Inspired by a true story from the Korean Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Mokwha Repertory Company’s The Tempest is set in 5th century Korea, infusing Shakespeare’s text with elements of traditional Korean folklore. With music played on Korean instruments and richly layered costumes, this fantastical production will explore the limitations and possibilities of nature through the acts of betrayal, love, forgiveness, and eventual reconciliation. Traditional Korean aesthetics, language, and expressions inspire Director Oh’s unique theatre methodology: his work is rooted in Korea’s cultural past and present. The Tempest will introduce various aspects of Korean history, tradition, and culture to La MaMa’s stage.
The Tempest was officially invited by 2011 Edinburgh International Arts Festival and awarded the Herald Angel’s Award.
“What instantly strikes one is the lightness and wit with which Oh Tae-Suk handles the familiar story… an eloquent testament to the fusion of the best of east and west.”
– Michael Billington, The Guardian (UK)
“The Mokwha Repertory Company from Seoul, Korea, will only be playing Taesuck Oh’s adaptation of The Tempest until Sunday, November 23. The last time the director, playwright, and company founder was at La Mama was over 35 years ago—which may make seeing this refreshing, shortened version of Shakespeare’s play (it’s 90 minutes) something of an imperative. Oh is one of Korea’s leading theatre artists, and his productions have won awards and honors around the world—including a 2011 Herald Angel Award at the Edinburgh International Arts Festival….There is a purity to this production no one should have wait almost forty years to see again on the New York stage.”
– Stage Voices
“Mia Yoo has designed a series of programs titled LaMama Earth as a kind of response to Hurricane Sandy and our growing awareness of the power of, well, Mama Earth. This is an important production to have in the lineup. And more so than any Western production has the capability to, we are made aware of nature’s hold on humanity. This Tempest is populated with a menagerie of animals with spirited, mischievous tendencies. What a wonderful thought to bring this obvious addition to Prospero’s magic island. They sing of the natural world and the errors of its abandonment. Along with Prospero’s final (and nearly only intact Shakespearean line) “let your indulgence set me free” we are told that whenever we are troubled, know there is a gentle breeze coming. The tempestuous winds that can harm in hellish ways will ease and subside into cooler, calmer times.”
~ Keith Paul Medelis, Theatre Is Easy