Theatre moves to attract young audience’s interest in traditional arts

Saturday, 2021-10-30 11:25:42
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Meritorious Artist Loc Huyen (Photo: toquoc.vn)
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NDO – The Vietnam Tuong (Classical Drama) Theatre has launched a programme entitled ‘Introducing Tuong to young audiences’ with the aim to provide young people with a deeper understanding of the quintessence of the traditional art form. On the occasion, Meritorious Artist Loc Huyen, the project leader, granted an interview to Nhan Dan (People) Weekly to talk more about the programme as well as the theatre’s efforts to attract young audiences.

Question: Traditional art forms have struggled to draw the attention of young audiences. Is the Vietnam Tuong Theatre facing the same situation?

Meritorious Artist Loc Huyen: Yes, we are. We are in a crisis of audience, particularly young people. In recent years, the Vietnam Tuong Theatre has also developed programmes and staged new plays targeting young audiences; however, the outcome is not what we expected.

This urged us to work out a more suitable projects. Thus we gathered our young and talented artists to design a programme to introduce the art of Tuong to young audiences.

Can you share us about what makes this programme different from the previous ones?

During the programme, we will perform typical and distinctive ‘tuong' excerpts from classic ‘tuong’ plays such as “Ong gia cong vo di xem hoi” (Old man carrying his young wife on his back to a festival), “Ho Nguyet Co hoa cao” (Ho Nguyet Co turning into a fox), and ‘Young hero Tran Quoc Toan’.

The highlight of the programme is that the participating artists not only deliver performances but also interact with audiences to introduce them to the characteristics of tuong as well as basic rules and practices of singing, dancing, performing, and make up that ‘tuong’ artists must follow. The artists also answer questions from the audience to help them better understand the quintessence of tuong.

We also classify young audience into different age groups, from elementary to high school and university students, and build separate lists of performances for each group.

For example, an excerpt from a historical play about young hero Tran Quoc Toan is designed for elementary and secondary school children while the ‘Ho Nguyet Co turning into a fox’ play, which features more complicated content, is staged for university students. There are also plays that can entertain audience of all age groups, such as the fun folk tale ‘Old man carrying his young wife on his back to a festival’.


The ‘Introducing Tuong to young audiences’ programme aims to provide young people with truly authentic ‘tuong’ performances. (Photo: toquoc.vn)

Can you tell us more about the Vietnam Tuong Theatre’s efforts to attract young audiences?

As drawing young audiences’ interest in and attention to ‘tuong’ requires long-term effort, we remain consistent towards realising this goal.

Not only the Vietnam Tuong Theatre, but State management agencies and relevant associations have also exerted effort and sought solutions to promote traditional art forms to young people.

Accordingly, the Department of Performing Arts under Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has coordinated with functional agencies to devise a projects to introduce the charm of traditional arts in schools, such as tuong, cheo (Vietnamese traditional opera), cai luong (reformed opera), and folklore singing. The project is expected to raise younger generation’s awareness of the time-honoured values of the traditional art forms.

Meanwhile, the Vietnam Stage Artists’ Association is working on a project targeting young audiences. The project will include script writing contests, and events to promote traditional art forms to schoolchildren.

With the ‘Introducing Tuong to young audiences’ programme, the Vietnam Tuong Theatre hopes to provide young people with truly authentic ‘tuong’ performances so that they can enjoy the show to the fullest and admire the essence of the art form.

Thank you so much for your sharing!

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