Abstract

Traditional theatre scholarship maintains that Chosun-era Korean theatrical forms are rooted deep in the collectivity of the minjung—the economically, socially, and politically deprived—and are essentially minjung theatricalities. While the forms performed and viewed by commoners, such as talchum (mask dance), pansori (epic song performance), geurimja-geuk (shadow drama), and inhyeong-geuk (puppet show), are well researched, theatres of the privileged class or yangban have been obscured and consequently ignored by Korean theatre scholars. Gwolhui (moot royal court play), performed by the Confucian students of the Sungkyunkwan, the national university of the Chosun dynasty, offers evidence of a theatre of the privileged class. Gwolhui shares characteristics found in minjung theatre—collective participation, episodic structure, and bottom-up satire of the society. It is the yangban counterpart to the minjung theatrical forms and, therefore, should be considered part of the Korean theatre tradition.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-2109
Print ISSN
0742-5457
Pages
pp. 549-568
Launched on MUSE
2011-09-09
Open Access
No
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