COMFORT WOMEN: A NEW MUSICAL Returns off Broadway
Dimo Kim Musical Theatre Factory's "Comfort Women: A New Musical," which premiered at Theatre at St. Clements 2015, is making an Off-Broadway revival at Peter Jay Sharp Theater from July 20th until September 2nd, 2018. "Comfort Women: A New Musical", written by Dimo Hyun Jun Kim, Osker David Aguirre, and Joann Malory Mieses, with music by Bryan Michaels and TaeHo Park was nominated for the Best Off-Broadway Musical by BroadwayWorld and has received critical acclaim for shedding a light on the untold story of 'comfort women.'
Set in Korea under Japanese colonial rule, "Comfort Women: A New Musical" tells a story about a Korean teenage girl named Goeun who embarks on a journey to Tokyo to make money for her family, but ends up at a 'comfort station' in Indonesia, where hundreds of teenage girls were abducted and forced to become sex slaves, also known as 'comfort women,' for the Japanese Imperial Army during World War II. The musical evolves around the stories of Goeun and other 'comfort women,' and the audience witnesses how such a tragedy can permanently and painfully transform the life of a young woman.
Based on true war crimes committed by the Japanese Imperial Army, 'comfort women' included girls as young as 14, who were promised with well-paying jobs abroad but instead were taken to islands in Indonesia to forcefully serve as sex slaves for 50 to 100 soldiers a day. Many died from the horrendous mistreatments, and the small number of survivors still alive today are scarred forever, living in shame and reluctant to speak out about what happened to them.
In 2015, "Comfort Women: A New Musical" opened at Theatre at St. Clements with a first-ever all-Asian Off-Broadway cast, led by an East Asian director. Dealing with a politically sensitive topic, the show garnered interest and acclaim for illuminating the truth and seriousness of the 'comfort women' issue, and recorded a sold-out run. The show also attracted a great amount of interest for featuring seven Japanese actors who did not shy away from portraying Japanese soldiers on stage, despite the Japanese government's long-time reluctance to apologize to the survivors.
"Comfort Women: A New Musical" is directed by Dimo Hyun Jun Kim, whose Off-Broadway credits include "Green Card" and "Interview". Just like the recent highly publicized success of South-North Korean Summit, Kim hopes this show can contribute to spreading peace and healing the survivors by sharing a piece of painful history of Korea. Kim is thrilled to provide more opportunities for talented Asian American actors and actresses to be featured on Off-Broadway stages where there are scarce opportunities for multicultural theatre artists. The show is associate directed by Mark Cirnigliaro, choreographed by Natanal Kim and music directed by TekGoo Kang. The design team includes Stella Hyun Joo Oh (Scenic Design), Byung Chul Lee (Lighting Design), Lucius Seo (Costume Design), and Tae Jong Park (Sound Design).
"Comfort Women: A New Musical" will begin previews on July 20th, opening on July 27th and continuing until September 2nd, 2018 at Peter Jay Sharp Theater. This production is hosted by I.A. Lab and Hwarang Entertainment, and is produced by the Dimo Kim Musical Theater Factory, Sejoon Oh, and Matthew Thomas Burda. It is supported by the Korean Council for the Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery by Japan, and will proudly feature talented Asian American theatre artists. Worldwide auditions are currently being held for all roles.