Reframing Tradition: Le Quy Duong's Festival Theatre

Janys Elizabeth Hayes


In Vietnam, Le Quy Duong has been dubbed the “king of festivals,” producing and directing performance spectacles across Vietnam for major government organised events, where festivals are big business, facilitating trade and highlighting economic strengths of each Vietnamese province. In Australia, Le Quy is better known as the writer of Meat Party, one of Australia’s seminal Asian-Australian plays and part of Le Quy’s War Trilogy, his tribute to those suffering in the Vietnam/American war (1962-1975). This paper investigates Le Quy’s transition from writing and directing in Australian theatre (1994-2004) to influencing Vietnamese festivals, through utilising concepts of “place-making,” with particular reference to the use of traditional Vietnamese performance forms. As specific examples of Le Quy’s creations, this paper analyses Journey to Create the Motherland (2010), from the 2010 Hue International Arts Festival as well as the opening ceremony of the Vietnam Rice Festival, held in Soc Trang in 2011. 

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