Virgin Labfest 8 at the CCP from June 27 to July 18.

THE Cultural Center of the Philippines announces the staging of the Virgin Labfest, a festival of new plays (untried, untested, unpublished and unstaged) by emerging and well-known playwrights to be held from June 27 to July 18, 2012 at the CCP Tanghalang Huseng Batute with 3pm and 8pm shows. Virgin Labfest is a project of the CCP in cooperation with the Writer’s Bloc, Inc. and Tanghalang Pilipino.

Now on its eighth year, the Virgin Labfest has earned a solid reputation for its exciting and provocative line-up of one-act plays from playwrights both young and old. This year’s line-up includes plays for the One-Act Category: Isa Pang Soap Opera by Reuel Molina Aguila, Digital Divide by Ricardo Novenario, High Stakes by Marianne Mixkaela Z. Villalon, Ang Unang Regla ni John by Em Mendez, Hayop by Mar Anthony Dela Cruz, Alejandro by Chuckberry Pascual, Pagsubli by Aizel Cabilan, Symposium by U Eliserio & Maynard Manansala, Mga Kuneho by Guelan Luarca; and the Full-Length Category: Totong Hilot by J. Dennis Teodosio.

Ticket rates to the Virgin Labfest are P300.00. For further inquiries, please call the CCP Performing Arts Division at 832-1125 local 1607 or 1606.

Virgin Labfest 8

VLF 8 Schedules:

Wednesday June 27, 2012

Tanghalang Huseng Batute
3:00 PM Set A: Pagsubli, Symposium, Digital Divide
8:00 PM Set A: Pagsubli, Symposium, Digital Divide

Thursday June 28, 2012

Tanghalang Huseng Batute
3:00 PM Set B: Hayop, Ang Unang Regla Ni John, Isa Pang Soap Opera
8:00 PM Set B: Hayop, Ang Unang Regla Ni John, Isa Pang Soap Opera

Friday June 29, 2012

Tanghalang Huseng Batute
3:00 PM Set C: Alejandro, Kuneho, High Stakes
8:00 PM Set C: Alejandro, Kuneho, High Stakes

Bulwagang Amado Hernandez
6:00 PM: Love Story (Staged Reading)

Saturday June 30, 2012

Tanghalang Huseng Batute
3:00 PM Set D: Totong Hilot
8:00 PM Set D: Totong Hilot

Sunday July 1, 2012

Tanghalang Huseng Batute
3:00 PM Set E VLF Revisited: Kawala, Evening At The Opera, Kafatiran
8:00 PM Set E VLF Revisited: Kawala, Evening At The Opera, Kafatiran

Wednesday July 4, 2012

Tanghalang Huseng Batute
3:00 PM Set C: Alejandro, Kuneho, High Stakes
8:00 PM Set D: Totong Hilot

Bulwagang Amado Hernandez
6:00 PM: Walang Kukurap (Staged Reading)

Thursday July 5, 2012

Tanghalang Huseng Batute
3:00 PM Set D: Totong Hilot
8:00 PM Set E VLF Revisited: Kawala, Evening At The Opera, Kafatiran

Friday July 6, 2012

Tanghalang Huseng Batute
3:00 PM Set E VLF Revisited: Kawala, Evening At The Opera, Kafatiran
8:00 PM Set C: Alejandro, Kuneho, High Stakes

Bulwagang Amado Hernandez
6:00 PM: Adaptation Of Twelfth Night (Staged Reading)

Saturday July 7, 2012

Tanghalang Huseng Batute
3:00 PM Set A: Pagsubli, Symposium, Digital Divide
8:00 PM Set B: Hayop, Ang Unang Regla Ni John, Isa Pang Soap Opera

Sunday July 8, 2012

Tanghalang Huseng Batute
3:00 PM Set B: Hayop, Ang Unang Regla Ni John, Isa Pang Soap Opera
8:00 PM Set A: Pagsubli, Symposium, Digital Divide

Bulwagang Amado Hernandez
6:00 PM: Labfest Lab Showcase (Staged Reading)

Virgin Labfest 8 at the CCP

BATTALIA ROYALE (a loose adaptation K. Takami’s novel, Battle Royale).

I first learned of this in Geek Fight earlier this month. Dammit, why aren’t there weekend stagings?

Sipat Lawin Ensemble in cooperation with the Cultural Center of the Philippines present BATTALIA ROYALE (a loose adaptation K. Takami’s novel, Battle Royale)

Battalia Royale

BATTALIA ROYALE is a live-action game. Action begins 7:30pm at the CCP Promenade.

February 21 Tuesday
February 22 Wednesday
February 23 Thursday

Featuring Sipat Lawin Ensemble, Mapua Tekno Teatro, Dulaang Perpetual, with guests Bodjie F. Pascua, Marco Luis Viaña, Kevin Vitug, and many more.

Text: David Finnigan, Georgie McAuley, Jordan Prosser, and Sam Burns-Warr
Sound: Radioactive Sago Project and Teresa Barrozo
Direction: JK Anicoche

Blood-flood. OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. PAY-WHAT-YOU-CAN. We’ll provide surgical masks.

Our Lady of Guadalupe H.S., Manila Logo design by Leeroy New, vectored by MK Espiritu.

Get updates on Battalia Royale!
https://www.facebook.com/battaliaroyale
https://www.facebook.com/sipatlawinensemble
https://www.facebook.com/events/263719753697143/

Battalia Royale is co-presented by National University and Pepe & the Polygons.

In November 2011, Australian playwrights David Finnigan, Sam Burns-Warr, Georgie McAuley and Jordan Prosser travelled to the Philippines to work with the contemporary theatre group Sipat Lawin Ensemble on a month-long collaborative devising process. At the end of the workshopping and devising phase, a 177-page script was produced for the site-specific re-telling of Koushun Takami’s infamous novel (and its subsequent film spin-off), Battle Royale.

THE PIECE
The loose adaptation sees the story of 40 high school children kidnapped and subjected to a sadistic totalitarian government program, in which they are each pitted against one another in a spiralling sequence of fight-to-the-death vignettes. Only one student can win. Only one will survive. Best friends and school bullies are pitted against their high school sweethearts, the loners and jocks come up against the rock band kids and science nerds, armed to the teeth and hell-bent on survival. It’s like Kill Bill meets Degrassi Junior High.

In February, the Sipat Lawin Ensemble will perform their version, Battalia Royale, for a full month across two venues; the first, on the outside facade of Manila’s prestigious Cultural Centre for the Philippines, and the second, in the decrepit ruins of Fort Santiago, previously a colonial-era Spanish prison where Philippine nation hero José Rizal was imprisoned before his political execution.

Having put our collective sweat, tears, and perhaps more blood than necessary in to the script so far, we seek the funds to be able to send one of the playwrights back to Manila in February 2012, and see the project through to its completion. By documenting the performance itself, we aim to retrofit the script with Sipat Lawin’s special brand of brave theatre-making, and complete the final draft with an eye to further collaborations and productions.

Imelda pwns Pnoy, and Jesus with a penis.

It seems Imelda could do something Pnoy couldn’t: shut down a “blasphemous” exhibit at the CCP:

Meet our new Philippine President: Her Excellency, Madame Imelda Marcos
By Raïssa Robles

When Imelda Marcos went to the Cultural Center of the Philippines and asked it to shut down an art exhibit, it promptly did.

When presidential spokesman Ed Lacierda was asked what the Office of the President intended to do with the same art exhibit, he washed President Benigno Aquino’s hands for him and said: “I think we should not be involved in a matter that is purely a decision made by CCP and this is about art.”

Whether the President likes it or not, he is involved because the CCP is directly under him. That’s what the CCP website says.

But this is just in. According to radio station DZMM, President Aquino has reacted negatively to the exhibit. He said it was insulting and that freedom is not absolute.

PNoy said this after Imelda Marcos had stepped in and wielded presidential power for him. I don’t know if he ordered the exhibit to be closed as well. In any case, Imelda Marcos beat him to it.

It’s an amusing incident, and the quoted Imelda Marcos soundbite was classic Imelda:

After seeing the exhibit I was really shocked because it was not only ugly, it was not true, it was not at all beautiful because there were statues and pictures of saints and Christ with horns and with his penis up and it was really a desecration of a spiritual symbol for Catholics.

But I agree with Raïssa Robles’ concern about how CCP seems to take Imelda Marcos’ opinion on what art is to be the standard to judge the merit of an artwork.

I’ve heard about the controversial CCP exhibit (titled “Kulo”, with Mideo Cruz’ “Poleteismo” as the piece causing so much furor) the round-about way: colleagues talking about how they heard it in the news, with me not really bother to see it myself. The typical reaction people have is outrage and indignation over the apparent “blasphemous” treatment of religious symbols.

One time, my manager greeted me on the floor and asked me if I hear about it. I shrugged in agreement. She said something like how it was offensive, implying that the work went beyond what is covered by artistic license.

I couldn’t agree with my manager, though. Art as a form of expression is not meant only to please its observer. Nor does it require to follow consensus or approval. It might be truer to say that art is meant to elicit reaction; whether it is a positive or negative reaction is beside the point.

That is not to say that we should abandon notions of good or bad art. Everyone is free to criticize the merits of an artwork, such as on the basis of technique or context or relevance. But that also means everyone should be given the right to view an artwork should they wish to.

The removal of the CCP exhibit purely because it offends some people’s religious sensibilities was censorship. This country has always believed censorship to a way to protect the minds of its people against corrupting influence.

Raïssa Robles went on to point out how reactions from various personalities over that exhibit was a display of religious fundamentalism. And I could see her point. I may not use that word myself since I think the reaction was a knee-jerk protectiveness over what we think is our religious pride (how ironic), but it might as well be the same thing.

It’s the same way we Filipinos violently react over some foreigner making an apparently racist remark against us while ignoring the casual racism we ourselves practice. We really are a country of narrow-minded jerks sometimes.

I’ve now seen photos of the “Poleteismo” online. Really, I’ve seen worse.

More links from the Interwebs:
Meet our new Philippine President: Her Excellency, Madame Imelda Marcos
Official CCP Statement on Closure of ‘Kulo’ Art Exhibit
Mideo Cruz’ “Poleteismo”: When Art is Condemned