In the documentary theatre performance The History of Korean Western Theatre, Jaha Koo investigates the influence of the Western theatre tradition on Korean theatre. At the celebration of the centenary of Korean theatre, the South Korean theatre maker / composer came to the conclusion that there is actually no Korean theatre tradition: what is regarded as Korean theatre is largely determined by the Western and Japanese canon. How did that happen? Why are the South Koreans so proud of this Western interpretation of their theatre tradition? What is the meaning of "contemporary" in South Korea? And why does everyone always refer to Shakespeare? These are just a few of the questions that Koo asks in this performance. The History of Korean Western Theater is an intelligent documentary performance in which historical, political, sociological and personal stories are intertwined. With an important role for the self-composed electronic soundtrack.
This performance is the final piece of Jaha Koo’s Hamartia trilogy. Already in Lolling & Rolling and Cuckoo, Jaha Koo zoomed in on themes that carry a clash of Eastern and Western culture inside. From cutting string of tongue to make it in the West, to the heavy personal toll of Western interference on a macroeconomic level.
Premiere: 8 May 2020, Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Brussels