Toward a Modern Society : History of the Korean Theatre in the Modern Period 1919~1940

Toward a Modern Society : History of the Korean Theatre in the Modern Period 1919~1940


  • Journal title: International Journal of Korean History
  • ISSN: 1598-2041 (print) 2508-5921 (online)
  • Publisher: Korea University, Center for Korean History
  • Country of publisher: korea, republic of
  • Date added to EuroPub: 2018/May/12

Subject and more

  • LCC Subject Category: History
  • Publisher's keywords: Toward a Modern Society, History, Modern Period
  • Language of fulltext: english
  • Full-text formats available: PDF


    Wonjae Jang



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Two main features of Korean theatre history during the 1920s and 1930s were the occurrence of a modern theatre movement and the development of the commercial theatre . These two phenomena had a significant influence on one another throughout this period: The modern theatre movement stimulated commercial theatre in its performance conventions and in its sensationalism while the commercial theatre influenced the modern theatre in terms of acting skills and practical knowledge of theatre production. Korean theatre conventions were rapidly modernized during this period. All Korean theatre companies that planned to perform in urban areas had to prepare their performances with a fixed written text and a realistic acting style. The so-called guchidade style performance, meaning improvised actions, was no longer accepted by the urban audience, which led to an establishment of a new theatre convention in both the modern and the commercial theatre. This is why the 1920s and the 1930s is referred to as the Modern Era of the Korean theatre movement.

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