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National Theater Company launches on-demand theater

NTCK opens ‘online theater,’ offering performances with extra features such as barrier-free services, director’s cut

An online version of “Scapin” comes with sign language interpretation. (NTCK)
An online version of “Scapin” comes with sign language interpretation. (NTCK)

The National Theater Company of Korea has opened an online theater, offering its performances to a wider public during the pandemic times.

The state-run company said the online theater would be its fourth theater, following the Myeongdong Theater, Baek Seonghui & Jang Minho Theater and Theater Pan, allowing audiences to enjoy performances whenever and wherever.

“The online theater is more than just a platform offering recorded performances. This is about providing new experiences to the audience,” Kim Kwang-bo, artistic director of the state-run company, said at a press event held at the Myeongdong Theater in central Seoul, Monday. 

Kim Kwang-bo, artistic director of the National Theater Company of Korea, speaks at a press event held at the Myeongdong Theater in central Seoul, Monday. (NTCK)
Kim Kwang-bo, artistic director of the National Theater Company of Korea, speaks at a press event held at the Myeongdong Theater in central Seoul, Monday. (NTCK)


On the platform, viewers can watch performances produced by the theater troupe, such as “Faust Ending,” “Tragedy of X,” “The Orphan of Zhao: Seeds of Revenge,” “Roadkill in the Theater” and more. It will continue to upload newly produced works.

“As of now, we do not offer English subtitles for all performances. Audiences overseas cannot use the service due to copyright and payment system issues. But ultimately, we have to make this service work abroad, too,” Kim said.

The online theater offers extra features, such as cast interviews and behind-the-scene clips. Some plays, such as “Scapin,” offer commentary for the visually impaired and sign language interpretation.

“The Orphan of Zhao: Seeds of Revenge,” produced by celebrated stage director Koh Sun-woong, is available in two versions, the original and director’s cut.

“I was dubious at first about going online. As a director, I was not sure whether online streaming could be a substitute. But then, we must work to keep the shows going and meet the audiences at times like this,” Koh said.

Each online performance is available at 9,900 won. A discount of 6,600 won is offered until Sunday. Viewers can watch a performance for seven days after payment on up to three devices.

By Im Eun-byel (silverstar@heraldcorp.com)
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