Expanding and promoting stage creative activities

Saturday, 2021-05-01 14:02:04
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An excerpt from the play "I and we". (Photo: haiphong.gov.vn)
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NDO – In recent years, many provinces and cities around the country have launched composition contests and presented awards on literature and arts, thus contributing to encouraging the creative activities of writers and artists.

The above attention and encouragement are a good sign. However, with several specific art forms such as stage, the criteria and contents of the contests were confined only to topics and issues related to the localities. If the themes are so narrow, the annual local stage composition campaigns can easily create a boring track and cannot encourage creativity, make contributions on ideology nor improve the quality of artworks.

Normally, only scripts and theatrical plays related to provinces and cities have been considered for awards or chosen to receive the investment for the stage. Therefore, in order to ensure the “output”, the authors and theatrical units often choose historical themes dedicated to celebrities or events in the localities. In fact, there have been many contests in which the number of scripts and plays about the same historical character accounted for the majority of the participating works. Meanwhile, many provinces and cities presented many books and documents on the local celebrities to authors who were invited to join in creating stage scripts.

The stage is in need of artworks about the life and people today. However, such works are in alarmingly short supply.

In addition, while writing scripts and staging plays on modern topics and contemporary life, it is difficult for authors to narrowly reflect the characteristics that the organising boards of the contests in the localities are looking for. It will be a challenge for them to let audiences, the organising boards and managers realise that the works reflect their localities while featuring the modern themes because the characters are at the centre stage.

Looking back many composition campaigns, a number of successful artworks that became phenomena, left strong impressions in Vietnam’s stage history and attracted largeaudiences with hundreds of shows across the country were the pride of the stage sectors of the provinces and cities even thoug they did not highlight the topics related to themselves. For example, Hanoi’s stage was famous for the play “I and we”; Nam Dinh was proud of the play “Forest on fire” mentioning the stories of Binh Thuan Province.

There were many opinions that the provinces and cities invested in the plays, so obviously they had to feature the localities. However, the stage on localities and on sectors are completely different, basically between characters and stories. The plays on the public security, education and healthcare are mobilised and invested by these sectors; however, the characters of police, doctors and teachers are typical characters around the country. The contests featuring the scripts and plays on only the history and people in the localities will limit the creativity of the stage teams and the development of units in the localities. If the stage turns its back on current life, audiences will turn their backs to the stage. That seems inevitable.

It’s time the managers and the stage associations as well as art troupes in the localities should organise, invest and create favourable conditions for the promotion of creation such thatthere will be stage works with both deep ideology and high artistic quality.

Screenwriter Le Quy Hien
Translated by NDO