Festival to promote theater in Asia-Pacific region

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     A play featuring actors from the Academy of Performing Arts in the Philippines. Photo courtesy of My Phat Institute for Training and International Cooperation

The first International Asia-Pacific Theater Schools Festival opened Thursday, September 5 in Ho Chi Minh City.

The six-day event brings together 120 representatives academics, artists and students from 15 world-renowned theater schools from ten countries: Australia, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand,  and Vietnam.

The artists will present ten plays featuring their countries' traditional stage arts.

Students of cai luong, (folk opera form popular in southern Vietnam) at Ho Chi Minh City University of Stage and Cinema and the My Phat Institute for Training and International Cooperation jointly presented a play called Dien kich mot minh (Acting alone) on the opening day.

The event also includes exchange workshops and lectures by special guests and participating directors and professors including leading Australian Theater Director, Professor Aubrey Mellor of the Lasalle College of the Arts and director Abad Ricardo G. from Ateneo de Manila University, the Philippines.

The festival for special guests, local media representatives and students from art and theater schools (not the general public) is being held at 5B Theater, 5B Vo Van Tan Street, District 3; and the HCMC Dance School, 155B Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Street, District 3.

My Phat director Le Quy Duong, head of the festival's organizing board, said the event is an opportunity for participants to share experiences and co-operate in developing theatrical arts in the region. He said he would try to initiate a joint "grand theater project" for the near future that could involve all participants.

The first International Festival for Theater Schools is co-held by My Phat, the city's Association of Stage Artists, the dance school and 5B Theater, with the support from the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

My Phat is a private institution that offers classes in acting and script writing, and invests in artistic theater projects.

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