HA NOI — A play entitled Stereo Man was presented last night by actors of Ha Noi’s Tuoi Tre (Youth) Theatre at the Mekong Arts and Media Festival 2009 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
Through body language, the play explores the feelings and aspirations of an HIV-infected man while examining social issues, gender, sex, HIV/AIDS, homoeroticism and violence.
The play was first performed by the Youth Theatre’s actors, including Bui Nhu Lai, Hoai Nam, Cong Dung and Hoang Tung, in the 2007 Mekong Experimental Theatre Festival.
More than 50 performances of Stereo Man have been presented for free at universities and colleges throughout the country, as well as in Thailand and India.
The Viet Nam Youth Theatre, Thailand’s Wandering Moon, Crescent Moon and Khanda Arts, Myanmar’s Mandalay Marionettes Troupe, Laos’s Kabong Lao, China’s Nengguan Performing Arts&Training Centre, and the Philippine Educational Theatre Association (PETA) were joined by artists from the Philippines, Japan, Singapore and Indonesia, to give their creative take on the challenging realities in the region.
"We’ve learnt many useful things from foreign colleagues in the festival, which will give us creativity in our forthcoming projects," said actor Hoai Nam.
This year’s five-day event which will end tonight focuses on social issues including gender, sex, HIV/AIDS and family violence.
"It’s easy to understand why body language takes priority at the festival," says Lai, "because it helps actors overcome language barriers."
PETA and the Centre for Community Health Research and Development have organised a series of cultural events to mark its activities in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Viet Nam, China and the Greater Mekong Subregion over the past three years.
By converging the diverse arts and creative media of the Mekong Subregion, the festival provides an opportunity for artists, media practitioners, cultural workers and key players in development to showcase artistic works that have contributed to the development of innovative communication tools for advocacy and transforming communities. The festival aims to include a wide range of talents by providing venues for the sharing and learning of skills, techniques and building partnerships for collaboration. — VNS