Ministry scraps decision to merge two Hanoi theaters

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A decision to merge two Hanoi theaters has been shelved by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism following criticism from some of the artists.

The plan to merge the Vietnam Drama Theater and Tuoi Tre (Youth) Theater was initiated by Le Hung, director of the Vietnam Drama Theater and the Youth Theater without consulting artists from the two theaters.

The decision, signed on March 27, 2012 by Minister Hoang Tuan Anh to create the Vietnam National Drama Theater was scrapped on May 21 after the ministry weighed objections from former directors and artists as well as current members of the Vietnam Association of Stage Artists.

Artist Chi Trung, an official at the Youth Theater, compared the merger to a forced marriage between a bride and a groom who had nothing in common.

His colleagues, led by People's Artist Lan Huong, protested the decision.

Following a meeting with the artists, Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Ho Anh Tuan announced a postponement of the merger.

Huong said that the decision to scrap the move shows the government's willingness to take criticism into consideration.

The Vietnam Drama Theater has 100 artists, and the Youth Theater, 180.

The latter is a member of the International Association of Theater for Children and Young People.

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