Cultural Center of the Philippines to Hold Virgin Labfest Writing Fellowship Program in Visayas
The Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) is set to launch the Virgin Labfest Writing Fellowship Program in the Visayas for its second year. The program aims to improve the skills of local playwrights through a two-week mentorship program organized in partnership with The Writer’s Bloc and The Performance Laboratory, Inc.
Scheduled from November 7 to 18, 2023, the program will follow the basic curriculum observed in the Virgin Labfest Writing Fellowship Program in Manila. Eight writing fellows from the Visayas region will be trained by renowned playwright Glenn Sevilla Mas through hybrid online and onsite sessions at the Negros Museum in Bacolod.
Among the selected writing fellows are Andy Abellar, Ursula David, Jalene Dumancas, and Kym Gelvero. These promising playwrights, all based in the Visayas region, showcased their talent in bringing stories to life using their regional dialects.
Abellar, who has had a long-standing relationship with theater, believes that playwriting is a powerful tool to address social issues. As an active member of the Kanlaon Theater Guild, he understands the impact a storyteller can make in advocating for their cause. Abellar stated, “To be honest, the technicalities of writing drain me. I have to gather a lot of energy to finish a script. But delivering my cause through this medium drives me to write more. As a theater artist, a script with a powerful message surpasses the tiresome training and productions.”
Co-founder of DuLaab, Ursula David sees theater as a means to touch the lives of many through eye-opening masterpieces. She believes that the performing arts, including playwriting, have a lasting impact on culture, reflecting an artist’s unique perspective on the world.
Dumancas, a member of the Kanlaon Theater Guild, sees the arts and theater as a creative outlet to share one’s message and emotions. She expressed, “Arts are the embodiments of human nature, and its beauty is what keeps us alive and breathing.”
For Gelvero, playwriting allows her to express her numerous stories, experiences, and imaginations. She believes that society is reflected in art, but it is the artist who makes it personal.
The writing fellows view their acceptance into the program as an opportunity to expand their horizons. Abellar sees the program as a platform to deliver their work and cause on a broader scale, while Ursula hopes for a harmonious and fruitful experience. Dumancas and Gelvero are excited to learn more about the technical aspects of playwriting.
The culmination of the program will be the staged reading of the fellows’ works on November 18 at the Negros Museum in Bacolod. However, until then, the fellows are bracing themselves for new challenges in their aspiring careers as writers.