The Culture Ministry yesterday afternoon announced that it would postpone the merging of two popular theatres in the north including the Viet Nam Drama Theatre and Tuoi Tre (Youth) Theatre to form a new national drama theatre.
HA NOI --
The decision was reached after the ministry came under fierce reactions from artists at the two theatres.
"The two theatres will continue their normal working routines as usual before a more proper and open merging project is passed," said culture deputy minister Ho Anh Tuan at a meeting with the artists. "I'm sure that all involved artists will be able to contribute opinions to the project of establishing a new national drama theatre."
"Whether or not the new national drama theatre is formed by merging the two theatres surpasses our competence [to decide]," he said, "We will think twice before announcing the final decision."
According to artist Thu Ha, from the Viet Nam National Drama Theatre, a recent vote showed that almost 100 per cent of artists agreed with the merging postponement.
Nearly one month ago, the ministry announced that it would establish a national drama theatre by merging the two theatres.
If the merge happens, the new theatre will gather nearly 300 employees, including 100 artists from Viet Nam Drama Theatre and 180 from the Youth Theatre.
However, the project was not popular among involved artists, and stirred a great outcry.
People's artists Le Hung, director of the Viet Nam Drama Theatre, who initiated the project, said that it was born to save the two theatres from being funded by private sources.
Nguyen Phuc Thanh, head of the Personnel Department, confirmed that a new national drama theatre would be formed to develop the art of drama and facilitate the State to better invest in the art.
Thanh also noted that avoiding private funding was not a main reason to merge the two theatres. Despite any circumstances or economic situations, the ministry would be mainly responsible for caring the artists.
Tuan admitted that the ministry had not listened to the artists enough in considering the merge.
He said a special team would be established to draft a more feasible project of establishing a national drama theatre with full awareness and participation of the involved artists.
"Forming a national drama theatre has been the dream of many generations of artists. We just must follow a proper and open procedure," he said.
Various veteran artists and members of the directing board of the Youth Theatre, including People's Artist Pham Thi Thanh and Meritorious Artist Duc Trung, expressed their willingness to keep the "trademark" of the Youth Theatre.
"There are dozens of drama theatres in many capitals in the world," they shared the same opinion, "This would encourage competition as well as abundant development in the styles of theatres. In HCM City alone, there are five drama theatres with regular shows." - VNS