When you go to Hyehwa station, you can see a lot of play posters even on the walls in the station. There are various plays like, comic plays, romantic plays, and touching plays. Have you ever heard about an ‘educational play’? An ‘educational play’ means a play for education. Also this play can be introduced with only one word. ‘Specactor’. It combines ‘spec’ from ‘spectacle’ with ‘actor’. It means you can be a spectator and an actor simultaneously. I’ll introduce you to an educational play, <The taming of the Shrew>, that dramatizes William Shakespeare’s famous comedy, < The Taming of the Shrew>, in a unique way.
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The story of William Shakespeare’s < The Taming of the Shrew> is as follows; Baptista Minola, a lord in Padua has two daughters, Katherina and Bianca. The eldest daughter, Katherina, who is called a ‘shrew’, is so wild and talkative that no man would ever wish to marry her. On the other hand, many men are eager to marry her younger sister Bianca. However, Baptista would not allow his younger daughter to marry before Katherina is wed, much to the despair of Bianca’s suitors. In the mean time, a gentleman named Petruchio decides to marry Katherine and make her an obedient wife after marriage. He pretends to be kind and gentle and finally Katherina allows herself to be married to him. After marriage, Petruchio begins the "taming" of his wife. He doesn’t let her eat or sleep, and in time Katherina comes to obey whatever her husband says. One day they go to the wedding ceremony of Bianca and Lucentio. Ignored by wedding guests, Petruchio makes a bet on whose wife is more obedient. Unexpectedly, it is Katherina who comes first in obedience to her husband’s orders. People are surprised and she becomes famous as the most well-behaved wife in Padua.
The plot of the play is the same as that of the original play. But unlike the original play, this play makes audiences join the play. You can feel an atmosphere of freedom the moment you enter into the theater. Audiences can participate in the play every minute. People play the role of tree and actor. Especially during the scene of Katherina and Petruchio’s wedding ceremony, all audience members can decorate their ceremony make up. Also, in the middle of the scene Petruchio introduces Katherina and asks male audience members what conditions they need for marriage. Many men mention wealth, job, hobby, and so on. The story and the mood of the play changes depending on what audience members say and act. Therefore, even if you watch the same play again, you can feel differently ach time you see it.
The play has been performed on an open run since 2010 in a small-sized theater called, ‘Play Differently’. To go to this theater, ‘Play Differently’, you get out of exit 2 of Hyehwa station, walk alongside Marronnier Park, turn left to the alley at the end of the park. And then, go straight and you can find the theater. You can reserve the ticket at half price at the café <The Taming of the Shrew>. Unlike other plays, you can take pictures throughout the performance and communicate with actors. As actors try to communicate with the audience, you can feel close to them after the play ends. In fact, some audience members watch the play several times. These people are treated as VIP’s and can enjoy a party for VIP’s. What play make you remember even after you get out of the theater? <The Taming of the Shrew> is the play by the audience and for the audience.
At Hyehwa station, you can see several signboards that read, ‘Play is the spiritual hope of the age.” Nowadays many plays are performed and some of them are produced just for profit. However, many stage actors still attempt to show a true play. I hope you go on watching plays so that they can remain as the spiritual hope of the age.