"Ang Bahay sa Gitna ng Kawalan" at the Virgin LabFest 13

Screams, laughter, and applause greeted the last show of "Ang Bahay sa Gitna ng Kawalan" at the 13th installment of the Virgin LabFest. It has been called a "bamboozling mess"; often, in reviews of the set of three one-act plays, "Bahay" merits one line, a cursory glance. But I've accepted it for what it is (for what most of my stories are): a strange, dark thing that may not be loved, that will only be held at arm's length.

But sometimes--sometimes--a story finds its audience. Like in that final show, when I saw the CCP ushers huddling together to watch, when I could hear people screaming in fright. Fred Hawson, who listed this in his top 4 plays of the festival, described it as "[d]efinitely the weirdest, most original of all the entries because of its out-of-the-box genre, twisted plot and atmospheric staging."

We had fun. I'm proud of the end-product, thanks to George de Jesus's dynamic direction. As a playwright, I came away satisfied to have helped stage the Virgin LabFest's first ever horror one-act play.

I would like to express my gratitude to the Virgin LabFest, to Tuxqs Rutaquio, Nikki Garde-Torres, Rody Vera, Ching Danseco, to Allie, TJ, and Joseph, to George, Rafa, Angeli, Delphine, Mara, and Kevin. Thank you for your time and for your patience. I know this play is physically and emotionally draining. (During the last show, I watched it standing on the side because I could not. sit. still.) Thank you for getting us through numerous blocking changes, quick changes, minor accidents onstage and backstage, projector adjustments, shouting matches (both within and without the world of the play, haha!), and 147 (!!!) lights and sound cues. Thank you for this opportunity!

Thank you to everyone who watched. I hope you enjoyed this little story.


sa direksyon ni George de Jesus III

Itinatampok sina

Delphine Buencamino (bilang Isabel)

Kevin Posadas (bilang Miguel)

Mara Paulina Marasigan (bilang Kat)

at si Bb. Angeli Bayani

Tagapamahala ng Entablado: Rafa Lubigan
Disenyo ng Entablado: Allie Lingao Eguia
Disenyo ng Tunog: TJ Ramos
Disenyo ng Ilaw: Joseph G. Matheu

JULY 1, 6, 11, 15 | 3:00 PM
JULY 1, 5, 9, 14 | 8:00 PM
Cultural Center of the Philippines
Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino (Little Theater)

Photo dump July 17
Playwrights and Directors Orientation.

The playwrights and directors of VLF 13.
Photo dump July 17
With Stage Managers Sabrina Manansala ("Marte" and "Nothing But Dreams") and Rafa Lubigan ("Ang Bahay sa Gitna ng Kawalan"). This was taken while waiting for the open house for George de Jesus's Kung Paano Maghiwalay (Egg Theater Co.) in the Pineapple Lab.

Photo dump July 17
Silangan rehearsal.

Photo dump July 17
Silangan rehearsal pa more!

Photo dump July 17
Delphine/Isabel pre-DTR.

Photo dump July 17
DTR (Stage is too dark and has to be adjusted.)
Lights adjusted!

Photo dump July 17
Direk George fixing the Taga-Sundo costume backstage.

Photo dump July 17
Delphine applying her make-up.

Photo dump July 17
Our faces in the VLF program.

A scene from the one-act play. Photo by Joseph Matheu. More photos below.


Photo dump July 17
The Writing Fellows. Talk-back with playwrights and directors after the second week matinee show.

Photo dump July 17
Pre-show adjustments.

Set D, Little Theater backstage. Photo by Lhorvie/Gracia of Dingdong Novenario's "Nothing But Dreams".

Ang saya ni beh o, kunwari hindi tensyonado.

My mother carrying my closing-show flowers. Thank you VLF and Island Rose!

Victoria family!

Photo dump July 17
Darna (Tetchi Agbayani, from Maynard Manansala and U Z Eliserio's "Hindi Ako si Darna") with ZsaZsa Zaturnnah (Tuxqs Rutaquio, from Carlo Vergara's "ZsaZsa Zaturnnah")

Photo dump July 17
Tuxqs Rutaquio announcing the Revisited plays.

Photo dump July 17
Kung sino ka mang inilista ako sa "Cutest Playwright", maraming salamat sa suporta. :D

Photo dump July 17
Cast party!

Photo dump July 17
Direk George co-hosting the cast party.

Congratulations to this year's Virgin Labfest Revisited (VLF 14: KATORSE)!

1. Adrian Ho's "Sincerity Biker's Club," directed by Jenny Jamora
2. Rick Patriarca's "Birdcage," directed by Ian Segarra
3. Eljay Castro Deldoc's "Pilipinas Kong Mahal With All The Overcoat," directed by Roobak Valle and Tuxqs Rutaquio

Till next year!


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