The annual Virgin LabFest (VLF) returns from Nov. 24 to Dec. 5, streaming on the Facebook pages of the Cultural Center of the Philippines, VLF, and Tanghalang Pilipino.
Award-winning playwright Rody Vera, of the Writers’ Bloc, one of the VLF convenors, said “the showing of the best works of the past 15 years of VLF is one of the highlights of the 2021 edition.”
Vera told a online press conference: “It would be impossible to revisit these 15 best works if we would have live performances. Fortunately, the CCP has all the video recordings of VLF plays.”
The current COVID19 situation prevented the VLF from returning to live stage performance.
Hosted annually by the CCP, Writers’ Bloc, and Tanghalang Pilipino, the VLF 2021 focuses on education, with its festival components divided into “Fair, Fellowship, and Flashback.”
The Playwrights Fair features conversations with playwrights from all over the country scheduled at 8:00 pm. The Fair recognizes the works and life of the late artists / playwrights who passed away during this time of pandemic.
The Playwrights Fair also features current playwrights, their challenges, efforts, and experiences through virtual platforms (and how they) cope with the situation the pandemic brings to the theater community, the CCP said in a statement.
The Writing Fellowship Program is held from Nov. 16 to Dec. 5 under the tutelage of award- winning playwright Glenn Sevilla Mas.
The Culminating Activity, to be streamed for public viewing on Dec. 5, will be directed by Dennis Marasigan.
This year, the festival takes on “Yakap” (embrace) as its catchphrase.
“This year, the festival strives to embrace the artistic community as it strives to survive the terrible pandemic; embrace new possibilities and new narratives emboldened by the times and embrace the audience with works that have provided comfort and enjoyment in the past,” the CCP said.
Established in 2005, the Virgin Labfest is the premier playwrights’ festival in the country producing “untried, untested, and unstaged works.” It is known for programming and providing support for the development of plays that “dare define and defy the times.”
During the early stages of the global pandemic in 20202, the Virgin Labfest spearheaded processes and new possibilities of staging and presenting performances for audiences across the Philippines and the World. It was a dream to bring the works onstage and document the works for audiences to watch online this year.
For more information, follow VLF on CCP Social Media platforms, or visit www.culturalcenter.gov.ph.
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