The International Actors Ensemble’s Musical Adaptation of Rom ...

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  • Title: The International Actors Ensemble’s Musical Adaptation of Romeo and Juliet in Korea and its Viability
  • Author(s): Dong-ha Seo
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: New Directions in the Humanities
  • Journal Title: The International Journal of Critical Cultural Studies
  • Keywords: “Hey No Nonny” (2017), Korean Adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, Multilingual Adaptation, Musical Harmony, The Global Work
  • Volume: 17
  • Issue: 1
  • Year: 2019
  • ISSN: 2327-0055 (Print)
  • ISSN: 2327-2376 (Online)
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.18848/2327-0055/CGP/v17i01/1-9
  • Citation: Seo, Dong-ha . 2019. "The International Actors Ensemble’s Musical Adaptation of Romeo and Juliet in Korea and its Viability." The International Journal of Critical Cultural Studies 17 (1): 1-9. doi:10.18848/2327-0055/CGP/v17i01/1-9.
  • Extent: 9 pages

Abstract

This article examines the International Actors Ensemble’s production of “Hey No Nonny” (2017), which promises to present the so-called “nouvelle vague” of Shakespeare adaptation. Eleven actors from Korea, the US, Mexico, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, and Italy put together a contemporary adaptation of “Romeo and Juliet” with six different languages and Pansori (Korean traditional music) on stage. While the adaptation aims to make full use of the characteristics of the multinational Shakespearean drama, I am particularly interested in the way in which Korea and “world” meet. This multilingual adaptation, as others have done, provides the audience with the combination of understanding and misunderstanding of linguistic divisions. However, it differs from other multilingual adaptations in dissolving the difference between the local and the global by means of blending different languages of different actors through the medium of musical sound. Korean traditional music and Western contemporary music are played separately but soon blend in musical harmony. Here, Shakespeare is now being experienced throughout harmonic sounds, both instrumental and vocal. In addition, it is worth noting that this adaptation, exploiting Shakespeare’s boundary-crossing theme in his original play (a young couple’s crossing between two conflicting houses), inserts a (national and cultural) boundary crossing as its basic form (multilingual Verona). Seeing “Hey No Nonny,” for example from the perspective of Patrice Pavis’s notion of “the global work,” presents us a promising way to experience multicultural Shakespeare without eliminating all of his original language and explore the innate desire of boundary crossing in his works.