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The Study on the Modernity and the Premodernity of Toweolhoe, the Theatre Group’s Performances

Kim, Jae Suk 1

1경북대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The aim of this essay is to evaluate the role of Toweolhoe, the theatre group in forming the Korean modern drama. The activities of Toweolhoe can be divided into four periods. The first is the period of the performances of July and September in 1923, when Toweolhoe had the standpoint that the performance of typical Western modern dramas could contribute to establishing the colonized Joseon's modern drama. The second is the period of January to July in 1924, when Park sunghee were active as the representative of theatre group. Park sunghee found that the Western modern drama didn't suit the Korean's mood and noting that audience preferred the works with sad mood, he tried to combine these works with the reality of colonized Joseon. The third is the period of April in 1925 to February in 1926, when Toweolhoe operated Kwangmoodae as the theatrical company system. Park sunghee rented the theater and used it, following the example of Japan's Little Theatre Chukichi but he had to perform too many works to maintain the theater. During this period it is important that they gave attention to utilizing the traditional materials, performing Chunhyangjeon. The fourth is the period of the comeback performance of the October in 1928 to the last. During this period, there are two valuable works. One is Lee Daegam, Manghal Daegum and it has the significant meaning in terms of the dramatization of traditional materials. The other is Arirang ridge in which the reality of the poor peasantry is represented as sadness but hope is never given up. It has the value as the archetype of colonized Joseon's social drama. In the studies up to now, they considered Toweolhoe, the theatre group as the popular theatre group and said that it had little contribution to forming the Korean modern drama. However thanks to Toweolhoe, the theatre group, it was possible to know the audience's response to modern dramas in colonized Joseon and on the ground of this, it was possible to form the archetype of modern drama of colonized Joseon which contains the content that they tried not to lose hope despite their harsh reality.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.

This paper was written with support from the National Research Foundation of Korea.