Gwangju Blog

The Crooked Trail: Acting Directed


As the air is cooling and the many festivals begin to come to a close, the buzz of activity seems to be slowing. Ice coffees on the terrace quickly become hot tea near windows looking on toward grey afternoons that fade faster than memory can grasp into crisp nights. The time of jocularity is slipping quietly out with the leaves as the harvested fields turn from green to fallow. Now is that time of year when we begin to bundle together, to sing and share stories, to stoke the embers of smirks into roaring laughter, to remind ourselves that though the frost may take the flushness from our cheeks it cannot undermine the hale of our good humor. This week, our little community has the opportunity to bring in the autumn air with a bit of warmth and color from our own Gwangju Performance Project.

This weekend at the Geumnamno Park theater, the GPP will be putting on their production of “Why Torture Is Wrong and the People Who Love Them”. In case the title has you a bit confused, this is a dark comedy placed in a modern setting which hits on a few important issues of our time. Though I can only tell you a little bit of the plot without giving too much away, this is a story of love gone awry, yet it’s about as far from Romeo and Juliet as plays can get. Shortly after getting married, a young woman realizes she doesn’t much care for married life and decides to ask her father for help in persuading her husband to end the marriage. Where most fathers might simply have a talk with their daughter’s husbands, this dad takes things a little bit further in an attempt to discredit the young husband in a very serious fashion. I really don’t want to give anything else away, but I’ve been assured the play will be funny, thought provoking, and most importantly a little offensive. What, a little bawdiness never killed anyone.

Having talked to numerous cast and crew members throughout the production process I can say that everyone is extremely excited to present this play to the community. With preliminary work starting for this show in May of this year, there’s no doubt those involved have exhibited an extraordinary level of dedication and wherewithal. The cast members have been blending their personal experiences and talents together to create something truly unique and after having a chance to see some of the photographs from their rehearsals, I can say that this is one unconventional and intriguing show.

The Gwangju Performance Project is a group of artistically minded individuals that focus on creating shows for community viewing. Starting around three years ago, the GPP began as the brainchild of a few dedicated people who wanted to share their talents with Gwangju and wanted to help create an avenue for other talented individuals to share their love of performance with this city as well. In their time in Gwangju, the members of the GPP have offered an outlet for music, dance, comedic sketches, and even large scale productions of various plays. Their contribution to this community is undeniable and has left an indelible mark on those who have had a chance to be involved either as participants or audience. All the members, past and present, appreciate the support the community offers and continue to do what they do both for the sake of their various crafts but also for the joy it brings the audience.

“Why Torture Is Wrong…” will be performed in the theater in Geumnamno Park downtown near the Geumnamno 4 Way subway station Saturday and Sunday this week, that’s October 19th and 20th. Those performances will be at 7pm both days and a special matinee showing at 3pm on Sunday. Tickets are 8,000 won in advance or at the door but tickets are selling quickly so it would be smart to purchase them in advance. For more information about the show, players, directions, or how to purchase tickets, go to . Even if you aren’t able to purchase your tickets in advance, don’t be afraid to stop by the theater to see if tickets are still available. I’ll see you there opening night.

Though the wheel keeps spinning and the air keeps cooling, now is not a time to lament so much as come together and be reminded of how to be merry within four warm walls. The colors the autumn brings are only temporary and must be appreciated while the long light of the afternoon still lasts. There’s always time to stop and take in the show going on all around the crooked trail.

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