Life of Korea’s First Female Film Director Park Nam-ok to be Shown on Stage
“Apres-girl,” a newly-coined term following the Korean War, refers to the new female figure that was introduced back in that time. It describes women who refused to be bound by the social structure and norms of feudal times, while they secured independent roles for themselves within society. Park Nam-ok is a prominent example of a woman who challenged the traditional idea of a female figure during the turbulent times of the Japanese Colonial Era and the Korean War. The play not only focuses on her enterprising life filled with challenges, but also talks about the nobility of the human mind and spirit that aims to face and overcome difficult challenges in life.
Born in 1923, Hayang, Gyeongsangbuk-do, Park Nam-ok was always passionate about films regardless of the various types of despair and disdain she encountered in her life. “The Widow” (1955), her only film work, openly describes the circumstances of the times as it tells the story of a woman who is willing to lead her life in an uncompromising and fierce manner. Park had to direct the movie with her 6-month-old baby, while preparing the meals for the large number of staff and actors on site. “The Fame of Apres-girl” of the National Theater of Korea will present the post-war times that gave birth to the new female figure, covering the time and social milieu of “The Widow” of Park Nam-ok and her life.
“The Fame of Apres-girl” is written by the playwright Ko Yeon-ok and directed by Kim Kwang-bo. The duo, known for works that reflect on the problems of different times while being popular and entertaining, have worked together on 20 pieces of work over the past 20 years. Ko states “The difficulties faced by Director Park Nam-ok when working on a film are not so different from the ones faced by women of modern times,” and adds “The life of Park Nam-ok shows everyone how she overcame difficulties and progressed and developed as a woman and as a person.”
Composer Na Sil-in, who is actively engaged in various genres of musicals, ballets, and operas, is in charge of the music for the play. The music will express Park Nam-ok’s enterprising life with escalating melodic lines, and portray other charming features and stories of the characters.
This will be the first time that the three performance groups of the National Theater of Korea will go on stage together in 9 years, since the original musical “Kim Hong-do” in 2011.
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