The Granite Tower
ARTS & CULTUREPERFORMANCE
He and She, a Performance for Him and Her
Kang Hyun Ji  |  bisuraa@korea.ac.kr
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승인 2013.05.13  12:56:45
트위터 페이스북 미투데이 요즘 네이버 구글 msn

Back in the early 2000s, there was a radio program which used to make listeners’ hearts flutter with a sense of romance. Every night at 10 P.M., sweet love stories on the radio waves let listeners laugh, cry, and be thrilled. After some time, these series of love stories were also published in two volumes of books by the original script writer of the radio program, Lee Mi Na. Now, they are revived once again in a theater with the same title of He and She, greatly attracting couples to Daehak-ro.

Struck by the lightning of love, a university student, Young Min, chases a girl named Ji Won for five months before he accidently picks up her wallet and is treated to a dinner in return. 
   
▲ Actors of the performance. Photographed by Kang Hyun Ji
 

Meanwhile, Young Min’s older brother, Young Hoon, falls in love with the hottest girl at his office, Sun Ae, who also secretly likes Young Hoon but only expresses it in a timid way. These quite common but relatable stories of two brothers arouse empathy from the audience and drive them to fully fall into the play.

We Are All the Same

 

Empathy is definitely the most powerful strength of the play, He and She. In the scene where Young Min and Ji Won talk about what they have wanted to do when they date someone, they share things that anyone could have dreamt about once as a lonely individual. Their wishes, such as accidently brushing against each other’s hand while sharing a bucket of popcorn, or listening to a romantic song together, are not big things but still make the audience nod with agreement. These tickling but sweet feelings, aroused by two characters who are enjoying every second of their just-started relationship, take the audience to blissful moments of their on-going, former, or even wishful relationship.

 

 

 

   
▲ Provided by Gaeul Entertainment
The empathy in this play does not just occur in the moment of happiness but also in the moments of sadness or frustration. The scene where Young Hoon and Sun Ae are taking issue on when they should marry, well illustrates a couple having conflict due to incompatibility that resulted from gap between two people's positions and perspectives. Both of them want their partner to understand their own point of view; therefore, they try to explain their reasons but fail to shift their position to the other side of the fence. This frustration caused by miscarried communication naturally gives food for thought about similar experiences.

 

The play successfully interacts with the audience on an emotional level. It fully describes a feeling of euphoria which changes a crude, hand-made present into the most precious possession. It also conveys the opposite emotion well, showing the disappointment one feels when one’s partner fails to live up to expectations. Certainly, this play naturally but clearly pinpoints the subtle changes in emotion and relating conflicts or situations that people undergo when they are in a relationship.

BEEP!
   
▲ Provided by Gaeul Entertainment

Besides the plot line, one of the directing techniques that stand out is the way this play uses an aside, a comment that a character in a play makes to the audience which the rest of the characters cannot hear. In the original radio drama, when the buzzer sound is transmitted, all other characters’ voices become silent and one character appeals to the listeners to understand how this situation drives him or her crazy. Adopting this format to the play, all the characters but the one who does an aside stop whatever they have been doing and let the one freely communicate with the audience.

 

For the audience, this beep is an indication of the timing that they need to really concentrate on listening to a speech of an actor or actress. Since the play supposes that those lines in an aside are not heard by the rest of the characters, characters frankly talk about the things they do not understand about their lover’s actions which they probably cannot tell to their partner in real life. Therefore, this aside becomes the chance for girls to glimpse the thought process of boys and for boys to follow the complicated minds of girls.

Characters Are Animated!
   
▲ Provided by Gaeul Entertainment

 

 

 

 

Also in the play, one actor played several supporting roles. He takes all the male and female supporting characters and takes the responsibility of making the audience laugh. Whenever he reappears on the scene with a different and ridiculous costume, the audience was surprised at how fast he could change and how different he became. This shared privileged laugh that they can only experience in the theater becomes the tool for easing the conflict between the main characters and also becomes the device by which conflicts are begun.

 

It is May. The never-ending March and April full of a fierce last cold snap is now gone. One of the biggest worries of students, mid-terms, is also finished. These warm spring days of May are the perfect time for you to go out with someone you love. Stop by Daehak-ro, enjoy the ticklish feeling of sweet love’s story. Catch a chance to look back over your relationship through the stories of other couples. Lastly and most importantly, share your precious spring day with He and She and someone special.

 

Venue Daehak-ro, Broadway Art Hall #1

Date 2013.03.08~

Days Monday, Wednesday, Friday~Sunday. Closed on Tuesday and Thursday

Hours 8:00P.M. on Monday and Wednesday,

5:30P.M. on Friday

3:00P.M. on Weekends

Entrance Fee 40,000 won

 

Even though this play is largely based on the original radio drama from its material to the format, the prominent strength differentiated from the radio drama is that the story and characters are actually visualized in front of the audience which will fulfill not only an auditory sense but also a visual sense of theirs. It may seem so obvious that the play is more eye-pleasing than the radio drama since there are moving actors and actresses. Yet, that is not everything. When this story revived in a theater, they also revived the delicacy of each character. While Young Hoon’s shy and tactless personality can only be delivered by a shaking voice in radio drama, his personality is vitalized in the theater with a bit of plain clothes and his physical awkwardness.

 

 

 

 

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