Wednesday, November 8, 2023, 7:30 PM
Thursday, November 9, 2023, 7:30 PM

On the stage of the Anne and Ellen Fife Theatre in the Street and Davis Performance Hall

U.S. premiere

Recommended for ages 14 and up
This performance contains adult language, mature themes, and the use of gun props. A non-tobacco cigarette is also smoked briefly.

Performed in Korean with English supertitles



View the program for this event here.

"A brilliant mishmash of pop and celebrity culture.”

Exeunt Magazine

Kim Hyun Tak, art director

This Seoul, Korea-based innovative contemporary theatre company delivers a completely original take on the enduring Greek tragedy of Medea, recasting the ancient tale as a commentary on contemporary media and serving it to the audience in outrageous ways, including talk shows, action movies, Disney cartoons, and an Instagrammable yoga class. With plenty of physicality and a dash of silliness, MEDEA on Media is also clever and profound.

Led  by director Kim Hyun-tak, Seongbukdong Beedoolkee Theatre freely deconstructs the texts of both well-known masterpieces and modern Korean dramas to recreate them, incorporating contemporary social issues. Often, Kim’s performances use a different theatrical style depending on the material and topic, such as dance theatre, melodramatic film, or physical theatre, and most of them include active audience participation. 

Ultimately, the tragedy of Medea is caused by the monster that is the media, which we summon and relish in daily. Here, this media refers to every means to satisfy desires that feed on violence and obscenity while hiding and ridiculing the truth and the good and forcing certain ideologies. It breaks down the wall between reality and fiction through recurrent images and sound, providing a pretext for distorted judgment and choices. 

The performance follows Medea as she draws near to the murder and focuses on the roles that today’s media could have played. The piece then configures them into different channels and presents them to the audience like a studio version of a TV program. The piece asserts that not only are the media involved in Medea’s crime, but the people watching it, as well. MEDEA on Media encourages harmonious coexistence of media and the society. 

As in the original play, Medea betrays her family to follow her husband Jason, but when he abandons her for Creusa, the daughter of Creon, Medea decides to avenge. MEDEA on Media brings scenes from the original play into television, one of the most common media of our time. The fight between Jason and Medea happens on a television talk show; the scene where Creon banishes Medea turns into a melodrama; the nurse’s lamentation takes the form of a documentary; Aegeus’ promise of sanctuary is referred to as the pleasure of an adult channel. Fleeting scenes, loud noises, and recurring sensational images cause empty laughter and interest, which numb the audience of the murder at hand. Like the chorus behind the veil of anonymity, the audience abets all, without guilt or remorse.

This is the first performance by Seongbukdong Beedoolkee Theatre at the Moss Arts Center.

MEDEA on Media is co-presented with the Korean Cultural Center New York to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the ROK-U.S. Alliance. This program is supported by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Korea and the Korean Foundation for International Cultural Exchange as part of the Traveling Korean Arts Project.

 The logo for the Korean Cultural Center New York. At the top, a red and blue swooshing circle, and at a bottom, dark grey text with Korean characters and the English "Korean Cultural Center NY"
 The logo for Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism. At top is a red and blue swooshing circle. Below that, dark grey text reads "Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism"
 A logo with capital grey text at top reads "KOFICE," except the O is teal. Below that, black text reads "Korean Foundation for International Cultural Exchange"
 The logo for Traveling Korean Arts. Black, blocky text reads "TRAVELING KOREAN ARTS," except for the first letter of each word. The T is red, the K is blue, and the A is orange