National Theater Company of KOREA

Dramaturg’s Office

In March in 2018, we opened Dramaturg’s Office to document the NTCK’s history, explore the spectrum of contemporary theater and set a new direction for the national center dedicated to drama. The office will initiate mid-to-long term theater projects such as the Rediscovery of Korean Original Theater Forms and the Modern Korean Drama Series, both of which have advisory committees consisted of experts from various background. Also the Office runs International Collaborations & Co-productions, Publications and Archiving. We hope to contribute in re-establishing the identity of the NTCK and Korean theater as the NTCK enters its 70th anniversary season in 2020.

Development Projects at the Dramaturg’s Office

· The 70th anniversary of the NTCK

The NTCK’s 70th Anniversary Season in 2020 will be held in a form of a festival including a series of representative repertories and invitations of international flagship theatre companies, along with a variety of commemorative events such as the opening and closing ceremonies, exhibitions and publications. The anniversary festival will be organized by special committees including the festival committee composed of renowned theater artists and the publication committee consisted of representative theater critics for the publication of the NTCK’s history of 70 years.

· The Play Postbox

Opened in March 2018, the NTCK’s Play Postbox has been an open window for the contemporary playwrights who might look for an opportunity to submit their new plays online without revealing their identity. The unsolicited scripts from the Play Postbox are read by the readers that include a theater critic, CHO Man-Soo, a theater director SIM Jae Chan and the dramaturg at the NTCK. Every year, we try to select around six to eight plays, in order to have ‘public readings’ with professional actors and audiences and see any of the selected plays has a potential to be developed into a full production in future.

· The Rediscovery of Modern Korean Drama

The Rediscovery of Modern Korean Drama has started from 2015 to introduce modern plays written from the 1920s to 1950s. The advising committee, consisted of theater academics, theater critics and playwrights recommend selected plays to be produced every year and hold discussion sessions with theater directors who are supposed to try his/her own re-interpretation of the modern plays while being royal to the original text. In 2018, Fate by YUN Baek-nam is directed by KIM Nak-hyoung, and The Art of Self-Defence by SONG Young is directed by YOON Hansol; the discussion session, The Landscape of Our Theater 1920-1930, is held in order to illuminate the reality of the modern Korean society which is the background of the plays.

· Rediscovery of the Original Form of Korean Theater

To inherit the traditions of Korean theater and re-establish the identity of Korean theater, the NTCK has launched a new project, the Rediscovery of the Original Forms of Korean Theater. This new journey is to explore the theatricality and the language of the old forms of Korean theatricality such as the Traditional Mask Dance, Puppet Theater, Pansori, and the shaman ritual, Gut, all of which were introduced as a one-day festival on September 30th, 2018 was held in the courtyard (madang) of the NTCK. Along with the introduction of the original forms, a new creation using the elements of the traditional theatricality, “Looking For a Yangban” written by HAN Hyun-joo and performed by fifteen young actors were showcased. The advising committee of this first year of the project included the festival director KIM Hak-soo and senior theater artists and a critic.

· Digital Archive

A digital archive of the NTCK will be created to share the information and knowledge covering almost 400 performance records from a span of 70 years. The archive will have an open access to the public so that anyone can easily search the open data of theater performances produced by the NTCK. The digital data will provide not only the information of the NTCK’s past productions, but also of the theater artists and the social contexts in relation to the productions by the NTCK last 70 years. In 2018, a model of the National Digital Archive will be created based on the research and case studies by an external team and then the digital data will be organized and from 2019, finally to be opened to the general public in 2020.