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Ministry of Culture to launch theater festival in July

TAIPEI -- The Ministry of Culture is cooperating with local governments to launch a theater festival in July that will send performing groups around Taiwan to hold shows in one of the largest festivals of its kind, the ministry said Monday.

The festival, which will be held July 13-Oct. 27, will see 22 performing groups putting on 66 ticketed theater, dance and music performances in 22 counties and cities around the country.

“This is the first time these renowned performing groups have cooperated with the cultural centers in the 22 counties and cities,” Culture Minister Lung Ying-tai said at a press conference.

Some of the government-funded groups, ranging from children's theater and Shakespearean troupes to opera, percussion and dance theater groups, will hold performances as far away as Taiwan's outlying islands of Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu.

“The importance of the festival is that it brings together the country's cultural forces,” said Lung, who urged the public to develop the habit of paying to see artists perform.

Cheng Li-feng, art director of the Succession Percussion Group, told CNA that the festival will help performing groups visit places they have not gone to before and reach different audiences, which many have been unable to do by themselves because of limited funding.

Cheng, who is also the head of the Performing Arts in South Taiwan Alliance, said his group, for example, will be visiting eastern Taiwan's Taitung and Hualien for the first time.

The ministry said more than 50,000 tickets will be on sale, making it one of the largest ticketed art events ever launched by the government's cultural sector.

Tickets will range from NT$200 (US$6.67) to NT$400 and can be purchased online and at convenience stores around Taiwan.

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