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Virgin Labfest returns with ‘fair, fellowship and flashback’




This year’s Virgin Labfest, hosted by the Cultural Center of the Philippines, the Writer’s Bloc and Tanghalang Pilipino, will be on the digital platform anew and will focus on education, with fair, fellowship and flashback components. The festival will be streamed from 24 November to 5 December on the CCP, VLF, and Tanghalang Pilipino Facebook Pages.

The Playwrights Fair features conversations with playwrights from all over the country at 8 p.m. The Fair recognizes the works and lives of the late artists/playwrights who passed during this time of pandemic. The event also features current playwrights, their challenges, efforts, and experiences through virtual platforms used to cope with the situation the pandemic brings to the theater community, and to get updates about local and US-based theater communities, and actions they’ve been doing to cope with the current crisis.

The Writing Fellowship Program kicked off on 16 November and runs until 5 December under the tutelage of award-winning playwright Glenn Sevilla Mas. The culminating activity that will be streamed for public viewing on 5 December will be directed by Dennis Marasigan.

While conditions of the pandemic precluded the staging of new works, for Flashback, the festival will feature some of the best works from VLF 1 to 15, culled from the extensive archives of the CCP.
The Fair recognizes the works and lives of the late artists/playwrights who passed during this time of pandemic

For 2021, 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.

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.

In 2020, at the early stages of the global pandemic, 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. Given the rising number of cases and the precarity of the situation, the organizers chose to prioritize the safety of performers and makers and make use of the time to pause, reflect, look back and move forward.

For more information, follow VLF on CCP social media platforms, or visit