May 21, 2024 | Feature Release, Press Release

VLF 19: PINTOG Set B, composed of Herlyn Alegres SENTENARYO, Dip Mariposque’s DIVINE FAMILY and Jhudiel Clare Sosa’s IDENTITÉ, confronts confounding family expectations. Dubbed BINGIT, this set will have audiences at the edge of their seats with its storytelling and progressive staging.  

In SENTENARYO, a family fights over the birthday money of their patriarch. But the centenarian dies before he receives the money from the government official.  

According to the playwright, the story was inspired by news from Japan about a mother and her son who pretended that a family member was still alive so they could receive a pension and other benefits from the government. The scheme was later revealed when the man’s body was found. Alegre explored how this situation would play out if it was set in the Philippines. 

Because of the Philippine politics, religion, and power dynamics, the playwright believes that it would be interesting to see who would relate to such a scenario. “It is a representation of the current milieu. How are our senior citizens treated in this context?” said Alegre.

Director Ian Segarra describes the play as a physical comedy. “It is interesting to show the relationship of the bodies in space,” said Segarra. 

Set during COVID when people were mandatorily put under one roof, DIVINE FAMILY narrates what will happen when individuals with secrets to hide are brought together in their family house and are forced to confront their realities. Mariposque wanted to explore the idea of writing about emancipation and played with the idea of writing with no rules. 

“I wanted to give importance and highlight on personal relationships, and how they can make and break us as a person,” said Marisposque who calls for the audience to reflect on the dynamics of their own family. 

This play is on the verge of crazy. Director Roobak Valle said: “Characters are on the edge of their sanity, then they are forced to live in one place.” 

The play makes no promises for any reconciliation. “It has a reality. But it will definitely show you the monsters we get if we try to stay with toxic family set-ups,” said Mariposque.

IDENTITÉ is about the journey of self-discovery and identity, revolving around a mother and a daughter. It opens the conversation on how a person perceives himself, vis-a-vis how other people perceive them. 

Playwright Sosa wanted to tell a story about women empowerment. “You have a choice. Not just for your body but everything in your life.” said Sosa. And since the play shows that the two characters are on the edge of their relationship with each other, it asks, will it make or break them?

Director Meann Espinosa presented the drama with a comic twist. “Comedy has a unique power to bring people together and provide much-needed relief from the heaviness of the world,” said the director of Identité. 

As an experimental laboratory for untried, untested and unstaged plays, “VLF pushes Filipino writers to tell more stories that are authentic, over the edge, with more risks, where they don’t think about financial profits,” said Mariposque.

VLF 19: Pintog runs from June 12 to 30, 2024, at the Tanghalang Ignacio Gimenez (CCP Blackbox Theater). Shows will be at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. The other components of the festival are at 5 p.m. at the Bulwagang Roberto Chabet, 3rd floor, Tanghalang Ignacio Gimenez. For more details on the schedule and ticket prices, visit the official social media accounts of CCP, Tanghalang Pilipino, The Writers’ Bloc and Virgin Labfest on Facebook, X, Instagram, and TikTok.

VLF 19 Set B Posters

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