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Interactive play for 1-person walks to hit Seoullo 7017

Sept. 21, 2021 - 17:02 By Im Eun-byel
Concept image for play “Coffee and Soporific” (National Theater Company of Korea)

The National Theater Company of Korea is to present a virtual, contactless theater performance for one-person audiences, expanding its stage to the Seoullo 7017 walkway in central Seoul.

The contactless interactive theater performance “Coffee and Soporific” is to run from Sept. 24 to Oct. 3 at Seoullo 7017, an overpass-turned-sky garden at the heart of Seoul. Inspired by New York’s iconic High Line, the 1,024-meter-long park opened in 2017, complete with pedestrian paths that connect to tourist attractions in the central Seoul area.

The play begins at the Seoullo 7017 Information Center. Each audience member can listen to the 20-minute play through one’s own smartphone and audio devices while walking to the Baek Sung-hee & Jang Min-ho Theater near Seoul Station.

Upon arriving at the theater, audience members can enjoy a virtual play produced by the theater troupe that takes place at a tea room at the old Seoul Station.

Playwright Seo Hyun-seok, who was commissioned by the state theater company, created the production with the aim of expanding the theater’s stage to Seoullo 7017. Walking on Seoullo 7017, Seo wondered how people from the past would view the place.

Inspired by Yi Sang’s 1936 short story “The Wings” which was set in the central Seoul area during the Japanese occupation of Korea, the play follows the narrator’s footsteps in central Seoul. In “The Wings,” the narrator visits the old Mitsukoshi department store and a tea room at the old Seoul Station.

The contactless play designed for the pandemic times will give audience members a chance to enjoy the play by themselves without meeting the actors or staff in person.

The play runs from 1:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays and 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekends. It runs every day except Tuesday. One audience member will depart every half an hour.

By Im Eun-byel (