(SPOT.ph) For lovers of theater, the Virgin Labfest Festival Pass—usually almost P2,000—is an annual gift-to-self. It's up there with the much-coveted season pass for Cinemalaya and VIP card for Art Fair Philippines. It also goes to show how much the Virgin Labfest (VLF) has grown since its inception in 2004. But with the COVID-19 outbreak still uncontrolled in the Philippines, it looks like 2020 has other plans for the annual festival as VLF goes online from June 10 to 28. You can watch it live for free on the first and last week of the festival through the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ Facebook page.
All 10 featured one-act plays will be streamed live on Facebook from June 10 to 14 with 3 p.m., 5 p.m., and 8 p.m. time slots; and from June 23 to 28 with 2 p.m., 5 p.m., 8 p.m., and 9 p.m. slots. In between, you can also watch live (and for free) the restaging of three best plays from Virgin Labfest 2019, artist talk-backs, panel discussions, and staged readings.
In case you can't squeeze in several 40-minute shows during the day, you have the option to watch the recorded performances on Vimeo anytime from June 14 to 28. Check it out if you want to marathon all VLF plays in one weekend through video on demand. You can sign up using your e-mail address or social media account, and purchase a VLF package for P100 (features nine new works, three revisited plays, and five staged readings) or for P200 (features additional behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with the shows' creators). VLF 2020: Kapit packages can be purchased with a debit or credit card, or PayPal.
In case you're wondering how the shows will be staged amid social distancing and quarantine, festival director JK Anicoche said in one of the posts: "Magugulat ka sa experimentation at iba-ibang exploration at pamamaraan ng paggamit ng Zoom at OBS. […] Kung may di malinaw sa live pwede mo i-check sa Vimeo recordings. Study of two versions ika nga. Ang recordings naman sa Vimeo ay 'recorded as live' na videos ito. Ang magic ay ginagawa live at kinapture nang live. Paano kaya yun? Abangan."
Virgin Labfest 2020: Lab in the Time of COVID runs from June 10 to 28 through the Cultural Center of the Philippines' Facebook page and Vimeo page. For more information, follow The Virgin Labfest on Facebook.