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Theatre directors' quest to eye quality, appeal

Update: April, 16/2013 - 10:23
HCMCITY (VNS)— HCM City's younger directors are expected to shine at the National Competition for Young Talented Theatre Directors that begins in the city next Monday.

Xuan Trang, Ngoc Hung and Hanh Thuy are among those vying for top honours in the contest organised annually by the culture ministry's Department of Performing Arts.

Up-and-coming director Trang's Oan Gia (Foe), a play on family problems in modern society, should be a strong favourite.

"I'm not sure how my work will fare at the competition, but it is one that young people enjoyed watching," Trang, who works for the Phu Nhuan Theatre Club, a leading private theatre in the city, said.

Oan Gia remains popular since debuting late last year.

Hung, 35, of The Gioi Tre Theatre said: "We hope our new plays signal a trend and that cultural authorities and senior officials in the city's Theatre Association will take notice."

Hung's Bi Mat Nha Xac (The Secret of Mortuary) is a horror story interspersed with issues of love and career of a group of young doctors and nurses.

Hung said many of dramatists, especially those living in remote areas, face financial challenges in taking part in the competition.

"The organisers should provide [them] support to show off their creations at the event."

Another talented director, Hanh Thuy, hopes her play Me Oi (Mom) will spark off a trend towards greater seriousness in a local theatre scene that is still dominated by comedies.

Me Oi is a story about a mother who sacrifices her life for her only son, who becomes selfish and emotionless after everything she does for him. With its incisive dialogues and moving scenes, it made a strong impression on viewers.

Its producer, the private 5B Theatre, has sold out tickets for the next two weeks.

Thuy won the Best Director Award at the 2009 National Theatre Festival, which is held every five years by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

Her winning work, Dong Nho (Memory Stream), was about the life of southern people based on a short story by Nguyen Ngoc Tu.

Thirteen plays produced by both State-owned and private troupes are entered at next week's event.

The others are based on traditional themes about historical events and post-war problems.

The organisers and judges said this year's awards would take into consideration both quality and commercial appeal. — VNS

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