The Korea Herald


Theater treats for children from around world arrive in time for vacation season

By Hwang Dong-hee

Published : July 8, 2024 - 17:52

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As a long-awaited summer break approaches, families and children can look forward to a rich array of performances designed for all ages in the months of July and August. From children's theater, dance dramas and puppet shows to interactive plays where the audience becomes part of the show, a diverse selection of international guest performances and Korean productions are available.

"A Square World" (Seoul Arts Center)

Kids and family festival at Seoul Arts Center

The Seoul Arts Center is set to host a summer festival for children and families at the Jayu Theater from Friday to Aug. 18.

The festival kicks off with Daryl Beeton’s object theater piece "A Square World" on Friday, running through July 21. This largely nonverbal show tells the story of a world designed for everyone, until one day someone is left out. The performance is tailored to children aged 3 to 6, combining music, facial expressions and movements.

"Sancho and Don Quixote" (Seoul Arts Center)

"The Umbrella Thief," an interactive play based on Sri Lankan author Sybil Wettasinghe’s picture book, will be staged from July 26 to Aug. 4. It involves the audience from the start, inviting them to draw with the actors in the theater lobby. The play emphasizes the value of things we should not forget, following the journey of three friends trying to catch an umbrella thief.

The puppet show "Sancho and Don Quixote" runs from Aug. 9 to 18. Inspired by Cervantes' novel, the production features a 9-year-old boy named Sancho who embarks on a journey of self-discovery. Utilizing pop-up books and shadow play, the show vividly brings Sancho’s adventures to life.

"The Problem with Pink" (Assitej Korea)

2024 Assitej International Summer Festival

Assitej Korea, under the International Association of Theater for Children and Young People, will hold its annual summer festival from July 18 to 28 at venues throughout Seoul, including the Daehakro Arts Theater, Arko Arts Theater, Jongno Children's Theater in Daehangno and Modu Art Theater in Seodaemun-gu, Seoul. The festival will feature 11 performances -- seven productions from overseas and four Korean.

Canadian-French physical theater collaboration "Problem with Pink," running July 18-21, explores the conflicts and fears of four teenage friends through dance, encouraging children to reconsider gender stereotypes.

"Pomelo" (Assitej Korea)

French puppet show “Pomelo” adapts a popular children’s book series for the stage with live music and sensory experiences, following Pomelo, a baby elephant, as he adapts to the different seasons in his vegetable garden.

"We Touch, We Play, We Dance" by British troupe Second Hand Dance is adapted for infants and toddlers aged 18 to 36 months; or children with neurodiversity or disabilities. This piece aims to foster communication and connection through high-fives, hugs and dance.

Additionally, the festival will present object dance performance "Chiffonnade," a German-Brazilian-French collaboration, Thailand's mime show “Ta Lent Show” and the Czech performance “Little Visitors.”

The four Korean productions include the sing-along "The Jumping Inn," omnibus puppet show "Strange Land" and "Being Being Being," which targets children under 36 months or children under 48 months with visual impairments.

“Being Being Being” is a pilot show from the National Theater Company of Korea. The interactive show is tailored for both visually impaired and non-visually impaired families, offering a sensory experience of wind and sound, with flying drones, large fabrics and vinyl waves.

These performances are also scheduled to be staged at regional art centers in Gwangju, Incheon and other cities in Gyeonggi Province, as well as several districts in Seoul.