|Veteran and young actors of Trần Hữu Trang Cải Lương Theatre will take part in free traditional performances launched by HCM City Department of Culture and Sports this month. — Photo courtesy of the theatre
HCM CITY — The HCM City's Department of Culture and Sports Department in collaboration with the Trần Hữu Trang Cải Lương Theatre is offering free traditional performances targeted to young people this month.
The department has spent VNĐ480 million (US$20,700) on producing free hát bội or tuồng (classical drama) and cải lương (reformed opera) performances as part of the city’s efforts to attract younger audiences.
Trần Hữu Trang Theatre will perform popular extracts from historical plays, such as Trần Hưng Đạo Đại Chiến Bạch Đằng Giang (General Trần Hưng Đạo in the Battle on Bạch Đằng River) and Trần Quốc Toản (Young Hero Trần Quốc Toản).
The shows feature more than 20 veteran and young artists, including stars Lê Tứ, Tú Sương and Minh Lâm.
“We will also stage Đời Cô Lựu (Life of Ms Lựu) and Tô Ánh Nguyệt (Ms Tô Ánh Nguyệt), which are considered canons of cải lương, a Vietnamese drama originating in 1918, developed in the Cửu Long (Mekong) River Delta region,” Phan Quốc Kiệt, deputy director of Trần Hữu Trang Theatre, said.
“Our new shows will target young audiences. We want to encourage audiences to learn more about Vietnamese history and culture through theatre,” he said. "We will offer free shows at weekends at our theatre and cultural houses for rural residents in districts 1, 3, 5, 8, Phú Nhuận and Bình Thạnh."
The theatre began to hire staff and investment for these special shows early this year.
Last year, the city also launched a free traditional theatre programme on Bùi Viện walking street in District 1 to introduce cải lương and hát bội to foreign visitors.
The programme, Giới Thiệu Nghệ Thuật Hát Bội (Introducing Hát Bội), featured 20 young performers trained by People’s Artist Đinh Bằng Phi.
They stage twice a month on weekends.
Each 60-minute show of the programme offered three extracts from historical plays by famous authors such as Đào Tấn, Tống Phước Phổ and Nguyễn Hiền Dĩnh.
“Our actors are young, but their performances left a very strong impression on foreign audiences,” said Phi, who has more than 45 years of experience in the art.
The first show of the department’s new free theatre programme for young people will be staged on August 3 at Trần Hữu Trang Cải Lương Theatre on 515-517 Trần Hưng Đạo Street in District 1. — VNS