Vietnam metro opens new theater for kids

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The construction site of the Sen Hong (Pink Lotus) Children Art Theater in Ho Chi Minh City last month

The Sen Hong (Pink Lotus) Children Art Theater in Ho Chi Minh City's September 23 Park in District 1 was inaugurated on February 8 for the purpose of putting on free shows geared toward children.

The theater, located in the park's B Block, has 2,000 seats and will host free performances including plays, musicals, movies, puppet shows and circuses every Saturday through Monday.

It includes two film-screening rooms, a stage placed suspended over the surface of the park's lotus flower pond and a 500-square-meter hall to exhibit art works made by children.

According to Vo Trong Nam, deputy director of the HCMC Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the new theater aims to provide a venue for children to display their artistic talent.

Tuesday through Friday, the theater will host shows for adult audiences, with the proceeds from ticket sales going toward fundraising efforts to expand the budget for the children's programming.

The HCMC Center for Performing Arts Organization and the Movie and Young Volunteer and Public Interest Company combined to invest VND5 billion (nearly US$240,000) into the first phase of the project, which includes providing free buses to transport children from all over the city to the theater.

The first performance held at the Sen Hong Children Art Stage on February 15 was a variety show attended by about 1,500 disadvantaged children from city's districts 1, 4 and 8.

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