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Breaking down gender barriers: classic plays recreated with female leads Updated: 2021-03-09 04:00:25 KST

"For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause."

Some of the most iconic lines from Hamlet.
But voiced by a female lead.

"The biggest change is that Hamlet's a woman here. She's a princess and not a prince. I wanted to make a play where it didn't matter whether Hamlet was male or female."

Recently in the South Korean performing arts scene, several directors have made the artistic choice to switch male leads of classics to females.
Such as in 'Faust Ending' originally by German poet Goethe.
In director Cho Kwang-hwa's version, the lead is played by Kim Sung-nyo. an actor with almost 50 years of experience.

"I put a lot of thought into how to play Faust. Should I be feminine or masculine? But I finally came to the conclusion 'let's just do a human Faust.' Neither a woman nor a man, but just human."

Here, even love is redefined in the relationship between Faust and Gretchen, a young woman who develops into Faust's love interest in the original story.

"People keep on putting up some sort of yardstick for the word "love." They define love as homosexuality or compassion or whatever. But here, love is just one person with genuine feelings for someone else. The audience can take away what they will."

Although Hamlet's online performances finished last month, Faust Ending will be available for audiences until March 28th at the Myeong-dong Art Theater
where each of the 10 previous showings sold out.
Kim Yeon-seung, Arirang News
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