National Theater of Korea, Seoul, South Korea

The National Theater of Korea (국립극장) is a national theatre located in the neighborhood of Jangchung-dong, Jung-gu, South Korea. It is the first nationally managed theater in Asia.

Since its founding in 1950, the National Theater of Korea has endured the misery of the Korean War, and for the 65 years stands firmly as the leader of art performance and as the cradle of performing arts in Korea. With the goal of recreating traditional Korean arts with in a modern fashion, 3 major resident companies within the National Theater of Korea (National Changgeuk Company of Korea, National Dance Company of Korea, National Orchestra of Korea) create unique production. In 2009, we opened the Museum of Performing Arts in order to review the past and project the future of performing arts in Korea.

We will develop our classics and creative plays, creatively accept foreign cultures and secure the legitimacy and identity of national arts and diversity of culture
Constant production and distribution of high-quality performing art works representing the nation and establishment of international exchange and cooperation network
Development and operation of various arts education that can recognize the unique value of art and diversity of culture in school and society
Establishing, researching, and disseminating the academic system of performing arts through collecting, archiving, and informing materials related to performing arts
Matters concerning the training of stage art professionals and artists
What you need to accomplish the tasks of other theaters

Hyeonmul Theater
The name at the time of the construction was the main theater, but it was changed to the current name in 2000. It was reopened in 2004 after major renovations and seats are 1563 seats. It also has facilities such as orchestra pit, revolving stage, and ascending stage, and is also used as stage performance venue for chapel.

Daehorn Theater
The name of the building at the time of the construction was a small theater, but it was renamed in 2000 with the theater of the sea. It was rebuilt in 2005 after renovation. The number of seats is 427, and it is used as a representative repertoire and a permanent performance of national arts organizations, especially theater and theater dedicated to Changguk. It was remodeled in 2014 and reopened. The number of seats was changed to 512 seats.

Starom Theater
It was opened in 2001 under the current name. The number of seats is 100 seats, including 74 retractable seats (operated by reserved seats) and 30 seats for removable seats. The stage is variable and is used as a venue for small-scale creative or experimental stage arts.

KB Youth Heaven Theater
Opened in 2002, the open air theater, the Sky Theater, was renovated in 2008 as a dome-type hall with 732 seats under the auspices of Kookmin Bank. Part of the roof is automatically opened and closed to allow natural light, and stable performances are possible regardless of the weather.

Youth Performing Arts Festival:
The Youth Performing Arts Festival of the National Theater, held every April until May, is a festival for youth. With the theme ‘Youth Embracing the Sky,’ the festival contributes to fostering the positive emotions of youth through programs allowing the experience of traditional dance music, musicals, mime, plays and dance of both Korean and international classics. In 2008 when the first festival was held, The Journey to Folksong with Suksun Ahn was performed for youth and multi-cultural families in culturally neglected areas. The Youth Performing Arts Festival is the signature event of the National Theater, with the goal of inspiring those who will be the future leaders of society and the performing arts.

The World Festival of National Theaters:
Starting in 2007, the World Festival of National Theaters takes place from September to October every year. The festival promotes the mutual understanding of cultures from every country, whereby Korean audiences can enjoy many excellent domestic and overseas performances. At the same time the National Theater of Korea can better solidify its position as the center of performing arts in Korea. Performances representing national theaters of various nations are on stage together with additional events like shows and exhibitions. National theaters, embassies and cultural centers of every country gather here for active cultural and artistic communication. The World Festival of National Theaters is the biggest festival hosted by the National Theater of Korea and is considered by some to be one of the greatest festivals in Korea.

The Saturday Cultural Plaza:
Since 1993, the Saturday Cultural Plaza is the oldest open air performance by the National Theater. Various concerts and performances such as ballets, concerts of contemporary music and orchestra concerts are held in the open air cultural plaza every May to September, on Saturdays at 6:00PM. So far, 350 thousand people have visited the Saturday Cultural Plaza. From 2002 to 2007 the Plaza was sponsored by Renault-Samsung Motors and starting in 2008 by KB Kookmin Bank, which received the Mecenat Award in 2008. This activity aspires to serve as a model of partnership between art and business.

Midday Concert:
The Midday Concert was designed to show the potential of traditional classical music so the public can easily understand Korean music’s past and present. Folksongs, contemporary music, and original sound tracks of soap operas and films are rearranged and modernized by the National Orchestra. Commentaries on each work by the artistic director Byeongki Hwang in order to enrich the concert’s content.

Seasons Festival:
National Theater of Korea provides various events every spring, summer, fall and winter.