City offers free theatre shows for people in rural areas

Ho Chi Minh City authorities have of late shown great interest in organising free theatre performances for people living in rural areas, to help them unwind with light entertainment after a hard day’s work.

A comedy drama performed by students of the Ho Chi Minh City Drama Theatre failed to impress rural audiences (Photo: SGGP)

However, some theatre performances have failed in their purpose, leaving audiences unimpressed.

During the Tet holidays, a music and comedy performance by the Ho Chi Minh City Drama Theatre was held in Nha Be District. Audiences looked bored seeing young unknown singers and actors who are as yet students of the theatre. Sadly, their performance failed to entertain the crowds.

On the second day of the first lunar month, Nha Be District also held a show by the Ho Chi Minh City Hat Boi (traditional drama) Theatre in Long Thoi Commune. Even though the stage was put up in spacious surroundings, the crowds were disappointed when the show was cancelled at the last minute.

The theatre performance group of seven backstage workers and 30 actors had travelled to Hoc Mon and Binh Chanh Districts.

According to actress Ngoc Nga, deputy director of the Ho Chi Minh City Hat Boi (traditional drama) Theatre, the main actors and actresses receive a mere cash fee of VND100,000, while artists who play supporting roles receive only VND45,000.

Critics are concerned and question if professional theatre artists should be brought to perform in remote areas. Besides, there are not enough facilities for theatre performances such as sound and light, added Meritorious Artist Hoa Ha.

On the other hand, theatre often presents to audiences old plays, while the local authorities spend billions of dong to bring art performances to people in remote areas every year. The first quarter of this year alone received a fund of VND857 million (US$39,000).

According to the HCMC Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, theatre groups organised 71 performances for more than 38,000 people and workers in remote areas, social centres, industrial and processing zones during the Tet Lunar New Year holidays.

By Do Hanh – Translated by Kim Khanh

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