From left, actors Jo Jae-hyeon
, Ryoo Deok-hwan
, Jeong Tae-woo
and Song Seung-hwan
pose at a press conference for "Equus", which will be on stage from Dec. 1 as the opening performance of "Yeongeuk Yeoljeon 3" (Series of the Best Plays) in Daehangno, central Seoul, Monday. / Courtesy of organizers
By Chung Ah-young
"Yeongeuk Yeoljeon 3" (Series of the Best Plays) has unveiled this year's lineup of nine plays, and will embark on a 13-month run starting Dec. 1. The project consists of classic masterpieces, literature-based dramas and world premieres.
"Equus", written by Peter Shaffer in 1973, will be on stage as the opening performance.
The play portrays the story of Dysart, a psychiatrist who attempts to treat a young man named Alan who has a pathological fascination with horses.
and renowned producer and actor Song Seung-hwan
will take the role of Dysart. Television stars Jeong Tae-woo
and Ryoo Deok-hwan
will play Alan.
Jo, who is making his directorial debut, performed as Alan in 1991 and 2004.
Song, head of PMC Production, which is renowned for "Nanta", is making his comeback to the stage after three years out of the spotlight.
"A Streetcar Named Desire", written by American playwright Tennessee Williams, will take the stage from March to May of next year.
"Return of Oppa", which is based on a novel by Kim Young-ha, will be adapted to the stage by director Ko Seon-woong.
The Japanese play "If I Were With You" and Canadian play "Chat of Mothers" will be adapted into Korean-language renditions for the first time.
Also, "Gilgok-myeon, Changnyeong-gun, South Gyeongsang Province", directed by Ryoo Ju-yeon, will be put on stage. The drama received rave reviews both from critics and fans for its portrayals of ordinary couples living in a capitalist society.
The musical "Triangle" was added to the lineup to appeal to a younger audience.
Unlike last year's star-studded casting and popular works,
the new lineup of "Yeongeuk Yeoljeon 3" focuses on medium-sized theaters and improving general quality. The project began in 2004 with 15 picks selected from works performed between 1980 and 2000.
The first year drew about 170,000 people and contributed to boosting the theatrical drama industry here.
The second season was a big success due to star-studded theater marketing initiated by Jo in a move to attract a wider audience.
The second season attracted a total of 247,814 people with a 96-percent seat occupation rate, much higher than the 60 percent of the 2004 project.
Jo has been praised for writing a new chapter of the local theater industry by coming up with the series and its casting, promotion and marketing.
Jo has frequently expressed concern about a drop in the popularity of plays, compared to the booming musical industry.