National Theater causes continued discontent for artists
  • | Dtinews, VTC News | May 08, 2012 12:25 PM
 >>  Establishment of National Theatre inspires hope and 'stage fright'

People’s artist Lan Huong, along with many others at the Tuoi Tre (Youth) Theatre, have voiced their dissatisfaction over the merger of the Youth and the Vietnam Drama theatres, to make the Vietnam National Theatre.

 People’s artist Lan Huong in a drama at the Youth Theatre.
The decision has already been approved by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

At a meeting between representatives from the ministry and artists, held on May 4th, a number of artists said that the decision to merge the theatres was too hasty and caused disorder. They complained that there was little or no input from artists before making the decision.

According to artist Lan Huong, all three leaders of Youth, including her and the two Meritorious Artists, Anh Tu and Chi Trung, haven’t seen specific plans for the new theatre.

As director of the Experimental Physical Theatre, under the Youth Theatre, Lan Huong has also sent a letter to the Government asking why her theatre was left out of the merger.

“The first news we had of this plan was from People's Artist Le Hung, who was appointed director of the Vietnam National Theatre,” Lan Huong said, adding, "Hung is known to be slow at keeping his promises, and we are still waiting for a meeting with representatives of the ministry.“

She also said that Hung explained to them that the merger would help theatres in years to come, as socialisation policies were preventing them from access to State subsidies.

“But merger will also mean the end for the Youth Theatre,” Lan Huong said. “And we would rather die from socialisation than be eliminated in this way.”

Lan Huong said that the Vietnam National Theatre, as described by artist Le Hung sounded like a corporation with a general director and five deputies. Each of the three 'subsidiaries', including the Vietnam Drama Theatre, Youth Theatre and Children Drama Theatre, would also have a director and two deputies.

“Compared to the small number of artists employed by two theatres, the board of directors with 15 people is immense," she said.

Lan Huong proposed that the ministry and two theatres hold a referendum on the merger. However, representatives from the Ministry of Culture, Sport and Tourism has yet to respond to this proposal.

The decision to merge Vietnam Drama Theatre and Youth Theatre into the Vietnam National Theatre was approved by the Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Hoang Tuan Anh, on March 27. The Vietnam National Theatre will include three subsidiaries with separate tasks. Vietnam Drama Theatre will be responsible for classic dramas, Youth Theatre is to produce comedies and modern dramas and the newly-established Children Drama Theatre will arrange plays for children.

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism plans to subsidise the Vietnam National Theatre. They will also be involved in play selection with a focus on classical dramas. A new 7,000-square metre theatre is to be built in My Dinh, Tu Liem District, on the outskirts of Hanoi. The merger of these two theatres is hoped to be a major contribution to the performing arts in Vietnam.

In the north, theatrical productions have faced difficulties over the last decade. Youth Theatre, Hanoi Drama Theatre, Vietnam Drama Theatre struggled to exist.

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