Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Established in 2005, THE VIRGIN LABFEST is a laboratory festival of new plays by emerging and established Filipino playwrights and held annually at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP).

The Virgin Labfest aims to provide Filipino playwrights a venue to present their unpublished, unstaged, untested and untried works to the theater-going public. The Virgin Labfest is a yearly project of the Manila-based playwrights group Writer’s Bloc, Inc., acclaimed theater company Tanghalang Pilipino, and the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), in cooperation with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA).


Friday June 27, 2014
- 3:00 PM
- 8:00 PM

Saturday June 28, 2014
- 3:00 PM
- 8:00 PM

Sunday June 29, 2014
- 3:00 PM
- 8:00 PM

Wednesday July 2, 2014
- 3:00 PM
- 8:00 PM

Thursday July 3, 2014
- 3:00 PM
- 8:00 PM

Friday July 4, 2014
- 3:00 PM
- 8:00 PM

Saturday July 5, 2014
- 3:00 PM
- 8:00 PM

Sunday July 6, 2014
- 3:00 PM
- 8:00 PM




It’s a dreaded reunion between a man and a woman who had anonymous sex two years ago. The man appears at a time the woman is in a relationship. He wants to extort some money from the woman or else he will destroy her by showing a video of their sexual act. The truth is out and puts the current relationship to a test, meanwhile interrogating our own discomfort about this level of sexuality among women.


Liza Magtoto is a playwright and freelance scriptwriter, a member of The Writer’s Bloc and the Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA). Recent works include Rak of Aegis, Rated PG, Care Divas, TV comedy series Camera Cafe, and films Sta. Nina, and David F. Her plays are published in anthologies including that of UP Creative Writing Center or Likhaan’s Ang Aklat Likhaan ng Dula 1997-2003 and the first volume of the VLF anthology. Palanca award-winning plays include Despedida de Soltera, Agnoia and Paigan, among others.


Audie Gemora

The term multi-talented fits Audie to a T. He is a stage, television and film actor, singer, recording artist, dancer, host, on-camera & voice talent for TV and radio commercials, director, choreographer, teacher, and producer.

However, the name Audie Gemora is primarily associated with theater. That is not surprising since theater is his forte. He has appeared in over 40 plays ranging from Broadway/West End productions to original Filipino works and has played major roles in all of them – PIPPIN, AMADEUS, EVITA, LES MISERABLES, CAROUSEL, MAN OF LA MANCHA, A CHRISTMAS CAROL, THE PRODUCERS for Repertory Philippines; FLORANTE AT LAURA, EL FILIBUSTERISMO and NOLI ME TANGERE for CCP Tanghalang Pilipino; JOSEPH THE DREAMER, WIDOWS ORPHANS & WILDEBEESTS, THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE for Trumpets; ANG PAGLALAKBAY NI RADIYA MANGANDIRI for Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA); ART and THE LAST FIVE YEARS for Actor’s Actor Inc. among others. In 2008 he portrayed Henry Sy in the bio musical I DREAM, followed by the Lopez family sung through saga UNDAUNTED where he played patriarch Oscar Lopez. He starred in Resort World’s THE SOUND OF MUSIC opposite West End star Joanna Ampil.

He won an award for Best Performance as Male Lead in a Musical at the 2010 Gawad Philstage for his performance in SWEENEY TODD. A Terpsichore who has played a variety of roles both in English and Pilipino musicals, he has been dubbed King of Philippine Musical Theater.

He has co-founded one of the leading theater companies in the country today, TRUMPETS, which has produced musical hits such as FIRST NAME; THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE; THE LITTLE MERMAID; N.O.A.H (NO ORDINARY AQUATIC HABITAT) and THE BLUEBIRD OF HAPPINESS. He has also established PLAY SHOP, the No.1 multimedia summer workshop in the country, its music arm MUSICADEMY and MY TALENT workshops. His latest baby is TALENT SCHOOL OF ACADEMICS AND ART, a progressive school with arts integration at the core of it’s academic curriculum.

He is presently President of PHILSTAGE, a coalition of the top professional performance arts companies.


Not wanting to be left alone by his long-time lover Cards, successful actor Tart reminds Cards of their tempestuous yet romance-filled relationship by reading the letters Cards sent him. To justify their separation, Cards fires back at Tart by reading the letters Tart wrote him. As they consume each other’s box of letters, the history of their love affair flashes back with the intermittent singing of Julie Andrew’s Time Is My Friend. And as they traverse the romantic rope tying the two boxes of letters, the wounds of passion consume them even if they both profess the strongest love their hearts could bleed.


Layeta P. Bucoy earned her MFA in Creative Writing (with high distinction) degree from De La Salle University and her BA Communication Arts (cum laude) degree from the University of the Philippines Los Banos. She has been conferred with the title of University of the Philippines Artist II, and was awarded as UPLB CAS Outstanding Alumna for Creative Writing and UPLB BA Communication Arts Distinguished Alumna. She is a four-time Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards winner. Some of her stage play credits include Doc Resureccion: Gagamutin ang Bayan, Bona, Walang Kukurap, and Sandosenang Sapatos. Her screenplay credits include Rigodon and Melodrama Negra. She served as resident writer for Psicom Publishing House (True Philippine Ghost Stories, Heartbeat Romance Series, and Sopas Muna) and Pinoy Parazzi (Nobela Erotica, Diyaryo Nobela, and Kumpisal kay Manong). She is a faculty member of UP Los Banos where she teaches Spanish and Filipino courses, and serves as a columnist for Pinoy Parazzi Commuter via the short story section #lovelife and for Pinoy Parazzi tabloid via the serialized novels under #romancenovel. She is a member of the Writer’s Bloc.


Chris Millado

Recent credits include August Osage County (Repertory Philippines), Pramoedya (Virgin Labfest), Stageshow (Gawad Buhay Award for Outstanding Direction for a Musical). He has directed several productions for Tanghalang Pilipino, the Philippine Educational Theater Association and the UP Playwright’s Theater. American Hwangap, ZsaZsa Zaturnnah Ze Muzikal which ran close to a hundred performances, Karnabal, Maliw, Insiang (Aliw Award for Best Play and Direction), The Pretenders, Mass, Macbeth, Scapino, Paglayang Minamahal, Anak ng Bayan, Camino Real, to name a few; the Philippine Educational Theater Association’s don_Q, Misererenobis, Kahapon, Ngayon at Bukas, Panata sa Kalayaan; Ballet Philippines: Darna, Story of Dance. He has also done work on the international stage with Teatro ng Tanan (Theater For Everyone) and Noh Space San Francisco, Pintig Chicago, Kumu Kahua Theater Honolulu, Kennedy Theater Manoa and May-i Theater New York. His playwriting credits include Misererenobis, Buwan at Baril, Li’l Brown Brothers, Peregrinasyon, Pinaytok, Intermedyo, Nikimalika and numerous street plays devised with the Tropang Bodabil and the Peryante. Chris is currently the Artistic Director of the Cultural Center of the Philippines.


Meg and AJ meet in the most typical friendly lunch at work. Five years afterwards, Meg visits AJ’s house on his 40th birthday – a date he had once said would be the day he’ll kill himself. In the short and nostalgic birthday celebration, the ghost of a brief but ultimately dead love story awkwardly looms above them.


Allan B. Lopez graduated from the University of the Philippines in Diliman, with a BA in Speech Communication. A fellow for drama in the 38th and the 45th UP National Writers Workshop, Lopez has won a number of awards for his dramatic work, and his plays have been staged in various venues and laboratory festivals. He is an active member of The Writers Bloc, Inc. and co-moderates an online group of writers called Guniguni: The Absent Muse. He is also the webmaster of the Writers Bloc website and is an occasional blogger.

His fiction, non-fiction and poetry in both English and Filipino had been published in local newspapers and magazines like The Philippine Star, The Philippine Graphic and Liwayway Magazine. His play Anatomiya ng Pag-Ibig appears in the anthology Ang Aklat Likhaan ng Dula 1997-2003 edited by Rene Villanueva and Victor Emmanuel Carmelo Nadera, Jr. A personal anthology of his works for the stage is forthcoming.



It is the year 2045, and the world is teetering towards explosive widespread conflict, the likes of which it hasn’t seen in almost a century. But that won’t stop the Miss Universal Empress beauty pageant from taking place in Barcelona, Spain. The pageant is of particular importance to the Philippines, as the South East Asian nation has so far won four of the world’s top five beauty competitions. A grand-slam seems inevitable, but then there’s, well... the prophecy.


Carlo Vergara is a two-time National Book Awardee and an Urian Award nominee, and is mostly known for creating the iconic comic book character Zsazsa Zaturnnah. He adapted his first Virgin Labfest play, Kung Paano Ako Naging Leading Lady into a comic book (illustrated by Elmer Cantada) which was released in late-2013. A marketing management graduate, he has spent most of his career doing copywriting, illustration, graphic design, and art direction.


Intoy is in critical condition after a ruptured aneurysm triggers a stroke and leaves him unconscious. The doctor recommends immediate surgery but even the down payment for the surgeon’s professional fee is beyond the means of the street ice cream vendor and his wife. Felisa, the wife, calls Intoy’s siblings for help. While their brother’s fate depends on their decision, the reunion between Guido, Doreen, and Linda results into bickering and opens up long-held feelings of animosity, resentment, and envy for each other.


Raymund P. Reyes is an OFW in the Middle East. His poetry and short fiction have appeared in various magazines and literary journals, including The Philippine Free Press, Philippine Graphic, Story Philippines, ANI, and Anak Sastra, and the anthologies Very Short Stories for Harried Readers (Milflores, 2007), Off the Beaten Track (Vibal, 2010), Diaspora Ad Astra (UP Press, 2014), and Verses Typhoon Yolanda: A Storm of Filipino Poets (Meritage, 2014). Ang Naghihingalo is his first play.


Dennis N. Marasigan

Director. Writer. Lighting Designer. Actor. Producer. Teacher. Learner.

He graduated BA Theater Arts and Master of Public Administration from the University of the Philippines and has served on the faculty of several universities and colleges. He has held management positions in government agencies and cultural organizations, including as Technical Director, Theater Operations Manager, Associate Artistic Director and Assistant Vice President of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), Executive Director of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB), Artistic Director of the CCP’s resident theater company, TANGHALANG PILIPINO, and President of the Philippine Legitimate Artists Group (PHILSTAGE).

He observed theater and film practices in Moscow, Great Britain, Italy, Japan and Canada, including attachments and residencies at the Royal National Theatre of Great Britain, Royal Opera House, English National Opera, The Banff Centre, the Shaw Festival Theatre, the Harbourfront Centre, and the National Film Board of Canada. He was the Festival Director for Virgin Labfest 3 and 4 and has directed staged readings in previous years as well as Reuel Molina Aguila’s Isa Pang Soap Opera for VLF 8. With over 400 credits in live productions, theater, film and television, he continues to mentor young artists while finding time for his creative pursuits.


Smart and pretty little Wendy is resigning from her current job and taking the first step towards her dream job -- being a housewife. Assigned for her exit interview is Mark, a manager and a friend she once worked with on a project during her early years in the company. They talk about their past, their present, and the decisions they made that brought them to where they are now. Both of them take steps towards the future that they want. Unfortunately, only one of them succeeds.


Dingdong Novenario is a playwright, actor on stage, gym instructor at Fitness First, and Hewlett-Packard employees. He also performed in the Virgin Labfest 4 Njel’s dramatic de Mesa Terengati. For the Labfest he has written Kafatiran and Digital Divide.


Joshua Lim So

Alma Mater: DLSU. Awards, citations, yabang effect: 23rd BBC International Playwriting Competition (2012); four Palanca Awards for full-length and one-act plays in English and Filipino (2007, 2011, 2012); The Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror 20th Annual Collection (St. Martin’s Press, 2006); etc. Short stories published in: A Different Voice (PEN 50th Anniversary Edition), Plural Prose Journal, Best of Philippine Speculative Fiction, etc. Slated to deliver a paper in Performance Studies International Conference, Shanghai, unless something happens.

In 2004, at 16: left Davao to attend college and reside in Manila. He says: The fruits here are too damn expensive! Directorial credits/abonado projects: D.H.H.’s uncut M. Butterfly during his 3rd year at a conservative evangelical high school; Destiyero Theater Commune plays, namely Tim Dacanay’s adaptations of Tony Perez’s Cubao Pagkagat ng Dilim and May Pakpak ang Oras atbp. Dulani David Ives; etc. Other (pre)occupations: chef/owner/busboy of Exile on Main St.; artistic director of Destiyero; finishing an action-packed BAM! PUNCH! SLASH! KAPOW! AAAHH! screenplay for a US-based Pinay filmmaker (he hopes to God that’ll pan out). Fin.



Prof. Dimaandal (a.k.a Ma’am D), a retiring cranky Science teacher, demands justice for her beloved goldfish. Allegedly murdered by three students, her pet becomes the center of chaos inside the Principal’s office as concerned parents, who turn out to be alumni of the school and former sweethearts at that, obliquely resolve their open-ended past; while faculty members struggle to grasp the logic of seeking justice for a dead fish. Based on real events, Ang Goldfish ni Profesor Dimaandal portrays how absurdity can effortlessly prevail in places where things are expected to be normal, even in the academe. Because after all, does anything even make sense?


Eljay Castro Deldoc earned his degree in Communication Arts from the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB). He has been writing for stage since 2009. In 2011, UPLB Sama Sining produced his adaptations of Ricky Lee’s Para Kay B and Jose Rizal’s Junto Al Pasig. He also penned several original plays — namely Articulo Mortis, Dahil Iisa Lang ang Mundo, Runaway Best Man, Ang Favorite Book ni Jude, and Ramon Bautista and His Tales From D Friendzone — which all took the UPLB box office by storm. Eljay is a founding member of Tabsing Kolektib, a Manila- and Laguna-based theater company that aims at educating people through the collaborative approach to performing arts. Owel, his first VLF play, was nominated in the Best Non-Musical Play category at the 26th Aliw Awards.


In Last Ten Minutes, two strangers find ways to connect over loss and past experiences during the last few minutes in a motel room.


Joy Icayan works for a human rights organization in Quezon City. She has written poetry and fiction for several publications


Tami Monsod has been a theater educator and director for thirty years, collaborating with students in writing and staging plays based on research and improvisation. These include Remembering Rezima, Very, Very Dangerous, The Book of Antigone, Indulto, and Pearl of the Orient. Most recently, she adapted Nikolai Gogol’s The Inspector General for the International School Manila. Tami’s past work as a stage actor includes Angels in America, Our Country’s Good, All’s Well that Ends Well, Othello, A Portrait of the Artist as Filipino, How I Learned to Drive, The Vagina Monologues, Sacrilege, Equus, and most recently, August Osage County for Repertory Philippines. She was also seen in Hubo Productions’ independent film In Nomine Matris (2012), where she used her flamenco background in the role of Ava. Tami has long waited to work with a play in the vernacular and is honored to direct Joy Icayan’s Last Ten Minutes.


Jimmy, an aging ex-convict seeking redemption, asks the help of his bitter and cynical daughter, Jeanette, who he hasn’t seen for nearly 20 years and is now a prolific but disturbed writer, to proofread and edit his resume and personal statement for a job opportunity abroad.


Kevin Tabora is a Communication Arts instructor at the Colegio De San Lorenzo in Quezon City. He is a co- founder of One Manila Gallery, known for organizing art exhibits for Filipino artists nationwide. He graduated from the University of the Philippines Diliman in 2012 with a degree in Communication Research.

In 2014, Kevin joined The Writer’s Bloc in search for an avenue to exercise his passion for writing and storytelling. His first-ever written play, Mapagbirong Haplos, has been chosen as one of the featured plays in the Virgin Labfest 10.


Melvin Lee

His third consecutive year to direct for the Labfest. A resident director, an actor, a senior faculty, and an administrator of PETA. Has done numerous productions for different companies in theater, television, film and advertising. A Philstage Gawad Buhay awardee for the play Caredivas 2012.



Kiko’s uncle abused her. Now he is dead. Kiko can finally bury the shame and the pain. But first, she has to reveal the truth to her mother, who, unfortunately, has secrets of her own. A testament to the strength of children and the power of women, Bago Ilibing is a play about love, loss, and distributing snacks at Filipino wakes.


UZ Eliserio teaches popular culture at the Departamentong Filipino at Panitikan ng Pilipinas at the University of the Philippines, Diliman. He is the author of Sa mga Susong Liwanag, Epiko, and All Will Be Revealed. Visit him at

Maynard Manansala has a BA and MA in Filipino: Malikhaing Pagsulat from UP Diliman where he is also completing his PhD in Filipino: Pagsasalin. He is a faculty member at the Department of Filipino of Miriam College. His most recent publications include a short story in Ani Literary Journal Silver Edition and a one-act play in Querida Anthology. His short story for children gained recognition in the Palanca Awards. He attributes the themes of their collaborative VLF entries to the vision of Kuliti, an indie organization that UZ Eliserio founded in 2008 for writers who were into erotic fiction.


JK Anicoche is an action-star art practitioner of multiple artistic-identities crossing boundaries from mainstream to contemporary performance art movement in the Philippines. JK is a prize-winning storyteller and actor, director, workshop facilitator for film, theatre and television. He is a Theater Arts graduate at the Philippine High School for the Arts in Mt. Makiling and took up BA Film and Audio Visual Communications at the University of the Philippines in Diliman. Recent Directing credits include Dulaang Sipat Lawin’s Paghihintay kay Godot, Virgin Lab Fest’s Pamamanhikan, Symposium, Tanghalang Ateneo’s ANG BAKKHAI, Sipat Lawin Ensemble’s BATTALIA ROYALE Live Action Game, and LOVE: THIS IS NOT YET A MUSICAL. As devisor and performer, he just came back from a successful run of Sipat Lawin Ensemble and Too Many Weapon’s docu-theater A WAKE: Kids Killing Kids performed at the Next Wave Festival in Melbourne. JK is the artistic director of independent contemporary performance company, the Sipat Lawin Ensemble and is a founding member of PResNT: Performance Research Network, and Acting Without Borders, a pioneering team of acting coaches for lead actors in mainstream television networks. He is also the founder of Project Banig: Storytelling Everywhere Campaign encouraging volunteerism and storytelling in communities. He teaches Directing and Basic Acting courses for Theater Arts scholars at the Phil. High School for the Arts in Mt. Makiling.


Sa Lilim is a play about best friends, Lai and Hani, who reunite after a year of separation. Lai returns to her hometown from the city where she takes her secondary studies, while Hani is struggling with her own education from the local high school. As they start off from a series of awkward confrontations, there unfold secrets that they have never shared with each other, not until now.


Reya May Espiritu Laplana is 16 years old. She graduated from the Philippine High School for the Arts as a creative writing scholar in 2014. Her high school thesis, Sa Lilim at Iba Pang Mga Dula, a collection of plays in Filipino, was published on the same year. She counts among her writing mentors esteemed playwrights Glenn Mas and Rodolfo Vera. Reya was born and raised in Koronadal City, South Cotabato. She is currently taking Fashion Design and Merchandising at De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde, where she is an Office of Culture and Arts scholar. Sa Lilim is her first play.


Jenny Jamora is an Aliw-award nominated actress, last seen on stage in Red Turnip Theater’s production of Cock. Her first foray into directing was in 2008, when she directed the play Portraits for Friends of Repertory’s Festival of Raw Artists. In 2010, she directed Encore’s Jon Schmidt Live in Manila, with Julia Abueva. She was also Assistant Director for Atlantis Production’s Spring Awakening, New Voice Company’s Aspects of Love, and BlueRep’s Bare: A Pop Opera. She holds a Shakespeare Acting Certificate from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, and a Master of Science from Texas A&M University. She heads the Talent Development and Training Committee of the Theater Actors Guild. She is a founder of and producer at Red Turnip Theater, which begins its second season this August.


It’s 3am in Lola Betang’s time... Amidst the buzz of the drunken Tondo, Lola Betang stays sober and still. With her old transistor beside her, she waits patiently for her behind-scheduled -- Sundo. Lola Betang patiently waits, hoping that when demise finally faces her, she will, at long last, come face to face again with the love of her life... If only time would allow her.


Joanna L. Katanyag

Having an entry in the VLF 10 is a re-devirginization process for J-mee. J-mee took up AB Journalism in UST and had been the Artistic Director of Artistang Artlets, the official theater guild of UST’s Faculty of Arts and Letters, where she started directing and writing plays. She is currently a junior artist-teacher of the Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA), where she pursued performing, youth theater organizing, and production work. Last June 2013, she was sent as one of the youth artist-teacher representatives for the 8th Young IDEA (International Drama/Theater Education Association) in Paris, France. She is also a freelance actor for TV and commercials, and is recently dabbling in television writing. Her entry for the Virgin Labfest is her first theater script after five years.

She dedicates this play to her Lola Betang’s life that inspired her to become a playwright again.


Ed Lacson Jr. has directed plays for the Virgin Labfest, the Tanghalang Pilipino Actors’ Company, UP Dulaang Laboratoryo and Ateneo Fine Arts. He was Head Stage Manager of the Virgin Labfest four times and has stage managed productions for Trumpets, 4th Wall, Repertory Philippines and Tanghalang Pilipino. He teaches a Stage Management class at the Philippine High School for the Arts in Los Banos, Laguna while taking his MA in Theater Arts in UP-Diliman. He recently directed Games People Play which just ended its 5th performance run at the Ateneo Black Box Theater.



By Herlyn Gail Alegre

Directed by Law Fajardo

The play is set in 1992 on an ordinary Sunday in Tokyo. Two Filipino friends, Benjie and Manuel, both illegal workers in Japan, gather at the house of their Filipina friend, Manang Linda, to collect the letters their families send to fictional names they created to hide their true identities. At the middle of the happy lunch, Rodel, another young Filipino illegal worker, barges in declaring he had just killed a man who threatened to report him to the police. His friends suggest that he moves deeper underground by moving to another prefecture, finding a new day job, cutting ties with his family and friends, keeping a low profile, changing his name, and staying hidden for good. Would Rodel choose to stay invisible not only to the police but also to his family and friends to keep his freedom and continue working for his family’s sake?


By Liza Magtoto

Directed Ed Lacson, Jr.

Ting has a Katipunero hero for an ancestor. In fact, a street is named after him. He wants his Fil-am daughter to feel that Pinoy pride by showing her that. The bad news is that the street will soon give way to a highway which is being built through a mayor’s initiative. Ting’s Fil-am daughter Bituin couldn’t care less, but Ting wants to preserve the legacy of his great-grandfather. An informal settler and an NGO worker also seem to have reasons to stop the mayor from building this highway. What’s in this street anyway that they have to fight for it? Perhaps a quest for immortality, survival or something else?


By Carlo Vergara

Directed by Chris Martinez

Being a maid is tough enough, but when Mely finds employment under a group of unconventional employers, she steps up to the unique challenge for the sake of her family. When Mely’s sister Viva enters the picture, Mely is reminded of a disturbing past, made complicated by an unsettling romantic revelation made by one of her employers. All this in a tragicomedy about domestic help, sibling rivalry, and shattered dreams.



Written by Samantha Dadofalza

Directed by Emman dela Cruz


Written by Juan Ekis

Directed by Emman dela Cruz


Written by Kanakan Balintagos

Directed by Rollie Inocencio


Site specific performances

Staged by the DLSU Harlequin Theater Guild


By Jovelyn Avisado


By Laurice Guillermo


By Lois Villar


By Marc Gaba

For ticket inquiries and reservations, please call Ticketworld at (63 2) 891-9999.

Cultural Center Of The Philippines (CCP) is located at Roxas Blvd. cor. Pablo Ocampo Sr. St., CCP Complex, Pasay, Metro Manila, Philippines

You Might Also Like