King Lear

Lee, Hyon-u 2021

This production of King Lear was performed in the CJ Towol Theater at the Seoul Arts Center, Seoul, South Korea in the Fall of 2021 and was directed by Lee Hyon-u, English professor at Soon Chun Hyang University. Lee Soon-jae starred as King Lear, and actress Lee Yeon Hee played both Cordelia and the Fool. Read More

Moore – a Pacific Island Othello

Richter, Kepano (Stephen); Taft Mattos, Justina 2020

MOORE – a Pacific Island Othello is a retelling of Shakespeare’s Othello, set in the Pacific Islands at the crossroads of Race, Language, and American Empire. Directed by Justina Taft Mattos at the University of Hawaii at Hilo’s Performing Arts Center, the live-stream premiere of the production ran for 1 hour and 48 minutes at 2:00 PM and was performed in English, Japanese, Korean, and ‘Ōlelo Hawai’i on November 1st, 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there was no physical audience in the theater space. The entire production was filmed incorporating the state of Hawaii’s COVID-19 safety protocols: masks, social distancing, and assigning “Ohana bubbles” to actors having physical contact with each other. With the impending 2020 presidential election, rising social unrest, and our present reckoning about systemic racism in the United States, we felt it was high time to revisit Othello and examine what the play means here and now in America on the 416th anniversary of the first recorded performance of Shakespeare’s play. Read More

Hamik – Hamlet

Kim, Eunsung 2016

Hamik is a 2016 adaptation of Shakespeare’s Hamlet directed and written by Eunsung Kim and performed by the Seoul Metropolitan Theatre. The production features a female Hamlet. The Seoul Metropolitan Theatre generously granted permission for the archive to host a video (with English subtitles) of highlights from the production. Read More

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


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


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


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


Koh, Sun-Woong 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 Hyon-u 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

Lady Macbeth

Han, Tae-sook 1999

Lady Macbeth is an experimental theatre adaptation of Macbeth designed by Lee Kwang-sup and directed by Han Tae-sook. The production was performed by the Theatre Company Mooli at the Jayu Theatre of the Seoul Art Center October 2-15, 1999. It first premiered in 1998 and was reproduced in 1999, 2000, and 2008.

The story is presented through a process in which a doctor uses hypnosis to treat Lady Macbeth, who is suffering from delusion, hysteria and somnambulism, showing us the inner world of Lady Macbeth through her subconsciousness. Read More

King Uru

Kim, Myung-kon 2001

King Uru directed by Kim Myung-kon in 2001 and performed at the National Theatre of Korea is an adaptation of King Lear which draws on Korean folk culture. Read More

Rock Hamlet

Jeon, Hoon 1999

The Seoul Musical Company, directed by Jeon Hoon, performed Rock Hamlet at Ho-am Art Hall 11 November -12 December 1999. Read More

Hamlet Cantabile

Bae, Yo-sup 2007

Hamlet Cantabile was directed by Yo-sup Bae and performed by the Tuida Theater Company at the National Theater of Korea in Seoul on 18 May 2007. Five clowns meet the ghost of dead Hamlet at his grave and hear his sad story. After that, they perform his story with puppets and musical instruments. Read More


Lee, Yoon-taek 2001

Hamlet was directed by Lee Yoon-taek and performed by the Street Theatre Group at Jayu Theatre, Seoul Art Center on March 27, 2001 in Seoul, South Korea. Read More


Lee, Hyon-u 2005

Coriolanus was performed in 2005 by the Hwadong Theatre Company and directed by Hyon-u Lee.


Tae-woong You as Coriolanus
Bong-sook Sohn as Volumnia