Stage artists long for theatres to reopen

July 05, 2021 - 10:00

Although all theatres have had to close to prevent COVID-19, artists still rehearse for new plays, waiting for the day they can return to the stage.


Artists of the Youth Theatre rehearse a play while waiting for the theatre to reopen.  Photo

HÀ NỘI -  Although all theatres have had to close to prevent COVID-19, artists still rehearse for new plays, waiting for the day they can return to the stage.

For the Youth Theatre, summer is the peak time for actors as they perform a few times a day. However, due to the pandemic, the theatre has been shut for several months. Since the beginning of this year, the artists have put on just a handful of performances.

This is also a problem for many other theatres.

“Our artists are very impatient because they have not been able to work for a long time. During past months, instead of the nightly scene with hundreds of viewers, we now see only a few staff working night duty. It’s so sad to look at our schedule, seeing our shows have been cancelled one by one,” said the Youth Theatre’s deputy director Sĩ Tiến.

Although the artists haven’t seen an audience for months, they still need to practice hard.

“Before the pandemic, we were rehearsing the play Bầy Chim Thiên Nga (The Flock of Swans). We were ready to sell tickets but the pandemic has turned our performing schedule upside down. However, the artists still need to practice the play, expecting that they will have chance to debut it soon,” Tiến said.

He said that in the current situation, all theatres need to change their performance plans.

“Last year, after re-opening in May, we immediately achieved success as our artists rehearsed and staged a number of consecutive performances, he said.

“This year, due to the pandemic, the artists need to improvise and be more flexible."

Like the Youth Theatre, the Việt Nam Circus Federation also closed its doors. However, the circus artists haven’t stopped their daily practice routines.

Deputy director of the Việt Nam Circus Federation Tống Toàn Thắng said that all artists are always ready to be on stage.

The circus play Biệt Đội Anh Hùng (The Hero Squad), which was supposed to debut on Children's Day, June 1, has been postponed until the Mid-Autumn Festival in September.

“Although the performing schedule has been changed significantly, even cancelled, the artists are still practicing for other shows according to our annual plan,” Thắng said.

Thắng, who is an international award-winning circus artist, said that the fourth wave of the pandemic has had a serious impact on every individual, especially his employees.

“If we are allowed to re-open, I think we need a certain time until we can draw our fans back to our circus stage,” he said.

“Anyway, we need to adapt to the new situation. All stages have to find suitable solutions to overcome the difficulties and to pull audiences back. This can only be done when the pandemic is controlled, then the viewers are no longer afraid of the disease and the economy starts to stabilise,” he added.

Find ways to adapt

To adapt to the current situation, the Việt Nam Drama Theatre has their own initiative in using social media.

Theatre director Xuân Bắc has directed a group of young artists to create a series of short performances to present on TikTok, aiming to promote the theatre and their activities.

The Youth Theater has also selected a number of drama excerpts as well as children's songs to post on their Facebook page.

"That is the way we want to share our art activities to a wider audience," said the theatre’s deputy director Sĩ Tiến.

For the Việt Nam Circus Federation, which hasn't paid much attention to social media, its deputy director Toàn Thắng has said the federation will be more active on this platform to interact with audiences.

However, the theatres do not have to manage on their own in this difficult time.

According to deputy head of the culture ministry's Department of Performing Arts, Trần Hướng Dương, the department’s representatives have discussed with some theatres and Việt Nam Television to present some stage productions on TV from July.

"The department will cover a part of those theatres’ production costs. Instead of in-person plays, we will present them on the TV screen,” Dương said.   VNS