VIET­NAMESE DE­BUT

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Cau­casian Chalk Cir­cle, a play by Ger­man modernist play­wright Ber­told Brecht, will be staged at the Vieät Nam Youth The­atre.

HAØ NOÄI — Stand­ing in the mid­dle of a Cau­casian chalk cir­cle, two women claim a boy to be their own off­spring and are firmly grip­ping each of the boy’s hands as a judge looks on .

Ac­tors of the Vieät Nam Youth The­atre per­formed this ex­cerpt from Cau­casian Chalk

Cir­cle, the renowned work of the late Ger­man modernist play­wright Ber­tolt Brecht (18981956), at a re­cent press con­fer­ence on the cul­tural co-op­er­a­tion project be­tween the the­atre and Goethe In­sti­tute in the cap­i­tal city.

Cau­casian Chalk Cir­cle will be per­formed for the first time at the Vieät Nam Youth The­atre un­der this project. The ex­cerpt at the press con­fer­ence fea­tures a trial over the right to keep the child, and the end­ing was not shown.

The play nar­rates the story of a ser­vant who sac­ri­fices her love for a sol­dier to res­cue a baby boy, and in the process, she be­comes a bet­ter mother to the boy than his real par­ents, who are wealthy.

Tröông Nhuaän, the the­atre di­rec­tor, nur­tured the project after tak­ing part in a fes­ti­val in Ger­many last year. He told Goethe In­sti­tute of his de­sire to stage a Ger­man play in Vieät Nam for Viet­namese au­di­ences.

Goethe In­sti­tute ap­proved the pro­posal, and Cau­casian

Chalk Cir­cle was cho­sen to in­tro­duce a new artis­tic style for Viet­namese the­atre lovers.

In the past, Rus­sian the­atre di­rec­tor Sergeievich Stanislavsky’s re­al­ity plays in­flu­enced Viet­namese the­atre, and Brecht ’ s ab­stract work was placed on the back burner.

“It is a chance for our reg­u­lar young au­di­ences to ex­pe­ri­ence a master­piece which crit­i­cises self­ish­ness and teaches con­fi­dence,” said Nhuaän.

“Stag­ing th­ese works will also be a good chance for our

ac­tors to get closer to the world con­tem­po­rary stage.”

Free­lance Ger­man di­rec­tor Do­minik Gun­ther was in­vited to Vieät Nam to work with the Vieät Nam Youth The­atre. He first came to Haø Noäi in March to cast roles for the play and spent a month on his sec­ond trip back to Vieät Nam to set up the stage work.

This is the first time Gun­ther has set up Cau­casian Chalk

Cir­cle.

The di­rec­tor, who is fol­low­ing the prin­ci­ple of set­ting up a stage for a spe­cific play only once, said he had been pour­ing all of his cre­ativ­ity into the pro­duc­tion of this play for Haø Noäi au­di­ences.

As a free­lancer in Ger­many since 2005, Gun­ther has di­rected a num­ber of the­atre projects with young peo­ple. This is one of the rea­sons that brought him to the Vieät Nam Youth The­atre.

“The artists here are pro­fes­sional and they are very open to work­ing with me. At the be­gin­ning, the lan­guage bar­rier made this a bit dif­fi­cult, but this is not im­por­tant be­cause we can use body lan­guage on the stage,” said Gun­ther.

The di­rec­tor has only praises for his set de­signer, Doaõn Baèng, who used a mod­ern-style stage de­sign, in­clud­ing props which sud­denly ap­pear on the stage dur­ing the per­for­mance with­out any ap­par­ent move­ment.

“All dif­fer­ent sec­tors be­hind the stage are very im­por­tant. Baèng and I work ef­fec­tively. I’m hap­py­towork­with­him,” Gun­ther quipped.

In the pro­duc­tion for Haø Noäi au­di­ences, the di­rec­tor cut off the part on the ori­gin of World War II be­cause it was no longer suit­able.

“I think Viet­namese are no longer in­ter­ested in war. In the blood­i­est of times, peo­ple re­veal their an­i­mal instincts, ” Gun­ther noted.

After watch­ing the play last Wed­nes­day, veteran stage di­rec­tor and Peo­ple’s Artist Phaïm Thò Thaønh said she was com­pletely charmed by the per­for­mance.

“The play is quite phys­i­cal and in­tel­lec­tual, in keep­ing with Ber­tolt Brecht’s style. It does not ad­dress the au­di­ence di­rectly, but it makes them think a lot. Cos­tumes and props are ab­stract but quite re­al­is­tic,” Thaønh noted.

“I like the play very much. The di­rec­tor brings the char­ac­ters closer to con­tem­po­rary life. The char­ac­ter­sare­di­ver­si­fied, mak­ing the play vivid,” she added.

Un­der the project, the play was shown thrice for free on Septem­ber, then it will be in­cluded in the Vieät Nam Youth The­atre’s reper­toire and be staged on ev­ery last Sun­day of the month.

“Right from the be­gin­ning, we be­lieved in the suc­cess of this kind of co-op­er­a­tion be­cause it is sup­ported by Nhuaän and all the­atre mem­bers. The artists have been quite en­thu­si­as­tic and have ex­pressed their full cre­ativ­ity,” said Al­muth Meyer Zol­litsch, the in­sti­tute’s di­rec­tor.

Co-op­er­a­tion with the Goethe In­sti­tute is suit­able to the the­atre’s de­vel­op­ment plan to set up stage mas­ter­pieces. In re­cent years, the plays that were pro­duced­in­clud­edHen­rikIb­sen’s

A Doll’s House and Athur Miler’s All My Sons.

“We ac­knowl­edge that set­ting up stage mas­ter­pieces is a way to make the Viet­namese con­tem­po­rary stage popular in the world,” said Nhuaän. — HCM CITY — The New World Saøi Goøn Ho­tel will marks its 20 an­niver­sary on Oc­to­ber 8 with a gala din­ner of “giv­ing back to the com­mu­nity”, rais­ing funds for the Christina Noble Chil­dren’s Foun­da­tion.

The event will be­gin with cock­tails and cham­pagne, canapeùs and gourmet hors d’oeu­vres be­fore the five-course din­ner pre­pared by three of the New World’s top ex­ec­u­tive chefs, Richard Hil­ton from New World Beijing Ho­tel, Ivan Chiere­gatti from New World Makati Ho­tel and Saju Ra­jap­pan from New World Saøi Goøn Ho­tel.

The din­ner will also fea­ture en­ter­tain­ment in­clud­ing magic, live acous­tic mu­sic, and a DJ. A live auc­tion will be held to raise money for the char­ity.

Tick­ets are VNÑ4.2 mil­lion (US$ 200) per per­son, in­clud­ing a gift voucher for a one-night stay at the Res­i­dence Club Deluxe Room, with break­fast for two.

All pro­ceeds from ticket sales will go to the Christina Noble Chil­dren’s Foun­da­tion, in support of the city’s un­der­priv­i­leged and dis­abled chil­dren. — VNS

Mod­ern drama: Cau­casian Chalk Cir­cle is be­ing staged at the Vieät Nam Youth The­atre for the first time. —

Photo cour­tesy of Goethe In­sti­tute

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