• The history of western korean theatre

The History of Korean Western Theatre

The History of Korean Western Theatre

Jaha Koo (KR / BE) / CAMPO (BE) co-production Frascati Producties

Korean/Dutch & ENG surtitles


Celebrating the centenary of Korean theatre in 2008, the South Korean theatre maker / composer Jaha Koo realized that there is actually no space for Korean theatre tradition: what is regarded as Korean theatre is largely determined by the Western canon. But why are the South Koreans so proud of this Western interpretation? And why does everyone keep referring to Shakespeare? It raises questions about tradition, self-censorship and authenticity. 
In this final piece of his Hamartia trilogy, Jaha Koo resolutely focuses on the future. Meticulously, he exposes the tragic impact of the past on our lives, unveiling the small cracks in modern Confucianism - an ideology that continues to define the moral system, way of life and social relations between generations in South Korea. With a new generation of South Koreans in mind, he attempts to break with a tradition full of self-censorship and keeping up appearances. Because only when based on an authentic version of history, he can pass on a future to the next generation. 
Like the performances Lolling & Rolling and Cuckoo, which respectively focused on South Korea's past and present, The History of Korean Western Theatre is an intelligent documentary theatre performance in which Jaha Koo interweaves personal stories with historical, political and sociological facts. Often themes that contain a clash of Eastern and Western culture: from cutting string of tongue to make it in the West, to the heavy personal toll of Western interference on a macroeconomic level.
concept, text, direction, music & video Jaha Koo performance Jaha Koo, Seri & Toad dramaturgy Dries Douibi scenography & drawing Eunkyung Jeong artistic advisor Pol Heyvaert technical Korneel Coessens, Koen Goossens, Jan Berckmans & Bart Huybrechts hardware hacking Idella Craddock research Eunkyung Jeong & Jaha Koo research assistance Sang Ok Kim interview Jooyoung Koh, Kiran Kim & Kyungmi Lee production CAMPO co-produced by Kunstenfestivaldesarts (Brussels), Münchner Kammerspiele, Frascati Producties (Amsterdam), Veem House for Performance (Amsterdam), SPRING performing arts festival (Utrecht), Zürcher Theaterspektakel, Black Box teater (Oslo), International Summer Festival Kampnagel (Hamburg), Tanzquartier Wien, wpZimmer (Antwerp), Théâtre de la Bastille (Paris) & Festival d’Automne à Paris residencies Kunstencentrum BUDA (Kortrijk), wpZimmer (Antwerp), Decoratelier Jozef Wouters (Brussels), Doosan Art Center (Seoul) with the support of Beursschouwburg, Vlaamse Gemeenschapscommissie & Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst


Jaha Koo (1984) is a South Korean theater/performance maker and music composer. His artistic practice oscillates between multimedia and performance, all of which include his own music, video, text and installation. His performances are closely interweaved with politics, history and his own personal issues.

Since 2014, Koo has been working on his Hamartia Trilogy. This trilogy thematically focuses on how the inescapable past tragically affects our lives today. The first part of the trilogy, Lolling and Rolling, was first presented by Zürcher Theater Spektakel in 2015. The second piece, Cuckoo, was premiered at Steirischer Herbst Festival in 2017. Already in Lolling & Rolling and Cuckoo, Jaha Koo zoomed in on themes that embody a clash of Eastern and Western culture. From cutting string of tongue to make it in the West, to the heavy personal toll of Western interference on a macroeconomic level.

Koo majored in theatre studies (BFA) at Korea National University of Arts and studied at DasArts (MA) in Amsterdam. He’s been living and working in Belgium for the past few years. The History of Korean Western Theatre is his first production created at the Ghent-based and internationally touring arts centre CAMPO. GuJAHA is the pseudonym of Jaha Koo as a music composer. His most recent EP was Copper and Oyster in 2015.



75 minuten