag/shoe repair stall she manages at a mall. Here, even simple
dreams seem out of reach, and simple Pinay constantly just fades into
the background. She makes one last ditch effort for something she
truly wants, or rather someone she truly wants only to question why
she set her aspirations on that one man, of all people.

So Sangibo A Ranon Na Piyatay O Satiman A Tadman ni Rogelio Braga,
director Riki Benedicto
Written by a Filipino playwright as an ars poetica to a Bangsa Moro
freedom fighter Abdul Rahman Macapaar is a story of love, lost and
remembrance. Stella, a hooker from the university belt during the
Martial Law years remembers the 1971 Tacub Massacre in Kauswagan,
Lanao del Norte, Abdul Rahman who longs for a Ranao he left to pursue
a dream in Manila, and Aling Ella a spinster who remembers a lost love
that haunts her like a ghost. So Sanggibo a Ranon na Piyatay o Satiman
a Tadman is both a story of how ordinary people struggle for love,
self-respect, freedom and maratabat amid a nation that harbors a dark
past and an invitation to a journey in one of the sordid histories of
Filipino Nationalism against the Bangsa Moro people.

SET C Blood Sports (Trilohiyang Dinuguan )
June 25: 3pm, 8pm
July 3, 3pm
July 5: 8pm

Kitchen Medea ni Kiyokazu Yamamoto, director: Yoshida Toshihisa

Doc Resurrecion: Gagamutin ang Bayan ni Layeta Bucoy, director: Tuxqs
With the desire to introduce positive changes to his community, Doc
Resureccion ran for Mayor. Unfortunately, his cousin, Boy Pogi
Resureccion ran as a nuisance candidate challenging Doc Resureccion’ s
chances. Bearing gifts and promises of a better future, he tries
persuading his cousin to withdraw his candidacy only to find out that
the community he so wanted to help desires a different path for itself.

Asawa/Kabit ni George de Jesus III, director George de Jesus III
Two middle-aged women, Via and Vanessa, confront each other about the
man they both loved for more than 25 years. Through a scathing
conversation, resentments and regrets surface like land mines forcing
both women to evaluate the immutable choices they made in the name of
love, the unbearable burden of hope, and the contentiousness of
believing in a man’s fidelity.

SET D The Family That _______s Together (Tatlong Dulang Walang Diyos)
June 25: 3pm, 8pm
July 3, 3pm
July 5: 8pm

Boy-Girl ang Gelpren ni Mommy ni Sheilfa Alojamiento, director Carlo
Two kids, caught in adult infidelity games, took time off away from
their errant father’s house and spend a vacation one summer in their
divorced mother’s place in another city and get to know her and her

Maliw ni Reuel Molina Aguila, director Edna Vida
How does one close a chapter still to be written? Five years after the
forced-disappearanc e of her eldest daughter, a mother confronts this
question. The play is set after her family celebrates her eldest
daughter’s 30th birthday.

Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White ni George Vail Kabristante;
director: Paul Santiago
This is a document of the times when club entertainers in Japan used
to pick yen from the walls of clubs to be remitted to their families
back home for saving or for squandering. It zeroes in on former
entertainers husband and wife Jay-Ar and Leizl and their dream to go
back to Japan which has become an impossibility, given that the
Japanese government has absolutely made it difficult now for anyone to
work there as club entertainer. Hinting at Chekovian absurdities &
humor , the characters continue dreaming and role-playing to relive
the good old days. In laughing at themselves and acting “up” and
“out” the dark humors and their memorable past in Japan, these two
characters find their plight less painful to bear.

SET E Life is a Trap (Three Plays in Search of Escape)

June 27: 3pm, 8pm
June 30: 8pm
July 1: 3pm

Isang Araw sa Peryahan ni Nicolas B. Pichay, director: Chris Millado
Zaldy and Toni, two friends whose family members have been the victims
of forced disappearances, amble along a jologs Peryahan. They grope in
the dark shadow of a world weighed by uncertainties and fear.
Engaged in the ritual of forgetting, the two friends’ undefined
relationship adds a nagging ambiguity in their lives making it
difficult for them to define a future. Hope, for them can be a tricky
sleight of hand; a slow and treacherous rickity ride to hell.

Paigan ni Liza Magtoto, director: Sigrid Bernardo
Fagen (“Paigan”), an Afro-American soldier who deserted his camp to
fight side-by-side with the Filipino revolutionaries, is wanted by the
Americans for the price of $600– a hefty sum at the time. Desperate
for money, Pedring captures Fagen and is set to behead him when Tacio,
a former comrade, and the Filipina wife of the captive beseech him.
The play explores a possible scenario posed by historical essays on
the true-to-life story of the guerilla fighter who defected to our
side during the Filipino-American War.

Hate Restaurants ni David Finnigan, director: Victor Villareal
Hate Restaurants is a command. Hate restaurants. Hate them. This play
follows the trials and tribulations of a small pancake restaurant
during the biggest breakfast of the year. Head chef and restauranteur
Louise is incapacitated after an unfortunate encounter with a giant
rat, leaving waiters Louise and Billy and mild-mannered kitchen-hand
Toby to handle a booking of 70 businessmen who are suspiciously picky
in their requirements

The Virgin Labfest 4 Revisited set of three plays include
June 28: 3pm, 8pm
July 1: 8pm
July 2: 3pm

Floy Quintos’s Ang Kalungkutan ng mga Reyna

Rogelio Braga’s Ang Bayot, Ang Meranao at ang Habal-Habal sa Isang Nakababagot na Paghihintay sa Kanto ng Lanao del Norte.

Job Pagsibigan’s Uuwi na ang Nanay kong si Darna


Tim Dacanay’s adaptation of Harold Pinter’s Betrayal: Kataksilan
Joshua Lim so’s adaptation of Alfred Jarry’s Ubu Roi: Noong Minsan May
Nanungkulan sa San Lazaro
Joel Trinidad’s musicale: Breakups and Breakdowns

SPIT will also come up with an improvisational devised piece.

Anthology includes 15 plays. I selected and edited the plays for the
volume, in consultation with former TP Artistic Dir Dennis Marasigan.
The anthology will be launched on June 23, 2009, the opening day of
the Labfest. The anthology contains:

Year 1:
Rite of Passage by Glenn Mas
Geegee at Waterina by J. Dennis Teodosio

Year 2:
Ang Unang Aswang by Rody Vera
The Palanca in my Mind by Job Pagsibigan
Tres Ataques de Corazon (The angina Monologues) by Nicolas Pichay
Hubad by Liza Magtoto and Rody Vera

Year 3:
Mga Obra ni Maestra by Njel de Mesa
Three sisters: Isang Noh by Yoji Sakate
Teroristang Labandera by Debbie Ann Tan
Ellas Inosentes by Layeta Bucoy

Year 4:
Pamantasang Hirang by Tim Dacanay
Dong-Ao by F. Sionil Jose
Masaganang Ekonomiya by Allan Lopez
Ang Bayot, Ang Meranao at ang Habal-Habal sa Isang Nakababagot na
Paghihintay sa Kanto ng Lanao del Norte by Rogelio Braga
Ang Kalungkutan ng mga Reyna by Floy Quintos

For details on the Virgin Labfest, call 8321125 loc. 1600 or 8323661. Nikki Torres at 8321125 loc. 1607 or 832-2314 or email http://us.mc519.mail.yahoo.com/mc/compose?to=drama_ccp@yahoo.com.