Saturday, January 28, 2006

Actors' faces for sale

So, as poor and desperate as we are, what can make fast money? Our own faces!!!!

Plaster of Paris is known for medical purpose. It was not easy to buy as Ly was refused once by Vietnam-Germany hospital because she didnot know what size her "doctor" recommended, several medical stores also confirmed that only V-G hospital sells plaster of paris.

A 20 cm roll of plaster paris costs 35 thousands VND, enough to make 2 faces. Mask-making is a great revenge tool as the mask-maker can add or remove detail on the mask while pretending to massage the "mold". It is also a great way for self-actualisation, Bang couldn't accept his own face, he is shock until now.. while everybody agrees the mask is his exact face!

"Alo, I am busy .. can't talk right now!"

A second before Bang got the shock of his life..

the hounted window

We are also competing to see whose face sold fastest.., and whose face will remain untouched. Wait until S.A.S

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Tough rehearsal

9.00 am: met at Ly's home for S.A.S preparation. The "young fairy" only got out of bed as we knocked on her door. However as she explained how she only went to be at 5am because of S.A.S, we forgave her!

We spent the afternoon for group reconstruction, we thought it must be tough for everybody but surprisingly things went by quite gently! We actually got to understand each other much better. As usual, there was a sad news: Doan can't be a regular group member any more as he is too busy with his study. It is a shocking news for us but we still hope to have his contribution.

Dung and Lan Anh stayed late to rehearse with Ly on the performance. Dung was extremely tired by then but she tried her best as S.A.S is important for SameStuff Theatre. "I am very worried and don't feel that confident but SameStuff members are very good at encouraging and reducing stress level. Even though I am tired but am soooo happy to do what I love, whatelse, surround me are wonderful friends: they know when to lie!" said Dung.

Thank Dave and Ly for sparing us their Saturday!

By Vy Dung

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Long live the ceiling fan!

We were really lucky to have Truong, a known hip hop dancer in Hanoi, helping our baby with technical part of hip-hop dancing. On a side note, Ly has been so excited and she is persuading Truong to trade hip hop with her salsa..

Many of SameStuff members are busy with their own work and study, but we are glad to still have time to rehearse and plan SameStuff's future. We hope S.A.S will be a successful event so that we don't have to hang our backdrop on a ceiling fan anymore. It's a cool innitiative for set changing as the scene can be flipped, but not when we want the fan to play its real function!!!

Apparently Bang was very excited with our new prop .It is shocking, but it is not what you think, m'kay? Have faith in us.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006


Ly is making plaster-of-paris props for the performance. Most props in SameStuff are made by ourselves:

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Hip hop

We changed the performance to a less serious one, an unborn baby's mission. The unborn baby in our performance drinks coffee every morning, learns how to cry correctly, and dances hiphop. Tomorrow a hiphop dancer will come and help us in hip hop movements. By the way, any of you out there thinking you have got physical skills worth sharing, please contact us!

Sunday, January 15, 2006

We are Starving Artists

Tet is coming, but SameStuff team is working hard to prepare for S.A.S

We started well with Marina's warm-up. Notice the back drop, it took us 1 hour to set it up!!! The back drop is made of 2 table clothes stiched together, extended by nylon string. We need it for shadow experiment. If we zoom the photo further, you will see that one end of the back drop is tied to a pile of 3 tables laying on top of each other, while the other end is securely attached to the window.

The rehearsal space is actually a meeting room borrowed from the NGO Resource Centre (thank you so much for being so generous to us!). There were ocassions where the centre's visitors came in and out of the room finding themselves in shock as they realised how the meeting room was "artistically" transformed. You are welcome. We hope we were not too noisy..

4 hrs later, Thu was finding her way back to babyhood. It is not easy to be a baby when your movements are already very skillful. "Babyhood" is part of our performance .., it is a bit serious.. we are considering to make it more relax .., after all S.A.S is a fun event, we don't want the performance to be too heavy!

Han and Dung waiting for their turns. Saw our lighting? A cheap hallugen light with coloured plastic sheet, yet it provides beautiful effect!

Hey we love to share more but we have no idea what you like to know so drop your comments and ask us questions!

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Bye bye playwrights

Right, we are talking about devised theatre where a playwright means "very little right in the play". To be clearer, it means a responsible person who takes note and records every single words and detail while rest of the team are devising the piece, similar to a person who takes minute in a meeting.

That's how SameStuff team create theatre. Anything can come out of anything. history of a character could be suggested from the broken chair we sat on, mood of the scene we are working on could be inspired by the pimples on someone's face, the whole story could be driven from a 3 year old baby's singing..etc .. There are constant changes and revision of what we just decided on, for better. Every members are responsible and play equally important roles in the theatre making process, everybody contributes to the development of the story and the artistic expression. Ofcourse, the role of the director as a decision making head is the most important, if the performance is not about actors killing each other live on site!

"Theatre, after all, is a collaborative art: all the devising process does is take that collaboration a step further" (Peter Lathan)

Monday, January 09, 2006


Starving Artist Support is SameStuff's fundraising innitiative. This will be an event featuring selective international and vietnamese artists in Hanoi who are doing COOL stuff but too poor to support themselves. (Let's be honest here)

The event will be hosted for 50-70 guests who are artistic and financially generous. Interactive physical theatre, photo exhibition, ..and invisible stuff will sure make this event a memorable one. Keep checking our blog to get updated.

Animal abuse

Today we had a visitor who is our friend Marina, a professional dancer from Switzerland. We have not been able to exploit her yet, but her presence made us want to show off and we benefit that ourselves.

Interesting physical exercises led by Doan in the morning, yes, we enjoyed being animals, especially those that don't exist on earth. AND we would love to see how Doan plays the animal's a$$ that pokes up and down, carrying four other legs.

Since Ly is writing this, she was a wonderful facilitator for the afternoon session, apart from 45 minutes over time which proved how attractive the devising process was. No, seriously, we got beautiful images and cool stories on people's first and last time's experience of... (5 usd each and we will tell).

Wednesday, January 04, 2006


Luckily we could borrow a large meeting room (yes, smooth floor and with a place to pee) for our activity this Sunday, and SameStuff will have its first physical rehearsal of the year in 8th January 06. For our coming production, we are still at an early stage of collecting devising material.

Notes for SameStuff members:

- Bring a bottle of drinkable water with you, we are saving every penny for the costume and set
- Wear something that wouldn't conveniently slip off while rehearsing
- I know it is Sunday and it is probably your only chance to sleep late, but please be there at 8.30am sharp, we are not always lucky to have this place for full day.
-stop suggesting Lenin Park for rehearsal place. It's too windy out there!

Rehearsal schedule:

Sunday 08 Jan 06
1.30pm- 4.30pm

NGO resource Center, F1 Building, La Thanh Hotel, 218 Doi Can, Hanoi

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Nguyen Lan Anh

Keep going and you will arrive, keep searching and you will find!

I believe that all efforts will give a result!

Nguyễn Lan Anh
DOB: 22 August 1984

I live and work by inspiration, and once I am in the mood, nothing can stop me!
SameStuff is one of such endless inspirations!

Hobbies: reading, travelling, I love and am addicted to those moments when I am passionate about arts.
Future plan: Ability to do multiple jobs. I don't want to have a lot of money, it only needs to be sufficient enough for me to do things I love.

Ideal: to be able to live by and do things I like

Email me

Phan Y Ly

Hi there,

I was born in 12 August 1981. Before founding SameStuff Theatre I used to work in United Nation Development Programmes and international Non-Government Organisation in Vietnam.

Though people always said I am artistic and "mad", I never thought of myself doing any serious arts. So like a good girl I went and took a degree in Sociology and Psychology, settled myself in a cozy office, by a small table, booking taxi and translating stuff. Of course I did try to make my spreadsheet fancier and my reports had more story elements than my colleagues'.. but that's an old story!

My lifestyle and belief pull me closer to artistic personalities, with these friends I found myself inspired to be the first Vietnamese Chevening scholar to do MA in Theatre and Media in Development in the UK.

Instead of "studying" other's art work, I found myself creating and breathing every bit of colour, sounds, movement.. I live happier. My friend Paul Zetter said "If something is inside you, it ought to come out.."

So, SameStuff Theatre is part of me that is finally exposed to the world. I am super lucky to have artistic support from SameStuff members. They are wonderful!

SameStuff Theatre is young, but we are full of ideas to chew on!

email me

Nguyen Huu Han

Born in 16/10/1984. I am also a member of Hanoi Reprodutive Health Theatre troupe.
Hobbies: Too many, but especially hanging out with girlfriend (hehe), stop your dirty thoughts, I meant going out for a drink or a movie.. If you want to learn about Reproductive Health ..stuff.. contact me

Dang Minh Thu

My name is Thu, a 23 year old student. 3 years ago I was lucky enough to be involved in a project called "Participatory Theatre in Reproductive Health and Sexuality Education for Young people" innitiated by World Population Foundation. Through this project I got to know many other artistic forms such as puppetry, improvisation, contemporary dance..

To gain better understanding of the society and human relation, I am also doing a degree in Social Work, and this in fact doesn't interfere at all to my passion for art.

For me, only Arts for people is the real art.

Email me

Phan Khanh Bang

I was born in 15 July 1988. When I was 15 I participated in a theatre training course by artists of the David Glass Ensemble and Vietnam Stage Artist Association.

We learned mime, physical theatre, dance, MC skills, directing, play writing, and especially acting. Besides we were also trained in group working and life skills. The special thing is in 9 months of training the teaching was conducted in a a totally new way that encourages our creativity. We didnot have to write and read, but learned from theatre games.

My strength is physical movement. Like many other at my age, I like travelling, living independent life.. and online games. I love to be a gamer but to be frank I have never been good enough to be the leader.

My favourite quotes:
“9/10 of wisedom is cleverness at the right time"
“Weights can't be exchanged for a scales, lengths can't be exchanged for a ruler"

Email me

Monday, January 02, 2006

Nguyen Vy Dung

..on 8 April 1983 a beautiful baby girl was born.. Her name is Nguyen Vy Dung and she is now 23 years old, she is also known as the 4rth most beautiful lady in SameStuff Theatre (by the way SameStuff Theatre has only 4 girls). And that girl is me!

I am also a member of Hanoi Reproductive Health theare group. In this group I was trained in many physical and theatrical skills. It was really wonderful because I could merge myself in creativity and new ideas.
However, when the group started performing, it was not as what I wished or imagined. There was very limited room for creativity or exploration, this is partly because the project focuses on students in schools, and definitely artistic aspect was not its priority.

I was afraid if this situation kept going the way it was, my artistic sense would go soon!

And then one day there was this "fairy" who came to me and said "Now there is a place for you to do whatever you want!" - note: the "fairy" is only 25 years old, I bet you know who she is! The team was ready, and now I am one of 7 members in SameStuff Theatre!

I love SameStuff and will do all I can for it! I also treasure RH Theatre group as without it I am not here today to be in SameStuff Theatre!

About us

SameStuff Theatre is a non-political, non-religious and non-government theatre group based in Hanoi. The group was formed by Phan Y Ly in November 2005. She just finished her MA in Theatre and Media for Development. For one year, the other 6 members were also trained in physical, improvisational and interactive theatre by actors and directors from the UK.

Devising and performing theatrical work through integration of different performing art techniques such as body movement, puppets, shadow, masks.., our work focuses on social issues, mostly those of young people. We look at issues that people are reluctant to touch on and hope to act as a reflector and stimulator to encourage discussion, sharing and learning among people. SameStuff Theatre is also a place for young artists to explore and experiment different performing art techniques while addressing social issues.

Below are some images recorded during our production "Life", improvised in a real market location.