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The Study on the Creative Motives and Dramatic Characteristics of Anti-Communist Play So Flows River Han

  • The Journal of Korean drama and theatre
  • 2022, (77), pp.49-91
  • DOI : 10.17938/tjkdat.2022..77.49
  • Publisher : The Learned Society Of Korean Drama And Theatre
  • Research Area : Arts and Kinesiology > Other Arts and Kinesiology
  • Received : November 12, 2022
  • Accepted : December 19, 2022
  • Published : December 31, 2022

Kim, Jae Suk 1

1경북대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

In this paper, the creative motives and dramatic characteristics of So Flows River Han were examined in the flow of Yoo Chijin's theatrical activities. Yoo Chijin, who returned home after completing his US theater training in June 1957, aimed to become a world-class anti-communist playwright who runs a community theater in Seoul. In order to apply for the Rockefeller Foundation grant for the construction of a community theater, a work was needed to prove Yoo Chijin's ability. Yoo Chijin made most of the Shinhyup members return from the National Theater to rebuild the theater company Shinhyup. In this process, the direction of Yoo Chijin's work was embodied. It was an Anti-Communist, yet powerfully popular play that could be performed in community theaters. In this regard, So Flows River Han has the meaning as a kind of 'planned product'. The work that helped Yoo Chijin's creation was U Nu's Anti-Communist play, The People Win Through. It is a world-famous Anti-Communist play that was performed at the Pasadena Playhouse in the United States in 1952 and published as a collection of works in 1957. The People Win Through was an example of the Anti-Communist play that the United States wanted because it highlighted the fiction of communist ideology and the brutality of communist rebels. In this work, the confrontation between the protagonist and antagonist is extremely weak, and the stories of several characters other than the protagonist, Aung Win, are connected in parallel. It consists of eight scenes without distinguishing acts. Yoo Chijin classified these works as a ‘de-Ibsen type’ play, and So Flows River Han also has such characteristics. The confrontation between its protagonist and antagonist is very weak, and the stories of various characters other than the main protagonist Jeong Cheol exist independently, and it is made up of 22 scenes without any distinction. Yoo Chijin divided the 22 scenes according to the change of place, but the division has no special meaning to the audience. Since So Flows River Han is a work for performing on a medium-sized arena stage, Yoo Chijin placed several places within a single space. Yoo Chijin handled the situation in which information could be sufficiently conveyed with only lines indoors, and the parts that should be emphasized in particular was to have the characters come out on a main road in front of the stage. So Flows River Han has a different characteristic from the previous Anti-Communist play, which used the dichotomous setting of a confrontation between a good protagonist and an evil antagonist. Yoo Chijin faithfully captured the stories of other characters besides Jeong Cheol and Ahn Huisuk and allowed the audience to feel the tragedy of the war through the images of people struggling to survive. Such characteristics weakened the emphasis on the brutality of communism. Yoo Chijin, conscious of the Anti-Communist play that the United States wants, delivered the brutality of the communists directly to the audience through Jeong Cheol's long lines to make up for it. However, such an attempt destroyed the realism of the play and lowered the level of perfection as an Anti-Communist play.

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.