Anne Hamilton/Hamilton Dramaturgy


THE LAUREN PLAY at Under St. Marks

Here’s the latest show by Stacy Davidowitz, one of my favorite TALFs (Theatre Artist I Love to Follow). You can follow her too at www.stacydavidowitz.com.

A Message from Stacy:

I wrote an Ionesco-inspired short — THE LAUREN PLAY — going up through aMios Theatre Company‘s monthly sHotz at Under St. Marks this Monday, directed by the talented Elyzabeth Gorman and featuring a sweet team of actors: David Jenkins, Jennifer Le Blanc, and Ali Maher.  Come check it out!

Upper East Siders Lauryn and Loren Dotenbury put an ad out on Craigslist for a babysitter. They’re absolutely delighted when Lauren shows up for the interview. If only they had a baby…

Shotz: Shotzin' Around the Christmas Tree

Monday,December 5th

Under St Marks

94 St Marks Pl. (1st Ave/Ave A)

7pm and 8:30pm

$10 (includes a tall boy)

Tickets:

http://tix.smarttix.com/Modules/Sales/SalesMainTabsPage.aspx?ControlState=1&DateSelected=&DiscountCode=&SalesEventId=964&DC=

Shotz process: Called a “theatrical time bomb” by The New York Times, 6 playwrights get a week to write a short play based around 3 conditions and a theme. A crack team of actors and directors is assembled to put them up. They get a week of rehearsal and it’s go time.

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Dramaturgy Book Bibliography
November 21, 2011, 12:01 am
Filed under: Dramaturgy, Theatre | Tags: , , ,

As a public service, I am posting this dramaturgy book bibliography. It will be very useful for anyone wishing to study about the continuing practice of the art of dramaturgy. The list was originally compiled by Intern Louisa Balch. Thank you, Louisa!

Dramaturgy Book List Compiled by Hamilton Dramaturgy



THE SHOEBOX, A 10-Minute Play

With this week’s very sad national scandal unfolding at Penn State, I decided to post this play that I wrote in February. It will appear in my 2011 anthology of plays and poetry to be published by Hamilton Dramaturgy Press.

THE SHOEBOX

By Anne Hamilton

© February 25, 2011

Cast of Characters

SARAH SIMONS,  a fifty-ish woman, any race or ethnicity .

THE PERSON ON THE OTHER END OF THE PHONE,  a fifty-ish woman, any race or ethnicity.

Place

Split set: SARAH’S living room/THE OTHER PERSON’s kitchen.

Time

The Present.

(It’s late. SARAH is sitting on a couch downstage right watching late night tv and eating from a big bag of potato chips.)

(THE PERSON ON THE OTHER END OF THE LINE sits in a straight-backed chair at an old kitchen table upstage left. She is eating an ice cream bar and takes a huge bite just before she dials the phone.)

(The phone rings just as SARAH has stuffed a handful of chips into her mouth.)

SARAH (her words muffled by the presence of the potato chips)

Hello, this is Sarah. Don’t mind me I’m just sitting her eating potato chips.

THE PERSON ON THE OTHER END OF THE LINE

Hello?

SARAH

Yes, hello. I said I’m eating potato chips.

THE PERSON ON THE OTHER END OF THE LINE

Hello, is this Sarah? I’m sorry you probably can’t hear me very well because I’m eating an ice cream over here. Chocolate. I got one of those Haagen Dasz bars with the cholcolate coating. Chocolate hazelnut coating. So that’s what I’m eating.

SARAH

You’re really going to have to speak up because it sounds like you’re speaking dutch over there.

THE PERSON ON THE OTHER END OF THE LINE

No, I can’t learn foreign languages. I said I’m eating hagen dasz. Not ben and jerry’s. I can’t stand those wacky containers. Too many damn colors and what is up with those stupid jokes? They aren’t even funny. Those two smoked too much pot in the 60’s. they’re good people, though, good people/

SARAH (she has swallowed all the potato chips in her mouth by now)

Excuse me, who did you say this was?

THE PERSON ON THE OTHER END OF THE LINE

Was, is and ever will be. It’s Karen. Karen Simkowitz.

SARAH

Who?

THE PERSON ON THE OTHER END OF THE LINE

Karen Simkowitz. We were together in homeroom.

SARAH

What?

THE PERSON ON THE OTHER END OF THE LINE

We were together in home room in high school. In 9th grade.

SARAH

I don’t even remember you, but even if I did, what are you doing calling me in the middle of the night? I thought you must be my sister, or that someone in my family died.

THE PERSON ON THE OTHER END OF THE LINE

Well, you see, someone has died. It’s our homeroom teacher, Sister Mary Judith.

SARAH

What? Why should I care if some old nun from the 1970s died/

THE PERSON ON THE OTHER END OF THE LINE

That is a shameful thing to say, Sarah Simons. A very shameful thing to say/

SARAH

/I don’t care. I don’t want some stranger calling my house late at night/

THE PERSON ON THE OTHER END OF THE LINE

Well, when I tell you why you should care, you might change your mind.

SARAH (turns this phrase over in her mind)

“When I tell you why you should care, you might change your mind.” When she tells me why I should care I might change my mind. (to her). That doesn’t even make sense. I’d have to care first, and then change my mind.

THE PERSON ON THE OTHER END OF THE LINE

You’re being very critical, Sarah. That poor nun devoted her life to teaching us and you are sitting there not even caring and you don’t even want me to tell you why you should care.

SARAH

I didn’t say that, I just said that what you’re saying doesn’t make sense.

THE PERSON ON THE OTHER END OF THE LINE

(taking another bite of ice cream so her mouth is full. She doesn’t take criticism well.)

Well, now what you’re saying doesn’t make sense because I didn’t say anything yet that could make sense or not make sense. And you’re really not being very charitable.

SARAH

What? I can’t hear you. You’re going to have to speak up.

THE PERSON ON THE OTHER END OF THE LINE

(speaks more loudly, but still inarticulately)

I said I didn’t say anything yet to make sense or not make sense, so you needn’t be so critical and uncharitable.

SARAH

Well, I picked up the phone five minutes ago, so if you haven’t said anything yet I don’t know what we’ve been talking about all this time.

THE PERSON ON THE OTHER END OF THE LINE

(stuffs the whole bar into her mouth. The wooden stick is protruding from her mouth. She’s speechless.)

SARAH (waits)

(Pause.)

Karen?

THE PERSON ON THE OTHER END OF THE LINE

(no answer. She is sucking on her ice cream pop.)

SARAH

Karen?

THE PERSON ON THE OTHER END OF THE LINE

(no answer. Her feelings are hurt.)

SARAH

Karen, look, I know you’re there. I can hear the ice cream melting. Why don’t you just tell me why you called me here, in the middle of the night?

THE PERSON ON THE OTHER END OF THE LINE

(pauses.)

It’s not the middle of the night.

SARAH

All right. It’s only a quarter to twelve. Why don’t you tell me what’s so important about Sister Mary Judith’s death?

THE PERSON ON THE OTHER END OF THE LINE

(swallows the last of the ice cream bar, wipes her mouth with a paper napkin.)

All right. So you remember Jimmy DiLeo and Michael Schu/

SARAH

Karen, I don’t remember anyone from high school. It was a very long time ago.

THE PERSON ON THE OTHER END OF THE LINE

They’re important to the story.

SARAH (to herself.)

So now there’s a story.

(to Karen)

All right, Karen. Tell me the story.

(while Karen tells the story, Sarah starts absentmindedly eating potato chips. She continues through to the end, when she freezes during the line, “Sister Mary Judith died…”.)

THE PERSON ON THE OTHER END OF THE LINE

So, you remember Jimmy DiLeo and Michael Schumacher. Alright. So they were in Sister Mary Judith’s homeroom class, too, and they used to collect the money for the magazine drives. Remember, we used to have them all the time? PEOPLE and TIME and NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC and such. (As she’s speaking, she’s tearing open another ice cream bar and she starts to eat it as she speaks). Mmmm. And so one day, I remember I was giving Jimmy DiLeo my money and I thought he was cute and I tried to make a joke and I said, “So is that a new car stereo I heard about that you got with all this magazine money?” Is that a new car stereo I heard about. I was never very much good with words. But Jimmy went white as a sheet and Michael said, “Hey, Karen, that’s really not funny. Sister Mary Judith trusts us to collect the money and that’s what we do. Stealing is a sin and so is lying.” Well I felt so stupid, I couldn’t even look at him for days. I just put my money in an envelope and along with the order slip and I put it in that shoebox on sister’s desk and I was so happy when that darn magazine drive was over. I don’t know why we had them all the time, they never really raised money for the school, just caused a lot of extra work for the students and the parents. It was totally not worth it. Anyway, when the spring came, and time for another drive, Jimmy wouldn’t volunteer to collect the money again, and neither would Michael Shumacher, so Sister Mary Judith asked for another volunteer and I put my hand up. I felt so guilty that I had made such a stupid joke that I decided I had to do some penance and that was the way to do it. So I started collecting the order slips and the cash and at that time Catholic schools would accept checks because parents weren’t bouncing them so much, and I put them in the shoebox on Sister Mary Judith’s desk. Well, one day I opened the box and there was no cash. Even the order slips were gone. I didn’t know who had taken them, I just knew that I would be blamed. So I went up to sister and told her, “The slips, they’re gone. Oh, and also the money.” Well, her face went red. “What do you mean the money is gone? Don’t you realize how important that money is to keep this school running so we can give you kids a Catholic education? Do you know how much we sisters – and your parents – sacrifice for you? (at this point, SARAH is nodding absentmindedly and flipping through channels with the remote and eating potato chips freely).

SARAH

I remember when that money went missing. I never saw a nun get so angry.

THE PERSON ON THE OTHER END OF THE LINE

Yeah, and she took it all out on me.  “You’re going to detention every day, young lady, until you either find out where that money went, or you make it up with your own allowance. You were in charge and you are responsible.” Well, I could never make up that money with my allowance,  I didn’t even know who had ordered what magazine. So I swallowed and I said, “It’s not my fault, sister. I didn’t take the money and I don’t know who did.” “Not your fault, not your fault. Yes, it is your fault, young lady, you’re responsible and you’re going to pay for it.” Well I went home and told my mother and she was furious. She went to speak to the principal and he sided with the sister, and well, we didn’t know what to do. It was too late to put me in a different school and besides, we had already paid tuition and I’m sure we couldn’t get even a partial refund, so I went back to school the next day but I didn’t go to detention and I sort of had this stand off with sister Mary Judith, do you remember? She wouldn’t look at me and I wouldn’t look at her. She wouldn’t call my name out when she was taking roll, she would just skip over my name, and then she didn’t write me down as present and I started getting absences on my record and the principal called my mother at home and asked why I wasn’t coming to school and my mother said, “She is going to school. Maybe that rogue nun of yours isn’t writing her down as present every day” and the principal, well, he got off the phone and that was the end of that until we graduated and went out into the real world and I didn’t have to deal with Catholic schools or magazine drives or fundraisers or car stereos or attendance sheets or order slips ever again. (She is out of breath.)

(There is a long pause.)

SARAH

Karen? (No answer.) Karen. Is that the end of the story? (No answer. Long pause.) Karen, why did you call me?

THE PERSON ON THE OTHER END OF THE LINE

(slowly)

(she finds it hard to say the next lines) Sister Mary Judith died in a maximum security prison last week. (Long pause.) She had been having sex with the boys in our homeroom for a very long time. Since they were freshmen. And they had a lot of evidence against her. It was Jimmy DiLeo. And Michael Shumacher. And others. It was a very long trial. And they all testified against her. And when she died. After she died, they told me – they found me – and they told me – that she took the money. From the shoebox. In the homeroom. She was buying them gifts. Like the car stereo. With the magazine drive money. For our Catholic school.

(There is a long silence.)

SARAH

Karen, I’m sorry.

(Long pause.)

THE PERSON ON THE OTHER END OF THE LINE

I want to know. Why she did that to me.  Was it because I don’t speak very well? Is it because….

Why did she do that to me, Sarah? Am I stupid, Sarah? Am I a bad person? Tell me. I need to know.

(SARAH doesn’t know what to say.)

SARAH

Um, I don’t know, Karen. I don’t know why she did that. Maybe it was because. She thought you wouldn’t tell on her. Maybe she knew… that you were… are… a good person. A good, real, Catholic person, who learned what was right in Catholic school. And wouldn’t do harm to another person. Maybe she… deep down… respected you. Because you would never, ever do… um, what she did. Yeah. I think that must be it.

(Silence.)

SARAH

But we’ll never know, Karen. We will just never know. And maybe… it’s better that we… That you, don’t. Maybe it’s better that you don’t know what was in that mind of hers. You’re better off without that kind of… of knowledge.

THE PERSON ON THE OTHER END OF THE LINE

(visibly relaxes. She has found her answer.)

(Long pause.)

THE PERSON ON THE OTHER END OF THE LINE

Thank you, Sarah.

(Silence. THE PERSON ON THE OTHER END OF THE LINE puts down the ice cream stick that is in her hand. )

I guess it’s over. It’s all over now.

SARAH

Yes. It is. (Pause). Karen? (Silence ) Karen? (Silence). Karen, I’m going to hang up now. You…have a good night. Goodbye, Karen. (SARAH hangs up the phone.)

(KAREN is silent, staring off into space.)

(After a long pause, the lights begin to go down)

END OF PLAY.



BCWJ Profile of Carol Sabik-Jaffe

I got to know Carol while I was teaching a scriptwriting workshop at the Philadelphia Writer’s Conference in June. I am pleased to profile her in my BCWJ column. I hope you’ll enjoy learning about her talent.

Profile of Carol Sabik-Jaffe

By Anne Hamilton, MFA

Published in her Page and Stage column in the Bucks County Women’s Journal (December 2011/January 2012)

Born and raised in New Jersey, Carol Sabik-Jaffe now lives and writes just outside of Philadelphia, PA with her husband, two children and a recently rescued dog named Enzo.

A multi-talented artist, Carol has been honored with three Best Screenplay prizes by the International Family Film Festival. IFFF recognized BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR and THE DEVIL’S DUE with the Best Comedy award and LIVING AGAIN as Best Drama.

She is now in the process of casting and securing financing for a feature film of BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR, a romantic comedy. The project is scheduled to start shooting in late spring 2012.

Michelle Pollino, a local Philadelphia producer/director is attached. Los Angeles producer, Beverly Nero (daughter of Philly Pops conductor, Peter Nero) is also on board, and Carol is acting as writer/producer on the project. Several recognizable actors have already been cast, including Jill Whelan (THE LOVE BOAT), Peter Patrikios, Suanne Spoke and Luke Healy.

“It’s really exciting for me because other people are as excited about producing this project as I am,” said Carol. “We have people willing to put their talents forward. The film is about a man who wants to be taken seriously as a literary writer but he starts noodling around writing romance novels. His romance story is released to the public in packages of women’s lingerie and creates a frenzy. But, he won’t admit that it’s his work. He starts to dodge the media and with the help of an old friend (who also holds a special place in his life and heart) he comes up with a plan. Of course, chaos ensues. ”

Comedy is Carol’s favorite genre to write. “I enjoy having a good laugh, and I enjoy people who can make me laugh. Comedy is probably one of the more difficult genres to write because not everyone thinks the same things are funny.”

Carol’s early career was spent as an artist and graphic designer. She finds that there are similarities between being an artist and being a writer. “As a designer,” she says, “Everything I did told a story. When I was designing something, I was trying to distill ideas to their essence to tell a story.”

In addition to writing, Carol consults as a Development Manager/Story Editor for Nationlight Productions, a feature film company in Philadelphia, and teaches screenwriting at Rowan University.

Download the article here: BCWJ PAGE&STAGE Profile of Carol Sabik-Jaffee by Anne Hamilton

Anne Hamilton has twenty years of experience in the professional theatre in NYC, across the nation, and internationally. She is available for script consultations and career advising through hamiltonlit@ hotmail.com. Hamilton Dramaturgy Press has published two anthologies of Anne’s plays and poetry, as well as THREE SHORT PLAYS ABOUT LOVE by Warren G. Bodow. They are available at www.lulu.com.



ANATOMY OF A BREAKOUT – Tonight
November 13, 2011, 11:48 am
Filed under: Dramaturgy, NYC Theatre | Tags: , , ,

Here is an invitation from Randy Gener, Senior Editor of AMERICAN THEATRE magazine.

Would you like to meet in person
Samuel L. Jackson (actor, THE MOUNTAINTOP)?
David Henry Hwang (playwright, CHINGLISH)?
David Ives (playwright, VENUS IN FUR)?
Douglas Carter Beane (librettist, LYSISTRATA JONES)?
Kenny Leon (director, STICK FLY and THE MOUNTAINTOP)?

I cordially invite you to an all-star Broadway panel discussion I am organizing and moderating in collaboration with Fordham University Theatre Program and the Drama Desk association. It takes place 6:30PM Sunday Nov. 13th at Fordham University Theatre’s Lincoln Center Campus.

We are offering a ticket price of $5 for senior citizens and for students from any school with valid ID.

Below you will find an invitation to this one-of-a-kind Broadway panel.
Please reserve now.

Or pass it on to a friend who might be interested. I thank you.

Warmly, Randy
_________________________________
Randy Gener
résumé http://www.linkedin.com/in/randygener

THE DRAMA DESK and THE FORDHAM UNIVERSITY THEATRE PROGRAM
ANNOUNCE A FALL 2011 PANEL DISCUSSION, “ANATOMY OF A BREAKOUT”
TO BE HELD AT FORDHAM’S LINCOLN CENTER CAMPUS
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 13, FROM 6:30 PM TO 8:00 PM

Panelists Include
Douglas Carter Beane, Lewis Flinn, David Henry Hwang, David Ives,
Samuel L. Jackson, Dan Knechtges, Kenny Leon, Jennifer Lim, Liz Mikel, and Leigh Silverman

Organized and moderated by Randy Gener
The Drama Desk and the Fordham University Theatre Program will present a special panel discussion at 6:30 PM on Sunday, November 13th, titled “Anatomy of a Breakout,” reflecting the remarkable trend of breakthrough productions and breakout performances on the New York stage.

The panelists include (in alphabetical order): Douglas Carter Beane (book writer, LYSISTRATA JONES), Lewis Flinn (composer/lyricist, LYSISTRATA JONES), David Henry Hwang (playwright, CHINGLISH), David Ives (playwright, VENUS IN FUR), Samuel L. Jackson (actor, THE MOUNTAINTOP), Dan Knechtges (director/choreographer, LYSISTRATA JONES), Kenny Leon (director, THE MOUNTAINTOP and STICK FLY), Jennifer Lim (actor, CHINGLISH), and Leigh Silverman (director, CHINGLISH).

This special panel discussion will be moderated by Randy Gener, the George Jean Nathan Award winning editor and writer.

It will be held at Fordham University’s Lincoln Center campus (Pope Auditorium, 113 W. 60th Street, corner of Columbus Avenue).

Ticket prices:
General Admission: $20
Students* & Senior Citizens: $5 (*from any school with valid ID)
Reservations are requested.

Send RSVPs with first and last names plus number of guests to DramaDeskRSVP@gmail.com



WOODEN at HERE
November 8, 2011, 1:51 pm
Filed under: TheatreNow! Podcasts | Tags: , , ,

Here is news from Kristin Marting, the Artistic Director of HERE in NYC. She appeared in Season One of TheatreNow!

New Show!

Wooden
Nov. 4-6, 8-12 @ 8:30 PM

Wooden is a dance about time and nature’s geometry. This evening-length quartet occupies different environments installed in one performance space. Follow the dance through a lush, growing lawn and a dry, desiccated landscape of hanging trees. Wooden is filled with mathematical precision, velocity and liquid improvisation.

Cocktails & Context: 11/8 @ 7:30 PM
Post-Show Panel: 11/9: Dance, Installation and Repurposing

Click here for more information.



Translating INCHING TOWARDS YEOLHA

Translating INCHING TOWARDS YEOLHA:

A Contemporary Korean Play Meets A New York Audience

 By Walter Byongsok Chon

In October 2010, Columbia University saw the staging of WALKABOUT YEOLHA, an adaptation of a Korean play by Sam-Shik Pai.  This production, an M.F.A. thesis project for Korean director Kon Yi (‘11), marked an encounter that, in my opinion, has yet to become more frequent: an exposure to contemporary Korean playwriting for a New York audience.  It was with great pleasure and prestige that I became part of this project as translator of the original play by Pai.

It was in the summer of 2010 that the director Yi contacted me about this play, which, in Korea, premiered at Towol Theater in Seoul Arts Center, directed by Jin-Taek Sohn, in March 2007.  A literal translation of the original title would be INCHING TOWARDS YEOLHA, Yeolha being the destination of Jiwon Park (a.k.a. Yeon-Ahm), an 18th-century Korean philosopher who traveled to China in pursuit of practical ideas to modernize Korean society.  Based on Yeon-Ahm’s travelogue, The Jehol Diary, Pai created an allegorical satire, exploring the questions of tradition and innovation.  Pai introduces us to a nearly-fossilized, fictive village in a desert, and guides us through the turbulence the village undergoes at its first encounter with what the villagers call the “exotic.”  Yeon-Ahm, the narrator of the play, is a “four-legged beast” and, as she tells the villagers of the world outside the village, provides the initial conflict of the play.  Her talking eventually makes her the scapegoat to save the village from being “erased.”

In the American theatre scene, contemporary Korean playwrights are only to be found by avid researchers aiming to find them. Part of the reason is that Korea’s theatre development suffered a disconnect in the early twentieth century while it was under the dominance of Japan.  Only after 1950 could Korean theatre emerge again.  In the director’s note, Yi mentions he found only three Korean playwrights whose works had been translated into English – Taesuk Oh, Yun-taek Lee and Kang-baek Lee – which gave him a strong incentive to bring YEOLHA to life in New York.  Though the three aforementioned playwrights are some of the most recognized playwrights in Korea, hardly any of their work has received a professional production in America.  In theatre history education, the significance of Korean theatre is mostly allotted to the ritual tradition of Kut and mask dance called Talchum.  However, these modern and contemporary playwrights are hardly covered compared to well-recognized Asian playwrights such as Gao Xingjian (China, THE BUS STOP, THE OTHER SHORE) or Yukio Mishima (Japan, THE LADY AOI).  While Korean-related themes are depicted by playwrights such as Young-Jean Lee (SONGS OF THE DRAGONS FLYING TO HEAVEN) and Lloyd Suh (AMERICAN HWANGAP), it is reasonable to say that these two authors write from a distinctive Korean-American perspective.

The American audience was first exposed to a Korean theatre production with the LaMaMa production of PRINCE HAMYUL, an adaptation of HAMLET, directed by Minsoo Ahn, in 1977.  A revival of this piece called HAMYUL/HAMLET played LaMaMa in July 2011, directed by Byungkoo Ahn, the son of Minsoo Ahn.  Recently, more Korean troupes have been bringing their acclaimed productions to America. In 2009, Sadari Movement Laboratory performed their adaptation of Georg Büchner’s WOYZCEK, directed by Do-Wan Lim, at the Public Theater as part of the Under the Radar Festival.  Seoul Factory for the Performing Arts (SFPA) put on their adaptation of Euripides’ MEDEA, called MEDEA AND ITS DOUBLE, at LaMaMa in January 2010.   These companies imaginatively fused western classics with traditional Korean performance elements and created original works crossing over both cultural traditions.

For our WALKABOUT production, the guarantee of performance, combined with the significance of representing a new Korean play to the New York audience, was certainly a big advantage as I entered into the translation.  Picturing the performance venue, I imagined how the words of Pai could be delivered to the audience.  My primary objective was to enable fluent communication between the two cultures: making what is Korean in Pai’s text present and relevant for the American audience.  As is frequently touched upon, translation entails “cultural interpretation” and, therefore, requires not only proficiency in both languages but also a complete embracing of both cultures.

In YEOLHA, my first challenge was to make explicit and active what is innately Korean.  The village in the play takes after a traditional Korean village that operates on a hierarchy based on patriarchy and gerontocracy.  What is unique in terms of language among people who have become so familiar with each other is that they often use insinuating and provocative remarks in place of straightforward statements.  For example, to a prodigal son who returned home after a long absence, a Korean mother would reservedly say, “You’re back already? Are you sure you had enough fun out there?” instead of bursting into tears and showing her joy at the reunion.  In the play, the villagers by now have absorbed this kind of language pattern, which reflects the intimacy among them.  The language among the villagers also reflects the hierarchy.  For example, a village senior could throw a denigrating comment to a village woman or boy without being considered the least bit insulting.  Showing respect for elders is, after all, deep in the Korean cultural genes, and elders, if not receiving the proper respect, actively demand it.  While the play clearly provides the appropriate context for the tone of each word, it was my venture, when it came to the underlying Korean sentiments, to find the right expressions to convey the subtle nuance.

More broadly, delivering the right tone was of utmost importance for the allegory and satire in this play.  The idea which prevails in the story – tradition being threatened by innovation – establishes this play as an allegory about the danger of complacency, while the chaos the villagers go through in the struggle brings out comic and satiric elements.  Conflict occurs more often between groups or between individual and group than between individuals, so each character needed not only to breathe as an individual, but also to be characterized as a type, that is, as a member of a certain group.  For example, the men, in general, give straightforward addresses, while the women speak more in a scrupulous manner. The seniors, to show their authority, use formal and commanding vocabulary, while the boys talk in fragments and colloquial idioms.  The main characters are given their own particular ways of speaking: Yeon-Ahm, the narrator, speaks articulately and objectively, just like the Stage Manager in OUR TOWN; and the Inspector, to emphasize that he belongs to a completely different world, uses bombastic phrases and terms.

After completing the premiere of the adaptation of INCHING TOWARDS YEOLHA, I am still seeking to make the original translation more compact and active for the stage.  It is my hope for contemporary Korean plays to be introduced.

WALTER BYONGSOK CHON recently received his MFA in Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism from Yale School of Drama and is continuing his study at YSD as a DFA candidate in residence, teaching theatre history. He may be reached at Byongsok.chon@yale.edu

This article was published in Hamilton Dramaturgy’s ScriptForward! #25 (September, 2011, Vol. 6, No. 25). You may request a subscription by writing to hamiltonlit@hotmail.com.

Download the article here: Translating INCHING TOWARDS YEOLHA by Walter Byongsok Chon