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Modernization of Korean Theatre in the 20th Century

Publisher: , expected Aug 2024
Link to online store *

Lee provides a comprehensive guide that traces the transformation of Korean theatre from traditional to modern theatre and examines the impact of the introduction of Western plays to Korean society.

Important changes in Korean theatre are discussed chronologically from the beginning of the modernization: Sinpa Theatre, Singeuk Theatre, Theatre of Ideology, The Little Theatre Movement, Madanggeuk, experiments for modernizing traditional Korean theatrical arts, and transitions to postmodern theatre. These changes happened rapidly and coupled with Eurocentric globalization. By the end of the century, the reinterpretations of Western drama like Shakespeare’s plays had reached a point where they received attention from the Western world. Today, Korean theatre keeps pace with the world theatre and strives to contribute as a member of it.

A vital resource for scholars and students pursuing Korean studies and East Asian theatres. with an authentic Korean perspective from a Korean scholar who has lived and researched in Korea.

Meewon Lee is Professor Emerita of Korea National University of Arts in Seoul, Korea. Her publications include Korean Traditions and Performances in the Postmodern Era. She is focused on esthetics of Korean theatre, related to its traditions and world theatre.

Source: publisher’s website


Introduction: What is Modernization in Korea?: Historical Background.

  1. The Beginning of Modern Theatre and Cultural Resistance
  2. Sinpa Theatre: Transitional Melodrama from Westernized Japan and Its  Influences on Commercial Theatre
  3. Singeuk Theatre: Western Realism Theatre and Social Realism Theatre
  4. The Liberation of Korea and the Korean War Period: Theatre of Ideology
  5. The Little Theatre Movement
  6. The Beginning of Experiments and Innovations for Modernizing Theatrical Traditions
  7. Madanggeuk: Contemporary Sociopolitical Theatre with the Traditions from Korean Heritage
  8. Toward the Postmodern Theatre

Entry on here.

* Where the book is available from a number of sources, they are prioritised as follows: (1) Amazon UK site, or for the more recent uploads (2) Amazon US site (3) Other sites in US or Europe, including second-hand outlets (4) LTI Korea, where the title is advertised as available from there (5) Onlines stores in Korea. Links to and Amazon UK site contain an affiliate code which, should you make a purchase, gives a small commission to LKL at no additional cost to you.