Private Iris' writer Jamie Bautista makes his debut in this year's Virgin Labfest with "Point and Click"

I first heard about Virgin Labfest from another theater enthusiast who told me about his experience in watching VLF. He mentioned that he attended a reading of “Kung Paano Ako Naging Leading Lady (How I Became A Leading Lady), a superhero story written by comic book artist Carlo Vergara (Zsazsa Zaturnnah) for the event. My friend said that the reading took place in one area of the CCP lobby and people were just casually gathered around.

This theatrical material became an original Filipino stage musical I got to watch. Going back to VLF, Virgin Labfest is not just a catchy name for an event. It is an avenue to explore new materials that haven’t been staged. In a way, it is an experimental stage production event. Most of it is only short length plays with minimal casting and less stage design. Some are just reading scripts like the one I cited as an example.

Vrigin Labfest is now on its 13th year and this year is title themed as “Wagas” (Endless or genuine).  The title has nothing to do with the individual plays. It only means that it will stay here for years to come and continues to show genuine new materials.

Following the suit from Carlo, comic book writer Jamie Ma. Bautista (Private Iris) wrote a story for this year’s VLF. It was Carlo who suggested to Jaime to write a story for VLF. Jamie asks Carlo to give him tips. The story he submitted was “Point and Click”.

The story is what if the character you are playing in computer games is really alive and a player is the only hope she has to make sure that she survived the game. It pays tribute to the 80’s games we used to play. I think the moral of the story is that there are no cheat codes, no walk throughs in the real game of life.

There are also some theatrical personalities I know who are also “virgins” or first timers in VLF like Topher Fabregas, Michael Williams and veteran director Carlos Siguion-Reyna who wanted to do VLF before.

This year’s VLF runs from June 28 to July 16 at CCP Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino and Huseng Batute.


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