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Shakespeare

Posted August. 15, 2006 03:13,   

한국어

Awarded on a World Stage Despite Language Barrier –

A play by Koreans was awarded in a world-renowned festival for the first time. “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” was invited to open the festival and performed for two days from August 2.

Yang Jeong-ung, director and representative of “Traveler,” said on August 13, “Theatrum Gedanense Foundation contacted me late at night on August 12 for the news that we received Best Production Award. After our performance, we received a standing ovation, but we didn’t dream of winning.”

Unlike the areas of music and dance in which Korean performers have gained recognition on world stages, Korean theatrical productions have rarely been awarded in an international festival with the high language barrier.

Kim Yun-cheol, a theatrical critic and professor of the School of Drama, Korean National University of Arts, explained, “’A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ reinterpreted Shakespeare’s play into a Korean Tokkaebi (bugaboo) play. The fact we were awarded means that if we add our own local nature to the universal nature of Shakespeare, we can interpret Shakespeare in a richer way. And it can be recognized on a world stage.”

Unique Interpretation of Shakespeare Applauded –

Theater troupes from ten countries, including the U.S., U.K., Germany, and Russia, participated in the festival. Especially, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” by Traveler competed with “Othello” by Muenchner Kammerspiele of Germany, which was directed by Luk Perceval, a renowned star in the theatrical world.

Before participating in the festival, Traveler performed the play in the Barbican Centre, London, for the first time as a Korean production. It received three out of five stars from the Times.

“Critics of England, home of Shakespeare, seem to prefer orthodox plays to those too playful. Three stars is not a bad grade, but we received a five-star level response from the audience,” said Yang laughing.

To Be Performed in Sidney Opera House Next Year –

Theatrical performance is not easy to be put on an overseas stage. However, Traveler will not stop its lonely and tiring journey as Yang says, “It is our mission to widen the publicity of Korean plays in the world.” Next January, Traveler will perform “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” in the Sidney Opera House, another ‘dream stage.’”



sjkang@donga.com