Festival Aims to Instill Vigor into Theatrical World

Korea Times (Seoul, Korea), September 1, 2000 | Go to article overview

Festival Aims to Instill Vigor into Theatrical World


`` Where are we now, Where are we going?'' is the desperate struggle of theater as a whole, which is aching more than ever before now, for participants in the on-going theater festival, the largest performing arts fair in the nation.

``Seoul Theater Festival 2000,'' which opened on Aug. 27 to continue through Oct. 15, is taking place at various venues such as the National Theater of Korea, Sejong Center for Performing Arts and many theaters in Taehangno.

The 24th annual event, whose style changed from competitive to non-competitive last year, attempts to renovate the theatrical scene by raising hard-to-answer questions, for the people in the field.

The festival features some 32 local and five theatrical troupes and is divided into three sections,``Invited Performances,'' ``Special Performance'' and``Free Participating Performances.''

In the course of selecting and inviting foreign participants, Sohn Jin-chaek, artistic director of the festival, spent a whole year travelling around the world.

``For the whole one year, I concentrated my efforts on choosing better perform nces with the intention to improve the quality and reputation of the festival as an international-level event. The foreign entries are well recognized in the world's theatrical scene,'' Sohn said.

Among the foreign works are ``Lady from the Sea'' by Robert Wilson, a renowned American theater director, and ``Hajj,'' a solo performance presented by the New York-based troupe Mabou Mines, which is well known for its theatrical experimentalism.

Others are ``Sarachi'' by Japanese director Ota Shogo ``Hamlet'' by the Lithuanian company Meno Fortas and ``Woyzeck'' by the French team Centre Choreographique National D'Orleans. …

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