National Drama Co. of Korea stands on its own
The National Drama Company of Korea, Korea’s only state-run drama organization, which had previously operated under the National Theater of Korea, was launched again as a separate entity last Thursday.
Established in 1950 along with the National Theater of Korea, the first state-managed theater company in Asia, the National Drama Company of Korea was incorporated following the formation of previous resident companies under one drama company, including Korea National Ballet, Korea National Opera and the National Chorus of Korea.
“The newly launched National Drama Company of Korea will take the bold step of breaking away from the regimented, public service system, to focus on adapting to and reflecting the rapidly-changing theater culture of today,” said Koo Ja-heung, named the head of the new National Drama Company of Korea. He added that in addition to modernizing classic dramatic works, the company will be devoted to creating and performing new pieces.
To strengthen the competitiveness of its actors, the company will start a contract-based employment system, in which actors will be hired to work for the company for one to three years. The first batch of actors will be selected through auditions by February next year. As a part of their audition process, they will be featured in the company’s performances from January through March.
The company’s artistic director will be chosen by the end of next month.
As for financing, Park Soon-tae, head of the art policy bureau at the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, said that the new National Drama Company of Korea will be given adequate financial support so that it can stand on its own two feet.
The drama company will use the Myeongdong Theater in central Seoul as its main performance hall. The rehearsal space and offices will be located in a building near Seoul Station.
The first performance of the new National Drama Company of Korea will be “Oedipus,” directed by Han Tae-sook. It is scheduled to open in January next year.
By Cho Jae-eun [email@example.com]
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
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