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JTBC’s one-act play continues with ‘Off the Course’

Actresses Nam Ji-hyun (left) and Park Ji-young in “Off the Course” (JTBC)
Actresses Nam Ji-hyun (left) and Park Ji-young in “Off the Course” (JTBC)

Broadcasting company JTBC continued its annual one-act play TV series “JTBC Drama Festa” with “Off the Course” which aired Monday and Tuesday.

JTBC Drama Festa, which kicked off in 2017, gives rookie directors and screenwriters a chance to make a debut. Similar programs include KBS’ “Drama Special” and tvN’s “Drama Stage.” Although viewership rating remained low at less than 2 percent in previous years, actors, directors and screenwriters have emphasized the significance of the platform in nurturing new talents.

The two-episode drama “Off the Course” by director Jang Ji-yeon, starring actresses Nam Ji-hyun and Park Ji-young, revolves around their mother-daughter relationship as the two go on their first road trip together in search of the daughter’s fiance who disappeared during the wedding ceremony.

“Working on this drama felt like making a movie,” said Park, who plays the mother. “We get closer with each other compared to working on a long mini-series,” Park said, adding that there was an easygoing atmosphere on set that facilitated a constant flow of communication between crew members.

The advantages of acting in a one-act play could also be felt by actress Nam.

“I felt free acting in a one-act play after such a long time,” Nam said. “When a series becomes lengthy, the script for later episodes isn’t complete and you constantly have to think about your responsibility.”

“One-act plays have the whole script completed in advance, and the drama plot advances rapidly because it’s short. As such, it captivates the audience. There are many ways to discuss the drama while acting. I am also freed from the burden of the role and can try different things,” Nam said.

The mother-daughter chemistry between the two actresses captured the audience with the first episode reaching a 2.4 percent viewership, the highest for a JTBC one-act play.

JTBC will showcase its next one-act lineup, “Missing Child” by director Cho Yong-won, that was based on a novel by bestselling author Kim Young-ha. The show is about a married couple who finds their missing son after 11 years and will air at 9 p.m. on March 22 and 23.

By Lim Jang-won (ljw@heraldcorp.com)
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