HCM City theatres reach out to younger audiences hinh anh 1 “Da co hoai lang” is a popular stage performace among young audiences. (Photo courtesy of nld.com.vn)
HCM City (VNS/VNA) - Local art units and stage performers must be more creative with their products and consider creating new stage performances at school theatres to reach younger audiences, experts have said.

Theatrical performances in HCM City resumed on March 1.

As traditional art has been struggling with attracting young audiences’ interest, the Vietnam Association of Theatrical Artists has been working on the “Building young audiences for local stages” project and has conducted research for future planning.

The year 2020 marked an unprecedented year in the history of theatrical and artistic activities. Nearly the first six months went by without any activity due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, this offered an opportunity for the stage performance industry to seek new directions.

People’s Artist Trinh Thuy Mui, chairwoman of the Vietnam Association of Theatrical Artists, said the new project has been supported by experts. Each region plans to come up with a different model to bring stage performances closer to the youth.

She said the stage performance industry has been put into a challenging position in which they must start producing meaningful content for young audiences.

New stage performance activities have been introduced this month. This is the time for local artists to change their mindset when it comes to making art, she added.

Recently, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism launched a campaign to support existing theatres, but it is not considered a sustainable direction to efficiently build a young audience base.

People’s Artist Tran Minh Ngoc said it is important to examine every phase, including writing scripts and managing the stage, among others.

Associate Professor and Dr Tran Tri Trac said the Vietnamese theatre arts have not escaped the “lack of a young audience” crisis.

Artists’ aesthetic tastes have yet to find a common ground with today’s young audiences.

“I believe the audience is one of the basic elements of theatre arts and it has received little attention for quite a long while. Strategic investment should be made for young audiences via theatre aesthetic education at school," he said. 

Current stage performances at schools play a crucial role in enhancing human values through active participation in cultural and artistic activities.

But theatre plays at schools lack depth. Applying the model of school theatre and arranging age-appropriate performances is key to resolving the matter, he added.

Meanwhile, Mui said that school stages should be seriously invested and produced in a way that is suitable to each region.

People’s Artist Tran Ngoc Giau, president of the HCM City Theatre Association, added that in a developed society, today’s young audiences are technology-savvy and have many options in terms of entertainment. 

As such, theatrical tastes should not be forced on to people but should rather inspire and pull young audiences to the stage. This is the vital mission of the current theatrical art. Many experts also agree that young audiences should be more accurately segmented./.