Many notable artists discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the online theater trend with VietNamNet.
Director Viet Tu: Onstage emotions are irreplaceable
Director Viet Tu (left)
With previous extensive experiences in performing art, I find myself having a hard time getting along with streaming theaters. However, I understand, whether there is an epidemic or not, the online art trend is inevitable. There’re loads of factors required for successful streaming performances. Meaningful content is first and foremost. Then there comes good infrastructure and techniques which are the main support maintaining onstage progress. Most theaters in Vietnam do not meet these requirements.
I would willingly sacrifice plenty of pleasures in life in return for first-hand shows. There will never ever be an alternative online form that fully offers multi-sensory experiences by which you feel the land, the people, the culture that you’re, in person, surrounded with. It’s quite similar to screen reading versus paper reading. Screens make you read slower, learn less deeply whilst touching paper and turning pages enhances knowledge intake, brainstorming, and memory as well as emotions.
As a newcomer to streaming performances, Vietnam is facing a challenging time in copyright, policy and exploitation as well. Elsewhere in the world, many countries have succeeded in online art business and ensured good income for artists. Things, nonetheless, will not always work out the same for Vietnam. Importantly, will the market easily adapt to this? Will viewers be pleased to pay what it’s worth, what artists deserve?
If streaming art can really see a future here, I hope the audience will be aware of how much it takes to have it online, ‘there aren’t such thing as a free lunch’. Everyone looking for free channels to watch means destroying the theater industry and blocking artists’ path. There must be a fairer way.
People's Artist Hong Van: Live-streaming art shows is probably not a good idea
People's Artist Hong Van
Being filmed with multiple-camera setup makes television drama itself far more appealing to viewers than online drama.
Online stage honestly does not sound feasible to me. The essence of theater is direct interaction with audience, and sound resonance within art houses, so how is it possible through screens? Personally, as an artist, I don't see myself acting on stage without being witnessed.
Whether theaters will bounce back after the crisis or not depends chiefly on us considering the implementation of the best solutions for theaters, including especially taking risks involved in effectuating streaming performances.
People's Artist Tong Toan Thang (Deputy Director of Vietnam Circus Federation)
Circus artis Tong Toan Thang
The biggest advantage of online performance is the broad access from anywhere across the globe with diverse genres. The audience is able to enjoy art however they wish, whatever they choose, and wherever they are…
For the same quality as broadcasted, theaters themselves invest in the quality of performances alongside support from the State with budget for filming. We are, of course, fully conscious of the investments required. Most theater stages are more like halls, and not so well-equipped as those in the Opera House.
If only for storage, single angle filming would probably be enough. Nevertheless, to transfer online, it takes a comprehensive process from content, technique, filming, to perfect lighting and sound. With proper investment, artists are all set!
Meritorious Artist My Uyen (Director of Small Drama Theater 5B)
Meritorious Artist My Uyen
We, artists do our best to keep conventional stages lit up. A less direct audience doesn’t mean phase-out.
Artists cannot act online! I cannot emphasize that enough. During the previous social distancing, many of them had to switch their jobs to earn extra incomes. But there’s one thing I know for sure, their onstage passion never wears out, like the fire that keeps burning up, despite the uncertainties of life.
Since the audience has ever-greater viewing demands, I totally see eye to eye with the State about investment policies for mainstream art stages, including circuses, magic shows, ballet, theaters, operas, reformed dramas ... to deploy online performances amid the epidemic.
I did have a discussion with HCMC Television, ideas on this are endless. Artists only need to pay no more than the expenses of the show. The governing body, afterwards, can either close that online theater or continue broadcasting the show for free. It’s called fair play if we get state funding to make art. By and large, our ongoing shows are not for filming!
No other form of transmission can ever replace the conventional stage, whatever the times!
Gia Bao - Tinh Le - My Anh
The pandemic crisis has had a devastating effect on the performing arts. Watching theater, opera, and dance without leaving home sounds promising and is a good way to support artists. The show must go on…line!