Virgin Labfest, a tri-project of the Cultural Center of the Philippines, its resident theater company Tanghalang Pilipino and playwright group The Writer’s Bloc Inc., dedicates this year’s theater festival to National Artists Daisy Avellana and Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero who had contributed greatly to Philippine theater.
National Artist 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 Filipino theater.
Meanwhile, National Artist Ma. Guerrero pioneered the concept of 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.
This latest anthology, the third in the series – staged on July 6 at the Silangan Hall – was a celebration of the rich harvest of unbridled creativity and undiscovered talents in the VLF over the years. Titled “Mga Piling Dula mula sa Virgin Labfest 2013-2016 Ikatlong Antolohiya,” the plays selected for this volume were chosen from 48 that were staged in the 9th to 11th editions
Edited by veteran playwright Rody Vera, the third anthology featured 19 plays by playwrights Herlyn Alegre, Alexandra May Cardoso, Ma. Cecilia de la Rosa, Eljay Castro Deldoc, Jerome Ignacio, J-Mee (Marie) Katanyag, Dominique Beatrice La Victoria, Reya May Laplana, Maynard Manansala, Liza Magtoto, Bernadette Neri, Dingdong Novenario, Raymund Reyes, Juan Miguel Severo, Kevin Tabora, Guelan Varela-Luarca, and Carlo Vergara.
The annual theater festival aims to provide a venue for the emerging and established Filipino playwrights to present their unpublished, unstaged, untested and untried works to the theater-going public.