The King and the Clown (Wang-ui namja)

Lee, Joon-ik 2005

The tragicomic film chronicles the life of a masculine and a trans-feminine vagabond performers in the fifteenth-century Joseon Dynasty. The traveling actors stage multiple plays-within-a-film using the conventions of the all-male vagabond theatre with masks, or namsadang nori (a UN Intangible Cultural Heritage). The feminine jester Gong-gil’s sexuality is deliberately kept ambiguous throughout the film. When the two “clowns” are recruited as the king’s jesters in court, the narrative evolves to echo several themes and characters of Shakespeare’s plays including the revenge plot in Hamlet, the device of a bawdy play-within-a-play in Taming of the Shrew, and the love triangle in the aforementioned Twelfth Night. Read More

Hamlet the Actor

Sung, Chon-mo 2013 | 2 Comments

Having heard from the Ghost that Claudius murdered his father, Hamlet performs a play “The Murder of Gonzago” in front of Claudius and Gertrude. This play within a play convinces Hamlet that Claudius is guilty of the murder. After that, he prepares another play, called “rehearsal of revenge,” starring himself. Read More

Hamlet the Actor

Sung, Chon-mo 2012

Having heard from the Ghost that Claudius murdered his father, Hamlet performs a play “The Murder of Gonzago” in front of Claudius and Gertrude. This play within a play convinces Hamlet that Claudius is guilty of the murder. After that, he prepares another play, called “rehearsal of revenge,” starring himself. Read More

The Tempest

Oh, Tae-suk 2011 | 2 Comments

Shakespeare’s The Tempest is transported to 5th century Korea in this dramatic re imagining and adaptation of his final and most poetic play. King Zilzi, immersed in his study of Taoist magic, leaves the care of his kingdom in the hands of King Zabi. While he is away, Zabi takes control and, with the help of Zilzi’s brother, Soji, banishes him from his lands. Read More

Hamlet

Yang, Jung-Ung 2010

Yohangza faithfully recreates the tragedy and drama of Shakespeare’s original Hamlet in contemporary Korean language. The staging, costumes and music integrates Korean tradition and shamanism. Read More

Lear Dreaming

Ong, Keng Sen 2012

Performed in Bahasa Indonesia, Japanese, Mandarin and Korean with English subtitles. Fifteen years after 1997, Ong Keng Sen revisits his Lear to create a new performance, distilled and visionary, entering one man’s mind, a past king and his memories: Lear Dreaming. Read More

Pericles

Kim, Kwang Lim 2010

Pericles – A Romance by Willliam Shakespeare | Translated and Dramaturgy by Hyon-u Lee (See script in Korean) | Directed by Kwang-lim Kim | Korean Premiere Performance by the Hwadong Theater Company | Executive Producer Soo-moon Lee Read More

Hamlet

Yang, Jung-Ung 2009

In Yang Jung-Ung’s Hamlet, Gut (shaman ritual) is integrated with modern performance forms. By focusing on that many characters in Hamlet are entangled in conspiracy and obsessed with a desire for vengeance, Yang Jung-Ung captures the characters’ dark inner sides and interprets them as a Korean sentiment called ‘han'(an emotion of sorrow and regret). Read More

Killbeth

Ko, Sun-Ung 2011

Killbeth is a martial arts theater based on Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Using martial arts and actions, the production captures and expresses the characteristics of the original’s dynamic energy and spectacular power. By changing witches into a blind psychic and presenting an old Buddhist monk, Killbeth highlights Korean sentiments. Read More

The Tempest

Sohn, Jin-Chaek 2009

Sohn Jin-Chaek’s The Tempest, as a meta-theater, portrays a process that homeless people, in a shelter for the homeless, prepare to perform Shakespeare’s The Tempest for a drama therapy project. For a few months, while they passionately create the play by themselves, they become to understand each other. Through their work, like Prospero, the homeless people overcome their agony in a harsh reality and come to forgiveness and reconciliation. Read More

Hamlet Q1

Lee, Hyon-u 2009

Hamlet Q1 is a Korean production by director Hyonu Lee, who translated the first quart of Hamlet for this production which faithfully follows the original English text. The setting however is different: it is set in the late Chosun Dynasty (~1900) during the time when there was political turmoil between the Japan and China. Read More

Romeo and Juliet

Oh, Tae-suk 2006 | One Comment

Romeo and Juliet is Oh Tae-suk’s first adaptation of Shakespeare. His choice was deliberate: Two lovers caught in between warring families in a divided community — a pretty good analogue for the Korean situation. Oh’s adaptation is designed as an apology to Korea’s youth from the older generations for their failure to resolve their country’s troubles. Read More

Hamlet

Lee, Yoon-taek 2001

March 27, 2001 performance.