|Centre stage: The traditional opera Tam Ao Bao Hoang De (Imperial Robe) by director Quang Thap won one of two gold medals at the National Theatre Competition for Young Directors. — Photo vov.vn
HCM CITY (VNS)— Directors of plays that dealt creatively with social issues even as they entertained the audience were recognised with several awards at a cememony held recently at the HCM City Theatre and Cinematography University.
Quang Thap of Ninh Binh Province and Phan Nhat Phi Long of HCM City won the gold medal at the National Theatre Competition for Young Directors held by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism's Department of Performing Arts.
Thap's Tam Ao Bao Hoang De (Imperial Robe), a cheo (traditional opera) play focusing on Queen Duong Van Nga, the only empress dowager of the Dinh dynasty, who began her reign in 979, was a hit with both the jury and audiences at the two-week contest that ended on Friday.
The play features young actors including Thanh Tuyen and Anh Tu of the Ninh Binh Cheo Theatre.
The Ninh Binh Cheo Theatre spent a lot of effort, time and money to create beautiful costumes and dazzling sound and light effects for the play.
"We worked hart to perfect our performance. I believe... the jury and audiences still enjoy watching cheo today if the play is of high quality," said 43-year-old Thap.
"All my staff hope our new play will signal a new trend in cheo, and that authorities and artists take notice," he said.
Thap's younger colleague, Long, is more into contemporary art.
His play, Ao Cuoi Thien Duong (Heavenly Wedding Gown), dealt critically with social issues, winning the jury's approval.
Beginning his career as an actor, Long, 30, worked hard to complete his study in directing at the HCM City Theatre and Cinematography College last year.
"I received a lot of support from my colleagues, who joined my play for free," he said.
His play will be staged for the public on May 15 and 23 at the college auditorium.
Winning Silver Medal awards at the contest were Le Thuy Nga of Ha Noi, Lich Su of HCM City, and Le Quoc Nam of Ca Mau Province.
Tot Nghiep Chicago (Graduating in Chicago), a musical play by Nguyen Khac Duy received a special award for innovation.
The judges' panel said that this year, they took into consideration both the quality and commercial appeal of the entries.
Le Chuc, deputy chairman of the Viet Nam Theatre Artists Association, a member of the jury, said: "This year plays by both State-run and private theatres were serious and dealt with major issues instead of merely focusing on entertainment."
The contest attracted 22 plays in various categories produced by State-run and private theatres nationwide. — VNS