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Communities of ImaginationContemporary Southeast Asian Theatres$
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Catherine Diamond

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780824835842

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824835842.001.0001

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Staging the Doi Moi Generation and the Treasures of Vietnamese Tradition

Staging the Doi Moi Generation and the Treasures of Vietnamese Tradition

Chapter 2 Staging the Doi Moi Generation and the Treasures of Vietnamese Tradition
Communities of Imagination

Catherine Diamond

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter analyzes the rapid social change in Ho Chi Minh City (HCM City) in the aftermath of doi moi (renovation), the opening up of Vietnam's economy to global market forces in the mid-1980s. Although no clear cultural policy was put in place to parallel the economic shift, the Communist government began to allow a greater degree of personal freedom. This opening up stimulated a revival in live performance to express feelings that had been repressed during the difficult post-war decade. This revival created a space for greater theatrical experimentation and expression but rigorously censored new scripts. In the context of government-controlled mass media that does not supply much attractive programming, live theatre provides one of the few outlets for discontent as well as guarded optimism about the new opportunities of doi moi.

Keywords:   doi moi, HCM City, Vietnam economy, Communist government, live theatre, personal freedom, theatrical experimentation

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