Drama clubs livestream shows during COVID-19 pandemic
By Thu Anh
HCM CITY Drama clubs in HCM City are offering livestreaming performances and videos on social networks to keep their businesses alive during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Young actors from three clubs, Minh Nhí Stage, Đời (Life) Club and Son (Red) Club, have been offering live performances featuring two and three-act comedies since the fourth COVID-19 wave began in April.
Actress and producer Hồng Trang, head of Đời Club, and her staff began livestreaming their new shows in August.
Two and three-act plays, La Mua Thu (Autumn Leaves) and Bậu Ơi Đừng Khóc (Girls, Don’t Cry), feature city people in daily life during the lockdown. Social and healthcare issues are also included.
Each livestream features only two or three artists.
“Our artists can be seen sitting in a room or on a sofa while positioned in front of their computer, amp and a smartphone or laptop,” said actress-producer Trang, who has 10 years of experience in the industry.
“Livestream shows encourage fans in the COVID-19 fight.”
The actors from Đời Club spent a few weeks learning how to offer drama online. “It was a little bit difficult to make a livestream for the first time, but we’re now professional,” she said.
Trang invited cải lương (reformed opera) stars Bình Tinh and Phương Hồng Thuỷ to perform in clips and livestreaming.
In their clips, cải lương, a 100-year-old theatre form of the South, is introduced through vọng cổ (nostalgia) songs in a unique style.
Đời Club opened in 2019 and has received support from the city’s Trần Hữu Trang Cải Lương Theatre, one of the region’s leading traditional theatres.
The club has attracted 40 young actors from art schools such as HCM City University of Theatre and Cinematography and HCM City University of Culture.
“Online performances are different from stage performances. Theatre actors have worked to improve our creations to meet the taste of audiences,” said theatre director Phương Thảo of Minh Nhí Club.
"We have faced difficulties in offering live shows amid the pandemic. YouTube is a way to expand our art and entertain audiences.”
Thảo and his staff, including young talents Song Duy and Ngọc Hiền, are working to release videos on YouTube. Their productions feature Southern culture and lifestyle.
The club will release two new plays, Tu Quý Tien (Fantastic Four) and Ngoi Lang Kỳ Quai (Magic Village), on YouTube this month to celebrate its 15 years of working.
“We’re working to release our plays that we have staged since 2006 on YouTube,” said Thảo, who has spent several hours daily in the studio to complete his actors’ videos.
“I hope our videos on YouTube will expand Vietnamese drama among young fans."
Thảo was a student of talented actor-director-producer Minh Nhí, founder of the club.
Meanwhile, Son Club will offer a new play featuring love and belief on YouTube next week.
The play, Ban Mai Về Đau (Where Does the Sun Rise?), highlights the challenges and sacrifices of doctors, nurses, other health workers and people living in HCM City during the pandemic.
“We have worked hard to make each of our online performances to be a quality show that provides young audiences with useful and fascinating things about Vietnamese drama,” said actress Cẩm Hò of Son Club.— VNS
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