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Getting it Done by Law: SNU’s 70th Anniversary Commemoration Play

  • November 8, 2016
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Getting it Done by Law Poster
Getting it Done by Law Poster

SNU students and alumni of Gwanak Drama Society are staging a theatrical performance in celebration of the university’s 70th anniversary. The play, titled Getting it Done by Law, is Gwanak Drama Society’s fifth performance since it was established in 2011. This year’s play will be staged at the Ewha Girls’ High School 100th Memorial Hall from November 2 to 13.

Gwanak Drama Society was created by a group of SNU alumni who participated in drama clubs during their university years. The group’s aim is to regularly produce performances that reflect on current social issues. Members are diverse in age and occupation, ranging from undergraduates to amateurs to professional actors. Out of more than 2000 members, notable performers of this year’s play include LEE Soon-jae (Department of Philosophy), the leader of Gwanak Drama Society and a distinguished actor with a career spanning almost 60 years, and JUNG Jin-young (Department of Korean Language and Literature), an actor who has appeared in many films since the early 1990s. Non-professional actors include lawyer SUL Kyung Soo (Department of Korean Language Education) and undergraduate student KO Yerin (Department of Physical Education). Gwanak Drama Society is not exclusive to professional actors, but anyone with a passion for acting can participate.

Getting it Done by Law is a Korean adaptation of Shakespeare’s dark comedy, Measure for Measure, which explores the themes of justice and adherence to the law. The plot centers on Claudio, a man sentenced to death by Lord Angelo for unlawfully impregnating a woman before marriage. Lord Angelo, a provisional ruler who initially appears to be strictly moral and law abiding, offers to pardon Claudio’s life in exchange for his sister’s virginity. In the end the truth is spoken and the wrongdoers are punished. Director LIM Jin-taek (Department of International Relations) ratchets up the political satire of the play and also incorporates a samulnori (Korean traditional percussion quartet) performance and direct dialogue with the audience to add excitement.

“The moral of Shakespeare’s original play is that the law should not be abused, but fairly applied to everyone. This message is what today’s Korean society needs the most,” Lee Soon-jae said. “In the past when Korea was going through major transitions, it was considered wise practice to overlook minor infractions of the law. But even today, Korea still does not strictly follow the rule of law. A proper adherence to the law is required for Korea to advance into a more developed nation.”

Getting it Done by Law concludes with Lee Soon-jae’s final line, “The law is for justice. No law is above men. … The duty of prosecutors is to rectify legal justice.” This extends a piercing yet consoling message to the audience, who are trying to recover from Korea’s recent political scandal and legal corruption.

This article referenced:
http://news.mk.co.kr/newsRead.php?no=756562&year=2016
http://news.kmib.co.kr/article/view.asp?arcid=0923633590&code=13120000&sid1=cul

Written by YOON Jiwon, SNU English Editor, jiwonyoon@snu.ac.kr
Reviewed by Professor Travis Smith, Department of Asian Languages and Civilizations, tlsmith@snu.ac.kr

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