Versatile actress brings vision, passion to the stage

Theater director and Meritorious Artist Hong Van is one of just a handful of female impresarios in the country to have achieved remarkable success in developing Vietnam’s theater arts.

Actress Hong Van  (R) performs in the play Me va nguoi tinh (Mother and her lover)

She has also proved a strong force in helping young local actors and directors realize their dreams.

Over the past nine years, Ms. Van has established three new stages in Ho Chi Minh City including the Phu Nhuan, Kim Chau and Superbowl theaters.

Beginning with Phu Nhuan Theater in 2001, the actress made outstanding contributions in helping young local actors like Anh Vu, Thuy Nga, Duc Thinh, and Thanh Thuy achieve recognition.

She has also created opportunities for young directors including Thai Hoa and Duc Thinh to demonstrate their abilities by creating new plays.

Ms. Van said her aim is to train young actors who will then join forces with her to build a name for the theater. So far, her efforts have not been in vain.

Last year, two of three gold medals awarded at the 2009 National Theater Festival were given to Me va nguoi tinh (Mother and her lover) by Le Chi Trung and Minh Nhi; and No Than (Magic crossbow – Love story of My Chau and Trong Thuy) by Le Duy Hanh and Do Duc Thinh of the Phu Nhuan Theater.

In addition, one of five special individual awards was granted to director Thinh.

Ms. Van has also turned famous Vietnamese literary works into stage dramas. These have included Bi vo (Pilferer) by Nguyen Hong; and So do (Dumb luck) and Ky Nghe Lay Tay (Skills to marry a foreigner) by Vu Trong Phung.

She has also directed several plays such as Nuoc mat nguoi dien (Tears of a madman) and Gieng la (The strange well); and has acted in productions of Me va nguoi tinh (Mother and her lover), for which she received much praise from audiences.

Ms. Van says that in the future she hopes to have children and enter into the field of cai luong (traditional Vietnamese opera).

By Do Hanh – Translated by Kim Khanh

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