by Phuong Mai
Prize-winning plays staged in rural areas during Tet
HCM City-based drama troupes will stage several award-winning plays in the city and neighbouring provinces during Tet (Lunar New Year), particularly in rural areas with fewer entertainment choices.
"It's our tradition to travel to rural areas because we want to create a happy and peaceful Tet for people who appreciate traditional art forms but are rarely able to enjoy them," says Hong Van, director of the Phu Nhuan Troupe.
"We're not looking to make any profit, but expect more support from the cultural authorities so we can continue to bring quality plays to rural audiences," she says.
Professional drama troupes like Phu Nhuan and San Khau Nho (Little Stage) Theatre are presenting No Than (The Magic Crossbow), So Do (Good Fortune) and Dieu Thieng Lieng Nhat (The Greatest Sacredness).
No Than is set during the reign of King An Duong Vuong in the 300BC, depicting the star-crossed love story of the King's daughter My Chau, who is married to Trong Thuy, the son of her father's enemy King Trieu Da. The couple were forced to marry to improve relations between the two kingdoms.
When Chau shows Thuy her father's magic crossbow, which protects the country from aggressors, he later steals it from her and returns it to his country. After Chau's father discovers the truth, he kills her.
The play, written by Le Duy Hanh and directed by Do Duc Thinh, features more than 50 artists. Actress My Uyen, deputy director of the San Khau Nho, says the performers and stagehands will give audiences "a quality performance on a well-decorated stage". Performers receive VND40,000-50,000 for every show, while stagehands receive VND20,000.
District's only doctor treats fellow Mong residents
It seems that nearly every Mong resident in the mountainous district of Mu Cang Chai District in Yen Bai Province has visited doctor Giang A Sinh, head of the local hospital and the only medical doctor in the entire district.
The 44-year-old spent six years at Thai Nguyen University, graduating with a bachelor's degree in medical sciences. The doctor then returned to his hometown to help his people.
For 14 years, he has walked thousands of kilometres and climbed every mountain in the district to offer treatment to residents.
"My job is not only giving treatment but also convincing the residents to visit the hospital when they're sick," he says, adding that many people continue to see sorcerers or shamans for a cure. "It's hard work, but it's the only way to help my people become more healthy." — VNS