Learn How to Write Plays While Stuck in Traffic

You'll be mentored by acclaimed playwright Rody Vera.

(SPOT.ph) Filipino writers (or artists in general, for that matter) don't get many opportunities when it comes to improving their craft. Sure, you can learn on your own by reading and—of course—writing every minute of the day. But writing workshops are usually hard to get into, while lectures and seminars that don't require application cost a lot. Pelikulove hopes to provide a solution through online training programs, and they're starting with the Rody Vera Online Playwriting Course, which was launched in time for the 15th anniversary of the Virgin Labfest and the Playwrights’ Fair on June 29.

The course features 13 lessons, from the very basic history of playwriting to the more advanced topics of staging a production and dealing with directors and actors, all available as play-on-demand clips with summarized handouts. Yes, that means you can watch the videos on your phone while stuck in traffic and make those wasted hours more productive.

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There's also an online community forum where you can submit writing exercises from the lessons or a whole play you wrote while doing the online course. This simulates an actual workshop where your classmates can comment and provide constructive criticism for the improvement of your work. Aside from video-recorded lessons, you also get access to bonus clips that show how three one-act stage plays first produced at the Virgin Labfest (VLF) were translated into film.

The mentor, Rody Vera, is one of the most respected names when it comes to Philippine playwriting. He co-founded the VLF, which has been providing an avenue for emerging Filipino playwrights to stage their "unpublished, unstaged, untried, and untested" works since it was established in 2004. He's a Hall of Famer at the Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature, which means he has achieved the distinction of winning five first prizes; a Dangal ni Balagtas awardee for his contributions in strengthening Filipino culture and arts; and the former artistic director of the Philippine Educational Theater Association.

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The Rody Vera Online Playwriting Course is priced at P6,800. A discounted rate, which is at P2,500, is valid until July 7. For more information, visit Pelikulove's website.

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