Establishing a young audience and helping them enjoy the theatrical arts is essential for nurturing their souls and the art form itself, experts have said.
The Việt Nam Theatre Artists Association has recently been carrying out a project to build and develop a new generation of audience for the theatre.
Fostering an interest among young people around the country while they are still at school will be the focus, according to People’s Artist Trịnh Thúy Mùi, chairwoman of the association.
“This project is quite different from previous ones conducted by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism’s Department of Performing Arts,” said Mùi.
“The aim here is to introduce traditional theatrical genres to students and also to teach them about performing.”
“This project is hoped to bring theatrical arts closer to children and help them see the beauty of the wide array of genres.”
Art troupes and professional artists would perform at schools, she added.
In the first phase, the project would be conducted on a trial basis from junior to high schools in major cities such as Hà Nội, HCM City, and Đà Nẵng.
The Hà Nội Drama Theatre’s Những Mầm Xanh (Green Buds) club is currently experimenting with performances for children at Vinschool in Times City.
The pilot has received a positive response from the children as well as their parents and sparked a love for the theatre among many.
The club began the pilot last September with the participation of artists from the Hà Nội Drama Theatre.
“Children are given the chance to meet their favourite artists, who will help them nurture a love of the arts,” said Nguyễn Trung Hiếu, the theatre’s director.
“They will become more confident, more mature, and more active.”
Last month, the children were able to visit the theatre at 42 Tràng Tiền Street in Hà Nội and perform a little on stage.
It is hoped that the model will be expanded to other schools around Hà Nội and in other cities.
The project aims to create an audience for each theatrical genre, but artists and managers need to be more active in producing quality performances that appeal to younger audiences, according to Mùi.
Associate Professor Dr Trần Trí Trắc said the aesthetic tastes of artists and young audiences were yet to find a common voice.
“The audience is one of the basic elements of theatrical arts, joining the director, script writer, and actors, but has received too little attention for a long while,” Trắc said.
“If we want to revive the theatre, first of all we need to attract a younger audience by educating them at school about the art form.”
People’s Artist Trần Ngọc Giàu, president of the HCM City Theatre Association, added that today’s young audiences had many options in terms of entertainment.
“It is necessary to instil in the young a love of the theatre,” Giàu said.
The Việt Nam Youth Theatre has been performing for children around the country for many years and has also set up theatre clubs, where members are given priority to preview new productions.
Members also offer their thoughts to help the theatre produce performances that the public will enjoy.
Shows by the Việt Nam Circus Federation have regularly attracted a young audience but remained active in creating new productions, such as Nàng Tiên Cá (The Little Mermaid), Cây Gậy Thần (Magic Stick), and Hà Nội Của Những Giấc Mơ (Hà Nội of Dreams), which combine different art genres.
Over the years, the Việt Nam Tuồng Theatre has also regularly visited schools to introduce and perform tuồng (classical opera) for a young audience, and young and old can enjoy chèo (traditional opera) shows every Friday night at the Việt Nam Chèo Theatre.
Nguyễn Thị Hòa from Giảng Võ Ward in Ba Đình District is a regular at theatres in Hà Nội.
“I often take my kids to watch shows,” she said. “Some have changed to appeal to a wider audience.”
Many years ago, Huỳnh Anh Tuấn, director of the Idecaf Theatre in HCM City, was concerned about shrinking audience numbers. Young people didn’t seem to find any enjoyment in the theatre, despite it retaining its appeal among adults.
The theatre needs to attract a younger audience and producers need to stage productions that will attract them, according to Tuấn.
Since debuting in 1997, the Idecaf Theatre has been one of only a few to produce shows specifically for children, such as Ngày Xửa Ngày Xưa (Once Upon a Time), which proved popular after premiering in 2000.
The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has launched a campaign to support existing theatres, but it is not considered a sustainable effort that builds a young audience base.
This is, indeed, the goal of the Việt Nam Theatre Artists Association’s project.
Not only seminars and roundtables will take place within the project but also other activities such as a children’s script writing contest and a theatre festival, according to Mùi.
“One of the reasons for creating a young audience is to ensure the longevity of theatrical arts,” Mùi said. “The best way to approach young people needs to be identified and measures taken to ensure success.” VNS
HÀ NỘI – For more than 20 years, the space under the stairs of the first floor in the A3 apartment building in Nghĩa Tân Ward of Hà Nội has been home to bookshelves.
Newcomers or those who first visit the building may be surprised as the bookshelves and reading materials there belong to no one. They are shared and look after by the residents of the building.
The mini library has bookshelves, tables and chairs and books of all genres shelved in different areas such as classics, fiction, non-fiction, history, healthcare, science, law, memoirs as well as daily newspapers.
Đào Thị Anh Tuấn, a resident of the building, has spent many years voluntarily arranging newspapers and books at the library.
Tuấn said before 1999, people usually parked their motorbikes, ran small business stalls or occupied the stair area for personal purposes.
“Some retired people and veterans living in the building had an idea to set up a public library there, making it the first special cultural stair in the city,” Tuấn said.
It was then turned into a common cultural area for the community where people can go to read books, newspapers and talk to each other.
“We called on the residents to donate newspapers, books, tables and chairs,” she said, adding they set some rules to ensure the reading corner runs effectively. For example, every household takes turns to clean the stair daily, remove advertisements or drawings on walls and funds are raised by the residents to buy more books and newspapers.
“For over 20 years, the stair has been a familiar place for the building’s residents to gather and share their reading habit,” she said, adding that such activities also helped tighten the relationship of the different generations, neighbours and solidarity of the community.
While the young find interesting or useful resources for their studies or reading pleasure, older people enjoy reading news and events from daily newspapers. Many of them come to read and discuss news and events together.
Đỗ Trung Minh, a retired official who helps run the library, said the space under the stairs at the A3 building was quite large – about 20 sq.m, so it used to be used for parking.
Some people even left garbage there, he said.
“Since we cleaned up and opened a reading corner there, the area looks much better and residents have a place to meet, read and talk,” he said.
Another resident, Nguyễn Thị Hát, said she found many useful medical books and materials at the small library under the stairs.
“I usually read books and articles about how to stay healthy and avoid illness,” she said.
Đào Tùng Dương, a secondary school pupil, said he usually went to the library to read after school.
“Reading printed books and magazines is better for my eyes rather than using a mobile phone,” Dương said.
In the era of the internet, tablets and e-readers, reading culture is still maintained and promoted here, thanks to the “cultural stair”.
From this model, many community activities have been organised such as the weekly cleaning of the whole building, fundraising for people suffering from natural disasters and cooking competitions.
The success of the “cultural stair” of the A3 apartment block has even been spread to dozens of other neighbouring apartment buildings in Nghĩa Tân Ward.
The ward’s authorities have called on other buildings to implement the same model which has proved effective in promoting the reading culture and community connection. VNS
However, up to 70 percent of Vietnamese people use the Internet. This towering number of people surfing the internet shows an irreversible trend of the urgent digital transformation.
By Ho Son – Translated by Anh Quan
HCM CITY — Việt Nam plans to further enhance trade and investment cooperation with the US, especially after the Covid-19 pandemic ends, said a city official.
Speaking at a seminar on Wednesday Việt Nam – US Trade, Nguyễn Hữu Tín, director of the Investment and Trade Promotion Centre in HCM City (ITPC), said: “US-Việt Nam trade has made impressive progress in recent years, with the US currently being Việt Nam’s largest export market.”
Last year, Việt Nam ranked sixth in the world and third in Asia in exports to the US, after China and Japan, he said.
The US is shifting from imports of goods from traditional exporters to other emerging countries, including Việt Nam. “Việt Nam is gradually asserting its position as the leading partner of the world’s largest economy,” he said.
Tín attributed the achievement to “an open, dynamic and practical cooperation” of the two countries’ governments and business communities.
The US has encouraged American enterprises to establish production and value chains between the two countries.
Việt Nam can benefit from its control of COVID-19 by enhancing trade with its partners, Tín said. Vietnamese businesses should grasp the “golden opportunity” to innovate and improve production and business capacity to exploit the US market, he added.
Nguyễn Bá Thiên Thư, chief representative of Registrar Corp, an FDA consulting firm, explained that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates food, beverages, drugs, medical devices and cosmetic products available for commercial distribution in the US.
“Local businesses need to understand the FDA standards for exporting goods to the US market,” she said.
The FDA regulations include safety and sanitary requirements for products exported to the US. To export food to the US, businesses are required to register wirh the FDA, while complying with the new labeling regulations and the Food Safety Modernisation Act (FSMA) by FDA.
Some local businesses are facing problems reaching required standards and quality, especially on completing procedures for FDA certification.
In the future, local enterprises must have FDA certificates for their products to be exported to the US.
To reach FDA standards, Vietnamese enterprises must have input materials that meet those standards. The US market has high technical and high product quality requirements.
Experts said Việt Nam should complete its system of standards and regulations to improve the quality of exports to the US. This will promote the competitiveness of Vietnamese products in the global market.
The event was organised by the Investment and Trade Promotion Centre in HCM City. — VNS
The Saigon Classical Music Group will present the “Ensemble of Nature” concert at the HCM City Union of Arts and Literature Associations on May 8.
The show will feature Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No 15 and 23 , Debussy’s Clair de Lune , and Chopin’s Nocturne No 1 .
The programme will also include arias from operas Tosca by Puccini, Rinaldo by Handel, and I Vespri Siciliani (Sicilian Vespers) by Verdi.
The performances will highlight pianists Hồ Thiên Phước, Đặng Trí Dũng and XT Celine, flutist Phan Nguyễn Minh Trang, and sopranos Nguyễn Thu Hà and Phạm Phương Khanh.
The concert will begin at 7pm. The venue is at 81 Trần Quốc Thảo Street in District 3. Free registration is available at ensemble-of-nature.eventbrite.com. – VNS