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Yeonwoo Mudae and the Korean Theatre Movement in the 1980s

From: Asian Theatre Journal
Volume 30, Number 1, Spring 2013
pp. 67-89 | 10.1353/atj.2013.0014



Yeonwoo Mudae is an exemplary theatre company of Korean theatre of the 1980s. It focused on newly created pieces (changjak-geuk) to provide a critical and historical understanding of contemporary Korean politics and culture. Using Brechean epic theatre, elements of madang-geuk (outdoor, episodic performances colored by traditional Korean theatre aesthetics), and local literature or history as its source, the company transitioned from a student workshop with no space of its own to a group with a permanent little theatre-style space in first the Shinchon area and then the Daehakro theatre district. Its exemplary productions both reflected and spurred the movement toward democratization and freedom of speech in the fraught political environment of a country repressed by the military-led government of President Chun Doo-Hwan.

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