gentlemen! We welcome you to the National Imitating Singer Contest. The person
who best imitates the voice and the attitude of a particular pop singer will be
the winner! Whoa! Can you guys feel the heat? The fever of the crowds gathered
from all over the country makes me all sweaty." The host of the imitating
singing contest jumps up and down vividly, excited about the big national event.
Emphasized by the spotlight shining down on him, he dances along the stage
attracting the public gaze. He speaks to the viewers who in turn become
the audience of the national singer contest. "Now let the show begin!" the
host shouts, and the play begins.
Are we original?
The play, The
National Imitating Singer Contest, is first performed in Arirang Theatre from
Nov. 4, 2004 to Jan. 2, 2005. Imitation has been a culture since long ago in
Korean society. However, as this culture became a big social issue, people
started to get confused whether they were the original ones living the original
life or not. What is fake and what is true? The play tells the story about fake
and true lives. The imitating culture, which is occuring in our daily lives,
could be seen on stage. By expressing a complicated social issue in a concise
way, the play is gaining a positive response from the audience.
The great singer is dead
"Hello? This is the ○○ Daily
News, may we help you?" "Just listen carefully if you want to make a big hit!
The great pop singer ○○○ has died 5 years ago." The story of the play The
National Imitating Singer Contest starts with a telephone call in a newspaper
office. What consequences would this news bring about? People from all over the
country would cry, not accepting his death and reporters would search for every
evience related to the death. The impact would be enormous! The truth, however,
is that ○○○ is alive, and he has disappeared in search of his old love and only
the manager knows about it. People, however, are curious about one thing. Is ○○○
coming to the National Imitating Singer Contest, where he was invited as a
special guest? Because ○○○ does not appear despite the impending date of the
contest, the manager becomes nervous and asks a club singer who was the
imitating singer of ○○○. After days of practices, the club singer stands on
stage, but the real singer comes back. As he sees the fake singer, he jumps up
to the stage in agitation. In the middle of the arguement, the manager reveals
the truth that the original singer was actually the winner for the last year's
imitating contest. Soon, the director of the show tells them to leave the show
since the real ○○○ has arrived at the airport and is heading this way. What will
The composition of The National Imitating Singer Contest is very unique.
Unlike other plays with narrative scenarios, this play is like one big singing
contest. In the beginning, the host introduces himself and the show, which makes
the audience think that they are actually in a concert from the start.
Throughout the main story, singers keep intervening to show off their singing
skills to the viewers. Not only does this kind of composition makes the play
look like a show, but it also makes the flow of the scenes smoother. In the main
story, the lives of two imitating singers are shown alternately, and without the
competing singers in the middle of the play, it would have been monotonous. As
the show reaches the end, the lives of the two imitating singers meet. Through
this three dimensional composition, the story of the play is dramatically
brought to the audience.
Too much emphasis on trifles
The play is well enough with its
unique formation and exciting songs for the audience. The play, however, spends
too much needless effort on trifles. For example, one of the minor character was
selling massage machines but the play even bestowed serious meanings upon such
properties. Moreover, the play overuses unnecessary humor just to make the
audience laugh. These kind of problems could dim out the main point the director
wanted to make, and even worse, it may go way beyond the main theme of the play.
The intention to present a serious topic to the audience in a less complicated
way is a merit of the play. If the director, however, gave more emphasis
on the trifles rather than to the main point, the plot or the composition of the
play would not have stood out in spite of its excellence.
are all original
There are times when people are not sure if they are living a real life.
Everytime they see someone better, they start to envy him. They would try to
follow what he does, and soon pity themselves for not living an original
The National Imitating Singer Contest tells them that
following others also could be original itself. Nobody could imitate the other
perfectly. Thus by following others, the follower could create one's original
individuality. So if someone feels empty about one's existence, going alone to
the theater and seeing this play could be a lot of help.
Imitating Singer Contest
2004 / 11 / 4 ~ 2005 / 1 /
Director of The
National Imitating Singer Contest
Q : How did you plan to make such a unique
A : At first, the composition of the play
was not like what it is now. It was just like other regular plays.
However, in this manner the National Imitating Singer Contest could not be
emphasized when I really wanted the audience to remember it. So, the
writer and I started to rearrange the plot. Now the play looks like a huge
singing contest itself, and I think it is outstanding.
Q : What did you want to say through the play?
Basically, I just wanted the audience to enjoy the show and laugh all
together. However, I also wanted them to think that there is no
demarcation between a real life and an ideal one. The truth is, there is
no fake lives. People usually follow everything that they think is great
and think they are not original. However, they create a new characteristic
by imitating, and that becomes an original