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Myung Pum Theatrical Company was founded by director Kim Weon Cuk, a GITIS graduate, some actors who also graduated drama schools in Russia, and Russian staffs from Vernisazi Theater where Kim Weon Cuk worked as the executive director. Through various theatrical festivals in Korea, Myung Pum Theatrical Company has been introduced as a performance group that showed a new vision to the theatrical scene of Korea, by winning both Grand Prix and the Best Director Award in '2008 Keochang International Theater Festival', '2010 Miryang Summer Theater Festival', Korea - Ensemble Acting Award, Best Actress Award '2010 Changwon International Theater Festival', Korea - Best Director's Award.

 

Now, the Company continues to perform six repertories, 'the Gogol Trilogy', 'Korean Literature Trilogy' and 'Crime and Punishment'.

 

 

 

- The Gogol Trilogy -

 

Nikolai B. Gogol (1809 - 1852) has contributed for the development of Russian literature by creating his own style - fantastic realism, where he expressed social issues with his remarkable imagination. With his unique 'Grotesque' style he could have overcome romantic sentimentalism. That's the reason why most modern directors still have great concerns about Gogol's works including his most famous play - 'Prosecutor'.

 

 

                 

 

The prologue of the trilogy is subtilted as 'Spring'. It resembles the ridiculous and rather grotesque spring night dream of a seminary student. The magical harmony between Russian folk music and traditional Korean string instrument Gayakeum can be heard through the performance. First perfomed at GITIS Theatre in 2005.

 

The physical movements of the actors and actresses show massive energy. Transition of locations shown by using minimal props, and theatrical usage of traditional musical instruments would give the question to the audience about the identity of modern theatre.

 

 

                  

 

Following the prologue , is subtitled 'Summer'. The diary shows the extreme limit of insanity that begins from the heat and passion of summer. Great Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev's 'Romeo & Juliette' holds the theme of the performance.

 

First performed in 2003-2004 at the Theatre of Shukin Drama School as a repertory. The active energy of an actor, and the romantic and passionate music makes a magical harmony. It was reviewed as the new founder of 'Phantsmagoria'.

 

 

                       

 

is a play in which audiences can expect some serious and rich thoughts about life and death of a human being through the eyes of and old married couple. The play is mainly focused on the everyday lives of the couple Afanashi Ivanovich, and Plixeliya Ivanovna. They would take a walk in the woods, feed their geese, and treat their visitors with the food they made with devotion. This kind of attitude is well shown at the scene where Pulkheria Ivanovna foresees the death of herself. The scene would remind the audiences of 'the Last Supper' ,painted by Leonardo Da Vinci. She accepts her own death as a natural part of her life, rather than denying it. After her death, Afanasy Ivanovich is left alone, but the life still goes on.

 

 

Fyodor Mikhaylovich Dostoevsky

 

 

                          

 

Fyodor Mikhaylovich Dostoevsky (1821-1881) - Russian novelist, journalist, short-story writer, whose psychological penetration into the human soul profoundly influenced the 20th century novel. Dostoevsky's novels have much autobiographical elements, but ultimately they deal with moral and philosophical questions. He presented interacting characters with contrasting views or ideas about freedom of choice, Socialism, atheisms, good and evil, happiness and so forth. Dostoevsky's central obsession was God, whom his characters constantly search through painful errors and humiliations.

 

Dostoevsky once gave a critical piece of advice to a producer who was asking for one to him in putting his novel, on stage. "If you want its adaptation for a theater stage, change the novel as much as you can. Select one fundamental and pivotal ideology from it, and change the whole story completely." the author's advice must not be neglected even once in putting by Dostoevsky on stage.

, performed by Myungpum Theatrical Company shows the process of confession that Raskolnikov makes to the world, through three times meetings with Sonya. This process of confession bases on the philosophical debate of the two characters, relating God, reality and ideal, soul and body. This shows the deepest thoughts about life and death. , performed by Myungpum Theatrical Company carries the seriousness of the great writer Dostoevsky.

 

 

 

 

- Korean Literature Trilogy -

 

(Maimilggot Pil muryeb in Korean)

 

                  


Lee Hyo-Seok (1907-1942) is one of the talented group of young Korean writers whose flame burned brightly in the 1920s and 1930s only to be extinguished by the time of the Pacific War. Much of his early fiction concerns the urban poor and the destructiveness of city life. But by the mid-1930s he was taking inspiration from the Korean countryside where he was born.

 

by Lee Hyo-seok is Korea s representative literature where a traveling maketer's woes have been poetically depicted who nostalgically bring back his memory on one-night love with a women under the moonlight with buckwheat flowers blossoming while traveling around. On the minimal stage, the only stage prop of a big sheet is used to visualize the romantic lyricism on the buckwheat field, which visualize the enriched and genuine sentiment of Koreans.

 

 

(Bom Bom in Korean)

 

           

is the second production of the Korean literature trilogy project, following . The original text is a short novel written by Kim You-jeong, one of the writers who represent the colonial period. The story shows the conflict between supervisor of a tenant farm and his farmhand, working to his bones to get married to the supervisor's daughter Jeomsun. The director put more emphasis on humorous side of the novel by bring in some traditional games into the play.

 

<Gwanchon Essays - Looking for Ong Jeom>

 

                         

 

Completing the 'Korean Literature Trilogy' of Myung Pum Theater, <Gwanchon Essays - Looking for Ong Jeom> takes the form of a 'New school drama' from the early 20th century, and recreated as a semi musical with a modern taste that the whole audience can enjoy regardless of their age. The elder generation could reminisce the favorite numbers from the old days, while the younger generation can look back at the turbulent period of modern Korean history. Children can experience the dramatized images of childhood fantasies in forms of various plays and games, such as hide and seek, and making shadow pictures.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Critics

 

Director Kim Won-seok segmented Gogols short stories into Meyerholds style episodes, which allows more leeway to the director. In Gogols Trilogy based on the theater techniques of theatralistic or plasticism, it was noteworthy that outstanding body movements and clear props were intriguingly used. The implicitly created stage triggered creative imagination of the audience. Meanwhile, dependency on only a few numbers of props had multiple symbolism: a big gym ball in the Old World Landowner had multiple usages as a chair, liquor container and a bridge connecting the earth and the heaven and symbolized death as it shrunk upon exhalation of the air.

 

The stage composition including the overall arrangement and setting had the actors in mind as much as possible while fully showcasing their physical acuteness. The actors perfectly showed an array of movements including miming, dancing and circus movements like rotating in the air. The rapidly unfolding scene changes were efficient in the composition of the episodes. Moreover, the aesthetics of multiple stimuli with the combined effects of imbalance and contrapuntal balance was in play by suggesting contrasting stimuli here and there. The music was to serve as ironic critique of the movements as its tunes and tones ran counter to the movements. For instance, in Viy, the music was in conflict with the actors comic movements, and Koreas traditional twelve-stringed harp called Gayageum playing the Russian traditional folk songs exhibited contrapuntal balance. Furthermore, the costumes and dolls exaggerating the Russian features contributed to adding the touch of Gogols to this play.

 

- The Korean Theater Review

 

 

A departure from the predecessors admiration for the Russian literature, and the theater methodologies of psychological realism of the modern theater; distinct from Meyerholds experiments dealing with physical being and symbolism in an unconventional theatre setting made; and exploring the prototype of the traditions of Russias folk culture and popular theater – this unique theater company makes me wonder what it will show and perform next time. I cannot wait to see the post plays of Gogols Trilogy that successfully showed its uniqueness using the form of farce, a universal theater language of the world.

 

- Korea Times

 

 

Gogols Trilogy – Viy, Diary of Madman, Old world landowners – is a series of plays stimulating the theme of finding the identity of theater in a unique angle. Gogols Trilogy refer to dramatized plays based on the 19thcentury Russiannovelist Gogols three short novels. What is noteworthy is that this play brings about questions of why and how in seeking for answers to the identity questions.

 

This play seems to delve into distinctiveness of plays vis-à-vis other art media.

 

- Performance and Review

 





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