Some events in people’s lives can have far-reaching emotional implications.
Seoul Players’ first play of the year looks into how important a moment can be.
Stop Kiss tells the before and after of the moment friends become lovers. But Callie and Sara’s romance is cut brutally short just after their first kiss by an assault that leaves Sara injured and Callie in a coma.
The play unfolds out of chronological order, with scenes leading up to the attack interspersed with those looking at Callie, and the men in her and Sara’s lives, trying to deal with the trauma.
“It’s a very raw, very sensitive portrayal of this otherwise very graphic and scary situation,” says director Quinn Knox.
Knox had first seen the play in his teens, but when he read it recently it struck a powerful chord.
“I understood a lot of what was happening but I think that when you’ve experienced life and when you’ve been in some of those kind of relationships you connect with them more,” he said.
He found himself quickly immersed, and the emotional connection he felt with it made him want to direct the play.
He said that the fact it involved two women who were lovers and violence against them could lead people to think that the play focused on issues of homosexuality.
|Tara Herman (left) appears as Sara and Amber Green appears as Callie in Seoul Players’ upcoming “Stop Kiss.” (Rick Saint)|
“I think that when you hear about there’s these two women and they’re lovers and someone bashes them, it's very easy to think of it as being a play about getting on a soapbox and saying, ‘I was bashed.’
“It’s really not a play about that at all.”
Instead he says the play is about unexpected relationships and the sometimes unclear definition they have.
“I think in people’s lives, you form relationships, whether they are friendships or otherwise, with people that you wouldn’t normally expect to befriend,” he said.
“And I think that the environment here makes it particularly easy for a foreigner because people cling together naturally, but in life unexpected things happen, some good and some bad but especially with relationships they form within this organic, natural way.”
Knox explained that a key part of the play was how friendship was not always well defined. While the unclear part was not always sexual, there was often a lack of clear black and white definition.
“A lot of relationships in people’s lives are very gray, whether it be a close friendship or a more paternal relationship or a boyfriend or girlfriend,” he said.
“I think those lines are blurred a lot and what this play shows ― and one of the things that’s really beautiful ― is finding the gray moments that are kind of undefined and hard to distinguish.”
The play runs at White Box Theater near Hyochang Park Station in Seoul, on Feb. 16, 17, 22, 23 and 24. The play starts at 8 p.m. for the Friday and Saturday shows and at 4 p.m. for Sunday shows. Tickets are 15,000 won.
To get to White Box, leave Exit 2 of the station and double back, turning right up the hill. Turn right at the florists and the theater is about 50 meters up the hill, on the basement floor.
By Paul Kerry (firstname.lastname@example.org)