Written by Francine Dulong
The theatre making muses were on our side on this Friday. In the fading heat of a late summer, Bora, Jongim, Haeweon and I locked ourselves away in the rehearsal room, pouring over paper puzzle pieces, playing with instruments and jumping into spurts of game. Through a few miscommunications and a good clarification of what redevelopment means vs gentrification, we found our way. The above discussion between Haeweon and I was a good one to have, as we both agree that redevelopment can happen anywhere with positive and negative effects whereas gentrification is an urban social phenomenon of redevelopment for monetary profit that excludes and pushes people out of an area. But that was how we ended rehearsal, let me give you a few insights from the beginning :)
Building ---> Filling----->Destroying : these are the three major ‘acts’ or movements of the piece. We spent most of the morning defining what these meant to us and tossing out ideas which resulted in a great introduction section for the show. This road was a winding one, and in my excitement I started going in one direction while the group was going in another. Thanx to Haeweon’s, I was rescued from becoming lost in translation. The moral of the morning for me was to be a better listener and present in the moment.
That tactic proved very fruitful as we stepped back into the structure for the afternoon, working out game systems that represented ‘filling’ an ideal space that we will build together with the audience out of sound. We identified where we need to compose new song/narration chunks and explored how to make the characters and sections of Heungboga(흥보가) fit what we hope to convey to the audience. I realize that I didn’t fully explain the story of Heungboga in the last post - let me elaborate. We chose this story because it is about two brothers (Heungbo and Nolbo) whose living circumstances change when their parents pass away. The older brother, Nolbo, kicks his younger brother out of their house in the winter. But the younger brother, Heungbo, has his fortune change through his kindness when he heals an injured swallow (제비, je-bi). The swallow gives Heungbo a golden seed which grows into a gourd that cracks open to reveal magical workers that create a huge, luxurious home for him (I apologize in advance if this is oversimplified or if I have the details not quite right, but this is how I remember it from our translated conversations in the rehearsal room. More information can be found here!). There are a few scenes and songs, particularly that of building the house and being kicked out by Nolbo, that we are adapting to fit with the few game structures we have devised plus the community research and the results so far look promising. For now, it's off for the weekend to rest, contemplate the ending where we destroy our ideal home, and dream up some text…..Haeweon and I will escape the city and do so in Jeju Island!
Wish us luck connecting remotely with Bora across the country and stay tuned…..(still dealing with technology on the fritz, see last post :P )