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Cleveland Public Theatre Executive Artistic Director Raymond Bobgan to Present in South Korea

The topic of the symposium is “Seeking Wisdom in World Theatre: After COVID-19, the Future of Women and Performing Arts.”

At the invitation from Busan Theater Company, Cleveland Public Theatre's Executive Artistic Director Raymond Bobgan travels to South Korea June 30- through July 7, 2022 to lead an acting/creation workshop, and present on symposia.

"I am so grateful to Hyeja Ju and everyone involved in making this exchange happen. Hyeja's work advancing the rights and status of women in Korea is inspiring and her artistry is impressive! I am excited to learn from her and the other artists involved. I am also looking forward to sharing about CPT's artistic work and philosophy and about our impact locally and beyond. Not only will this continue to build our relationships internationally, but I believe we gain new insight in our own struggles and challenges when we connect internationally. And I believe perspective is something we, I, really need at this time." -CPT Executive Artistic Director Raymond Bobgan.

During this trip, Bobgan will engage with multiple arts organizations and will participate in a symposium hosted by Busan Theater Company Actors, Audiences and Space (B.K.G), conducted in connection with the Global Women Performing Arts Festival in which CPT has participated in the past.

The topic of the symposium is "Seeking Wisdom in World Theatre: After COVID-19, the Future of Women and Performing Arts" and is a place for performing artists and planners from Korea, the United States, and Japan to meet and discuss the future possibilities for theatre.

Raymond Bobgan will attend meetings with Seo Seung-woo, head of the Art Management Division of the Busan Cinema Center, a landmark of Busan, known in South Korea as the "city of cinema;" then, visit Busanjin-gu, Geumjeong-gu, and Buk-gu to hold meetings with cultural and artistic administrators of the Busanjin Cultural Foundation, Geumjeong Foundation For Art & Culture, and Buk-gu Cultural City Support Center.

This trip is a continuation of CPT's relationship with director, creator, and arts leader Hyeja Ju. In 2019 Cleveland Public produced Good at Heart directed and created by Hyeja Ju. This physical, non-verbal performance inspired by the story of Anne Frank was presented at the BorderLight Festival and supported by The Cleveland Foundation's Creative Fusion Program.

Raymond is joined on this trip by Kent State University Associate Professor and Lighting Designer Jakyung Seu.

Raymond Bobgan creates new performances that are bold, multilayered, and highly physical through an ever-evolving ensemble process. Raymond's work has been seen in Romania, Brazil, Denmark, Serbia, South Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and Canada. Raymond has created many works for CPT including Dream Rust Workshop (a Hypothesis project) for CPT and Kennedy Center's Arts Across America; Frankenstein's Wake with Holly Holsinger; Feefer Rising with Faye Hargate; Rusted Heart Broadcast; Insomnia: The Waking of Herselves with Holly Holsinger and Chris Seibert; and Blue Sky Transmission: A Tibetan Book of the Dead, co-produced by CPT and La MaMa ETC (Off-Broadway). Raymond initiated the formation of Teatro Público de Cleveland, CPT's resident Latinx/a/o theatre company, Masrah Cleveland Al-Arabi مسرح كليفلاند العربي, a group dedicated to creating and performing theatre from Arabic-speaking communities, and Station Hope, a community arts festival exploring contemporary issues of social justice. Raymond also founded the Student Theatre Enrichment Program (STEP), a job-training theatre program for teens, and co-created the Y-Haven Theatre Project with James Levin, which engages formerly homeless men in writing and performing theatre. He was the first winner of the Cleveland Arts Prize in the discipline of Theatre. He is a two-time recipient of the Creative Workforce Fellowship and was an Ohio Arts Council Fellow. Raymond also received the Cisgender Ally Award at Cleveland's Transgender Day of Remembrance, Equality Ohio's Ally Award, The Cleveland Foundation's Homer C. Wadsworth, and The Governor's Award for the Arts in Ohio. This is Raymond Bobgan's 16th season in the leadership position at Cleveland Public Theatre.

HyeJa Ju is the standing director of theatre group "Bae Kwan Gong" (B.K.G.), which translates to "Actor, Audience, and Space." She works at the Department of Theatre and Film at Kyungsung University and is the director of the Nakdong River GupoNaru Festival. She is the representative of Original City Street Artist Community and belongs to Hanaro Performing Arts Exchange Council, an international exchange group in Fukuoka (Japan) and Busan. She focuses on the creation of dramas in Busan; and creates content for local performances unique to the region. She is working to introduce a new stage language in the form of non-verbal theatre where dramas are alive and emphasize stage energy. In addition to being a director, she is also active as a performing arts and culture activist working to develop various fields such as public art, cultural planning, and art education in Busan. She has been working as a writer and director for numerous works at the professional stage since 2002 including the drama The Bridge (2003/2008), the non-verbal drama My Diary Helen (2012/2014), Korea-India coproduction Bowul-Varidegi Story (2013), Deaf Samryong (Pohang Municipal Theater, 2015), "Geupjerok" (Excellence Prize for the Busan Theater Festival, 2016), The Diary of Young Girl Anne Frank (Busan City Theater, 2014/ Busan International Performance Art Festival 2017, Seoul Cecil Theater 2018/Colombia Bogota Sala Seki Sano 2018).

Jakyung Seo is an associate professor of lighting design at Kent State University and programmer at the Busan International Performing Arts Festival ( Prior to joining the faculty at Kent State, she taught at the University of Cincinnati (CCM) and California State University at Fresno. Jakyung has worked as a professional lighting designer and assistant lighting designer in USA regional theatre including Steppenwolf and Congo Square Theatre (Chicago), Eye to Soul (NYC), CATCO (Columbus), Porthouse Theatre (Kent), and Lodestone Theatre Ensemble (Los Angeles). Her international credits include: "Face" with Eye to Soul at Edinburgh, U.K., and "What We Want Is" for Thrust Dance Company in Japan, where she was awarded the best prize at the International Dance Festival in Saitama. Recently, she designed "BINARI" with MAC theatre company at Avignon Off Theatre festival and Theatre Laboratory Elizabeth Czerczuk, Paris at France, Sibiu International Theatre Festival at Romania, Busan Performing Arts International Festival at South Korea. She has designed more than 60 shows including "South Pacific," "Peterman," "Man of La Mancha" and many dance performances. She has been a presenter at international conferences such as PQ Scenofest 2007 in Prague where she was lead lecturer, USITT, SETC and KCACTF at the USA. She has also been teaching lighting design workshops at Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts at Singapore and Dongseo University and Kyungsung University in South Korea. Jakyung was the lighting designer for CPT's recent Dream Rust Workshop (a Hypothesis project) for CPT and Kennedy Center's Arts Across America.

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