Festival will feature theater minus words

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Festival will feature theater minus words

The dazzling costumes, creative background art and blaring music are all factors that can make a stage performance fun.
Theater director Bae Jeong-ja disagrees, however. She says these techniques are now used so often in plays that it becomes impossible to enjoy the work in peace.
“These loud sound effects are preventing the audience from feeling the live performers act on stage,” Ms. Bae said. “Actors are the stars of the stage, not the technical developments.”
In response, Ms. Bae has planned the “Physical Theater Festival in Seoul” for next week in Daehangno, the heart of performance culture in Seoul, featuring plays tell the story through the actors’ physical movements alone. It will be the first of its kind held here by Korean theatrical companies.
The term “physical theatre” refers to stage performances that use the body, not the spoken word, such as mime, contemporary dance, physical comedy and acrobatics.
Ms. Bae, the chief director of the festival, said she chose three theatrical companies that are the strongholds of the “physical theater” genre in Korea.
The Sadari Movement Lab will perform “Glasses, Magazine and Appetite,” a mime performance demonstrating that state-of-the-art technology may destroy human kind. A pair of glasses symbolizes the distorted view of the media, the magazine is commercialized capitalism and the appetite stands for the cruelty of human nature.
The Corporal Theatre Momggol, also a mime company, will perform “Rickshaw, Overturned.” Set in the 1970s, a man lives day to day by pulling his rickshaw ― his only way to earn money.
The See Sun theatrical company is known for its contemporary dance. In the festival, it will stage “Babo,” or “Idiot,” a story about a hearing-impaired young artist who falls in love with a beautiful woman.
The three plays will be shown consecutively.


by Lee Min-a

The first “Physical Theatre Festival in Seoul” starts next Wednesday and will continue until June 18 at the Theater The Other. Showtime is at 7:30 p.m. every night. The theater is nearest exit 2 of Hyehwa station on subway line No. 4. It is the building across from the rear entrance of Marronnier Park. Tickets cost 30,000 won. For high school students and under, tickets are available for 20,000 won.

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