International Experimental Theatre Festival opens

October 02, 2019 - 09:10

As many as 14 plays by State-run and private troupes from across Việt Nam will join the event.

A scene from Mơ Rồng (Dragon's Dream), a combination between performing arts and puppetry art by director Lê Quý Dương. It will be performed at the 4th International Experimental Theatre Festival. — VNS Photo Lê Bích

HÀ NỘI — Hundreds of theatrical artists from six countries will join the 4th International Experimental Theatre Festival in Hà Nội between October 4 and 13, according to the culture ministry’s Performing Arts Department.

People's Artist Lê Tiến Thọ, chairman of Việt Nam Theatrical Artists’ Association, noted the number of entries submitted increased this year.

“We received 53 plays from overseas, from which we chose 14 to invite,” he said. “Yet so far, only seven troupes have confirmed they will join.”

The seven plays include August (by artists from Hungary), Bpolar (Israel), Macbeth Mirror (India) and Haunted Temple (Singapore).

As many as 14 plays by State-run and private troupes from across Việt Nam will join the event.

“This festival’s domestic entries are of diversified theatrical forms, fresh in art style and contain lots of experimental features in the trend of the 4.0 era,” commented People’s Artist Lê Chức, deputy chairman of the association.

The plays are in various theatrical forms like cải lương (renovated opera), drama, chèo (traditional opera), puppetry and circus.

“The festival aims to create an opportunity for artists in Việt Nam to exchange with international colleagues, seeking new experimental works,” Thọ said.

The opening ceremony will take place on October 4 at 8pm at the Hà Nội Opera House with play Nhật Thực (Eclipse).

From October 5, there will be three shows each day at 9am, 2pm and 8pm at various theatres in Hà Nội including Tuổi Trẻ Theatre, Đại Nam Cinema, VOV Theatre, Việt Nam Drama Theatre, Âu Cơ Art Centre, Việt Nam Circus Federation and Thăng Long Puppetry Theatre.

Judges include three domestic experienced artists and artists Alain Destandau (from France) and Chua Soo Pong (Singapore).

Director Destandau, who sat as a judge at the third festival in Hà Nội, said he wants to see innovative plays at the festival.

People’s Artist and Director Trần Minh Ngọc, former rector of HCM City Theatre and Cinema College, a member of judging board at the third festival, said people should come to experimental shows with open minds.

“The views should not be strict within prejudices, ideologically pressed,” he said. “Artists can be free to create, which then may cause discussions, some audiences like, some other dislike, some others don’t even understand. It’s okay for experimental theatre.

“I think an experimental theatrical work may not aim for commercial profit or to draw a big audience,” he said. “When doing experimental works, artists should accept more loss than success and be patient to create new things.” — VNS