Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — University and high school students staged plays based on English-language novels Atonement and Vanity Fair, as well as the fairytale The Nightingale and the Rose, last weekend at the Drama Theatre in HCM City’s District 1.
The free performances, organised by HCM City Open University’s foreign languages faculty, attracted more than 1,000 people, according to Huỳnh Tấn, an actor at the theatre.
The performances are part of the Theatre in Education activity at Open University, pioneered by university teacher Lê Quang Trực.
Most of the performers are students at Open University, and some are from other universities and high schools in the city.
Trần Thị Mỹ Lan, a third-year student at the University of Finance and Marketing, said that she enjoyed the play based on Atonement, a family saga novel which tells the story of the 13-year-old Briony Tallis.
Because of jealousy, Briony lied that Robbie, her sister’s lover, had raped her cousin Lala. He was arrested and sent to prison. Briony later became a popular writer and wrote a novel whose main characters were Robbie and her sister, who lived together happily.
In 2007, the book was made into a film, which won an Oscar for Best Original Score at the 80th Academy Awards and a Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture-Drama.
Lan, a student at the Finance and Marketing University, said: “It was more emotional to watch the drama performed by students”.
“They aren’t theatre majors, but they performed like professionals. However, with my English, I could understand only 50 per cent of it,” she said.
Dương Ngọc Như Quỳnh of Open University, who played one of the leading roles, said she spent two months to prepare for the play.
“I experienced new things, such as dancing,” Quỳnh said.
Nguyễn Thị Bình of Open University, another main character, added: “My pronunciation and vocabulary improved thanks to the play. I hope that Theatre in Education will be carried out in the future.”
Trần Thúc Tài, lecturer at the Open University’s Civil and Electrical Engineering Faculty, said that the plays were a chance for students to be creative, show their potential, and relax after school.
Lecturer Lê Quang Trực, who developed the initiative for the Theatre in Education, said that he wanted to create a memorable university experience for students.
“Bringing theatre in education helps develop students’ creativity and teamwork skills,” Trực said.
Phạm Bá Văn Quân, English lecturer at Nguyễn Tất Thành University, said that performing and listening to live plays was an excellent way to shape foreign language skills.
“Many students often feel nervous when communicating in English. These students who perform in plays overcome this barrier,” Quân said. — VNS