The History of Korean Western Theatre


A note from the Artist / Director

Celebrating the centenary of Korean theatre in 2008, South Korean theatre maker and composer Jaha Koo realised that there is actually no space for Korean theatre tradition: what is regarded as Korean theatre is largely determined by the Western canon.

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.

“I’d like to make a historical journey with the audience through my performance. The journey starts in the past, and continues to the future, not stopping at the present. Culture is living things. My cultural identity is composed not only from Eastern things but also from Western things. I think that the audience can figure out how I inherit my cultural heritages and how I develop my own culture in a hybrid way for the future. Maybe, in the process, cultural commonalities could be also discovered between the audience and me.” – Jaha Koo


The History of Korean Western Theatre Team

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

CAMPO is supported by the city of Ghent and the Flemish Community.


Transform Team

 Creative Director Amy Letman

 Producer Ali Ford

 Producer (Creative People) Lily Lavorato

 Assistant Producer Jay Millard

 Trainee Producer Patrick McGeady

 Company Administrator Rosie Hay

 Production Manager Hannah Blamire

 Project Manager Tshayi Hercules

 Marketing & Communications Jack Lynch & Suzanne Wynne

Press Bread and Butter PR

Design Rabbit Hole



Jaha Koo is a South Korean theatre/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, thematically focusing on how the inescapable past tragically affects our lives today.
Facebook: @gujahapage

The Ghent based arts centre CAMPO presents a diverse program, ranging from theatre, dance and performance to festivals, neighbourhood kitchens and debates. It creates performances which tour internationally, and provides support to, fuels, provokes, and questions artists.
Facebook: @gujahapage



Transform is an engine room for powerful performance. We create exhilarating international festivals and work year-round to catalyse future-gazing artists and creatives to reimagine what theatre can be. Presented as an extended festival from Autumn 2021 to Spring 2022, Transform 21-22 will invite audiences from across Leeds and beyond to connect with bold, brave, vivid and socially-conscious performance by powerful artists from across the globe.
Twitter: @transform_leeds
Instagram: @transform_leeds
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