Expanding its reach to the regions, the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) takes its two-week mentorship program on the study and practice of dramatic writing for the stage, dubbed the Virgin Labfest (VLF) Writing Fellowship Program, to the Visayas region this November.
For the past years, the CCP has been organizing the VLF Writing Fellowship Program as part of its mandate to nurture the next generation of artists, in this case, playwrights, who appreciate and support artistic and cultural work.
Last year, with the assistance of The Performance Laboratory, Inc. and the Negros Museum, the CCP brought this program to the Visayas region and train young aspiring Filipino playwrights to hone their craft and to provide opportunities for budding young playwrights to explore and better understand their options should they determine to pursue this artistic endeavor as a professional career.
This is in line with the CCP’s focus on providing greater accessibility to artistic opportunities and creative collaborations for every Filipino, as well as encouraging art participation among the Filipino youth.
While the program follows the basic curriculum observed by the VLF Writing Fellowship Program in Manila, the VLF Writing Fellowship Program in Visayas caters to the cultural geography of the regions to better represent the voices and experiences of its fellows.
“We understand the importance of cultural geography in relation to artmaking and artist’s identity. The fellows are encouraged to write in their local language, and narrate the social realities of their regions,” shared Art Education Department manager Eva Mari Salvador.
Now, on its second year, the regional leg of the VLF Writing Fellowship Program, in partnership with The Performance Laboratory, Inc., will take place online and onsite from November 7 to 18, 2023, at the Negros Museum in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental.
For this upcoming iteration of the program, eight new fellows from the regions will be joining the writing fellowship, namely: Andy Moleño Abellar, Ursula P. David, Jalene Isabel J. Dumancas, Kym Lance G. Gelvero, Alessandro Kennz Nioda, Crystal Puying, Yehudi Sumalinog Santillan III, and Richard Bermejo Tolosa, Jr.
The fellows accepted to the program will be mentored by award-winning playwright Glenn Sevilla Mas, and will be given the opportunity to immerse themselves in Virgin Labfest Visayas’s Lab-as, the regional counterpart of CCP’s largest theater festival of untried, untested, and unstaged one-act plays as part of their mentorship. For two weeks, the fellows will attend lectures, undergo script critiquing, take part in writing sessions, and interact with known playwrights, directors and selected actors.
The fellowship program will conclude with a staged reading of the fellows’ works on November 18, 2023, 5pm, also at the Negros Museum.
Organized by the CCP Artist Training Division, the VLF Writing Fellowship Program is one of the educational components of the Virgin Labfest. Co-produced by the CCP, Tanghalang Pilipino, and the Writer’s Bloc, the country’s biggest theater festival has gained a reputation of producing provocative and outstanding ‘virgin’ plays, most have been recognized by the Palanca Awards for Literature.
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