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UNC Chapel Hill Presents a Staged Reading of a Korean Play Translated into English by Walter Chon (Theatre Arts)

Contributed by Kelsey Dunne on 10/10/19 

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Walter Byongsok Chon, Assistant Professor of Dramaturgy and Theatre Studies, is invited to the conference Theatrical Translation as Creative Process: A Conference Festival at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, for the staged reading of his English translation of Sam-Shik Pai’s Korean play INCHING TOWARDS YEOLHA.

At the conference, from October 10 – 13, he will also attend a rehearsal of the play and participate in a conversation about the translation process and audience reception of the piece. He is one of four invited translators.

About the Play:

The play introduces us to a nearly-fossilized, fictive village in a desert, and guides us through the turbulence the village undergoes at its first encounter with what the villagers call the “exotic.” Yeon-Ahm, the narrator of the play, is a “four-legged beast” and, as she tells the villagers of the world outside the village, provides the initial conflict of the play. Her talking eventually makes her the scapegoat to save the village from being “erased.”


Past History of the Play and Chon’s Translation:

Previously Act I of this translation was published in the journal Asymptote in October, 2018.

A passage from Act II and Act III was presented as a staged reading, directed by Sam Buggeln, at the conference Drama Across Borders: the Politics and Poetics of Contemporary Theatre in Translation, held at Cornell University and The Cherry Arts Space in Ithaca New York in May 2018.

Walkabout Yeolha, an adaptation of Chon’s translation, premiered at Columbia University, adapted by Kyoung H. Park and directed by Kon Yi, in October 2010.

The original Korean production of Inching Towards Yeolha premiered at Towol Theater in Seoul Arts Center, directed by Jin-Taek Sohn, in March 2007.

For more information about the conference and to access the published version of this translation, visit The Mercurian page at:

UNC Chapel Hill Presents a Staged Reading of a Korean Play Translated into English by Walter Chon (Theatre Arts) | 0 Comments |
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