HCMC’s stages getting ready to reopen

The theater sector in HCMC has been gradually resumed after several months of suspension due to long strict social distancing.
Art performing units have launched in-person performances, virtual shows went live on Facebook fanpages, YouTube channels and other social platforms, attracting many audiences.
The Phuong Nam Art Theater is preparing a water puppet show honoring national hero Nguyen Trung Truc. The performance directed by Ngoc Hai and Thu Thuy, written by director Mai Tham is regarded as a new experiment of the theater. During the 60-minute art show, the audience will enjoy 50 clay puppets covered with plastic wrap controlled by 20 artists, said director Le Dien, head of the Phuong Nam Art Theater.
The play aims to honor the national hero for his great patriotism and glorious sacrifices during the first year of the anti-French Resistance War. Nguyen Trung Truc (1839-1868) was a fisherman who was the leader of the anti-French colonial uprising in South Vietnam in the 1860s. The most notable of the seaborne attacks was hero Truc's burning of the lorcha L'Esperance on Nhat Tao canal on December 10, 1861.
HCMC’s stages getting ready to reopen ảnh 1 An art performance at the Hung Kings Temple in Saigon Zoo and Botanical Garden
The City’ stages are also hustling to prepare new plays for the National Drama Festival that will take place in February, 2022. The event is expected to attract 16 drama troupes featuring 21 plays.
Besides organizing a new dramatic play for the National Drama Festival 2022 , the Hong Van Theater is also planning to welcome back audience on Christmas and New Year, said People’s Artist Hong Van.
Deputy director of  the HCMC Theater of Hat Boi (Vietnamese classical opera) Art Vo Ho Hoang Vu said besides launching in-person performances, the theater has tried to maintain practicing and organizing new plays. Artists are taking part in a shoot of an art program featuring Hat Boi, magic circus to broadcast on its Facebook fanpage and YouTube channel in December.
Reaching audience via websites and social media platforms is the current trend in the global cultural and art sector, particularly in the ongoing pandemic which has brought performing activities to a crashing halt.
The Tran Huu Trang Cai Luong (southern folk opera) has just finished a shooting of its award-wining items at the stage contests to present to audience as well introduce a children’s program on its YouTube channel.
After the water puppet show of national hero Nguyen Trung Truc, the Phuong Nam Art Theater will film an art program on preservation of traditional arts. The HCMC Drama Theater, the Movie and Performance Organizing Center of HCMC and Bong Sen Music and Dance Theater have also carried out new programs.
Children’s cultural events will be broadcast on Facebook fanpages, YouTube channels and websites of the art agencies.
Art performing activities have been organized every weekend at the Hung Kings Temple in Saigon Zoo and Botanical Garden, at the historical and cultural relic of the Tomb of General Le Van Duyet for the past three weeks, attracting many audiences.

By Thuy Binh – Translated by Kim Khanh

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