On August 26 and 27 a group of theatre and music faculty and students traveled to Andong and Hahoe village for a weekend experience featuring traditional Korean food, daily life, and performance. The group enjoyed Andong jjimdak (braised chicken) for dinner, walked across the nation's longest walking bridge at sunset, slept in a hanok that is over 500 years old, toured the village of Hahoe, learned how to iron clothing, grind soybeans, pound rice, and carry water pots on their heads. They also participated in a tea ceremony, manipulated puppets, ate grilled mackerel for lunch, heard the myth of how the Hahoe Tal (masks) came to be, and observed a performance of Hahoe Talchum, a performance tradition dating back over 800 years.
The trip was designed as a cultural exploration that will hope to inspire the theatre and music departments as they prepare for this spring's production of Shakespeare's A Comedy of Errors. The play will be set in Busan and will incorporate many elements of traditional Korean culture, music, and performance. After this weekend, the students and faculty are even more excited and ready to begin working on the upcoming production!