NOHspace Presents: Foxhunts, Founders, and Freedom Fighters: 100 Years of Korean and Western Women
Fox Hunts and Freedom Fighters: Korean and Western Women in Seoul 1894-1920
by Chan Park and Kathy Foley
Korean pansori story singing, porcelain dolls and powerful acting bring to life tales of remarkable women: martyred Queens and Victorian women who defied gender to help change their world, and a straight-laced missionary trying to curb her radical student as she called for national independence at the first Korean school for girls. Cross-cultural encounters fuse Korean and American arts in this new work from the renowned pansori singer Chan Park and puppeteer-director Kathy Foley.
Noted Englishwoman geographer Isabella Bird came to Seoul as Korean Queen Min struggled with Japanese and Western colonialism as the "hermit kingdom" was forced to open to Western trade and missions. The women's friendship grew even as a plot for the assassination of the queen,Operation Foxhunt, was being hatched. The history of early Korean-Western exchange is seen in the lives of two women who redefined what it meant to be female.
Exploratory encounters deepened in the early twentieth century. American missionary Jean Walters taught the fiery Yu Kwan Sun, a female revolutionary who lived to oust the Japanese. While the mission lady saw her school, Ehwa, as a site to "uplift Korean womenhood, Yu Kwan Sun saw it as the site to organize and agitate for change. Korea's new woman sparked the flame that was the 1919 Independence Movement. Christian hymns and the noted pansori of Yu Kwan Sun, intertwine to tell of a young girl whose self-liberation far outstripped her teacher's.
Chan Park performs extensively in the US and around the world. Her unique blending of Korean singing-storytelling (pansori) and her western training in theatre have made her renown. She frequently performs all over the the country and has collaborated with companies in Hawaii, Alaska, California, and Central Asia to create new works. She teaches at Ohio State University. Kathy Foley regularly performs puppetry, mask, and dance work in the Sundanese style of West Java. She is a director (Ramayana, Nicolas Nickleby), actress, and author (Farewell to Manzanar, based on the life of Jean Houston). She is a professor of theatre arts at UCSC. The pair first worked together as graduate students at the University of Hawaii and bring their voices together to animate the words and actions of women whose lives intertwined on the cusp of modernity.
2840 Mariposa Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
|Kid Friendly: No|
|Dog Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: No|