Gramma
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Gramma
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Images from Gramma, written and performed by Maki Yi.

Photos by Kathryn Bracht

[End Page 66]

Copyright Notice

Caution: Copyright Wi-Hyung Maki Yi. This script is protected under the copyright laws of Canada and all other countries of the Copyright Union. Changes to the script are forbidden without the written consent of the author. Rights to produce, film, or record in any medium, in any language, by any group, are retained by the author. The moral right of the author has been asserted. For performance rights, contact the author at whmakiyi@gmail.com.

Production History

This play was created as an MFA project under the supervision and the dramaturgy of DD Kugler. It premiered at the Blackbox Theatre at Simon Fraser University in January 2007, directed by Esther Reich. The play was invited to the Festival of Original Theatre Conference at the University of Toronto in February 2007 and was remounted, under the direction of Kathryn Bracht, at the Regina Fringe Festival in July 2011.

Cast List and Production Artists

Blackbox Theatre, Simon Fraser University, British Columbia, Canada, 17–19 January 2007

  • woman, storyteller, gramma, MakiYi

  • director, Esther Reich

  • dramaturge, DD Kugler

  • lighting designer, Yee-Hang Yam

  • stage designer/stage manager, David Balfour

Regina Fringe Festival, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, 6–10 July 2011

  • woman, storyteller, gramma, MakiYi

  • director, Kathryn Bracht

  • set designer, Jodi Norman

  • stage manager, Melanie Rogowski

  • technical consultant, William Hales

Playwright Bio

Maki Yi received her BFA in theatre performance from the University of Regina and her MFA in interdisciplinary studies from Simon Fraser University. During her BFA, she wrote and performed an autobiographic solo show, Home of My Soul, and was part of the company of actors who devised and performed in the original miniseries Redemption for SCN Television. During her MFA, she also acted in the feature film Acts of Imagination, written by Michael Springate and directed by Carolyn Comb. During the 2011–2012 season, she was an apprentice at the Pacific Theatre in Vancouver, where she produced and performed Act 1 of A Nanking Winter by Marjorie Chan as her first apprenticeship project and mounted a staged reading of her new play Left, Right? as her final apprenticeship project in July 2012.

Characters

  • woman, young Korean female

  • storyteller, traditional Korean entertainer

  • gramma, Caucasian Canadian

Gramma

The space shifts between two worlds: the imaginary world of the storyteller and contemporary Canada, where the woman and gramma live together. woman and storyteller alternate their stories, and gramma’s character comes to life only through woman’s imitation/ representation of her. gramma’s lines are indicated in the text through the use of double quotation marks (“”).

Scene One

(Sound of percussion. Lights fade in. storyteller enters. She performs a road ritual, singing Pallbearer’s tune and playing a percussion instrument.)

Goodbye, my dearest. You are about to cross the river of oblivion. When will you come back? You will never come back. How can she leave everything behind? How can she take eternal farewell?

storyteller: Simchong, the filial daughter, had taken care of her blind father, doing any rough chore just to feed him. But Blind Sim only complained and felt sorry for himself. He always said that nothing would make him happy unless he could see. A monk told Simchong that if she donated three hundred sacks of rice to the temple, her father’s eyes would open. Where could she find such a large donation? Simchong’s heart ached for her father. [End Page 67]

Then one day she heard a rumour that some sailors wanted to buy a young girl. They needed a sacrifice to calm the fury of the sea so that they could sail. Simchong wasn’t afraid of death if she could please her father. She was worried what would happen to him after she was gone, but he would be happy when his wish came true. And if he could see, he could manage. Her only regret was that when her father was able to see, she wouldn’t be there. After a heart-tearing farewell with her father, she followed the sailors to the shore of the Indangsu.

(Ritual...