Whenever the seasons change Chung-Ang University’s theater department stages 3 plays, which can be seen as the fruits of students’ efforts. The students who major in theater put in a lot of effort this summer vacation, while most students took a rest and the results of their endless efforts are the three plays named ‘Troika’, ‘Rabbit Hole’ and ‘A Third-rate Actor’. Out of these three plays, we will look into ‘A Third-rate Actor’, which was performed on August 8th. You may think that the title of the play is not suitable to the promising young students of the CAU theater department when you first hear the title of this play. But at the same time aren’t you curious about the play called ‘A Third-rate Actor’ and the young students of CAU who act as the third-rate actor characters?
1. The Story of ‘A Third-rate Actor
Lee Young-jin, the main character in this play, dreamed of becoming an actor after he watched ‘Hamlet’ in his childhood and he joined a theatre group as soon as he graduated from high school. He acted for 30 years but he has never taken the leading role. His teenage daughter is ashamed of him because he is an unknown actor. Only his wife always supports his dream saying that his chance is yet to come. Every night he got his family together and practiced Hamlet for an opportunity in the future. Finally the theatre group he joined is going to put on the play Hamlet and he has barely won the lead. His whole family was overjoyed at hearing the news. But the producer was worried about the number of audience members they might get when the unknown actor stars in the play so he decides to replace Lee Young-jin with Jeon Sang-ill who is a famous TV star and who joined the theatre group with Lee Young-jin in the same year. Lee Young-jin was very disappointed but he was given the chance to act Hamlet on the stage due to Jeon Sang-ill’s conflicting drama schedule. He invited his family on that day and was very excited to show them his acting. But Jeon Sang-ill appeared on the day of the show and therefore he misses his chance. Nobody knows if there will be a next time. After the play, his daughter said to him ‘I wanted to watch you act as Hamlet on stage’ and that made him act as all of the characters of the play by himself, on the empty stage. Upon finishing his performance, the curtain comes down.
2. The Actor who plays an actor
There are many differences between a play and a movie but the biggest difference is that a play is a live performance. There is no editing on the stage and therefore the acting ability of the actors is very important.. One of the interesting points of the play, ‘A Third-rate Actor’, is the performance of CAU theatre department’s students. The audience, who might already know the story line of the play, may have a great expectation but at the same time have concerns, about how a young university student is to play an unknown actor who has acted for 30 years. But watching the play, the worries disappeared and there was just one actor, Lee Young-jin, who has dreamed of Hamlet for 30 years on the stage. In particular, the last monolog of Lee Young-jin, which can be called the climax of the play, was amazing. The last scene was very difficult because the actor who played Lee Young-jin had to play 5 roles perfectly by himself and show Lee Young-jin’s passion for acting with nothing being missed. Although the scene was exact, the audience could feel the combination of the actor’s own passion for acting and the main character Lee Young-jin’s passion, so his acting was good enough to move the audience to tears.
The other actors also acted well in their roles. The actresses who played wife and daughter acted so realistically and naturally that the typical moving story didn’t feel boring. The actors who played Jeon Sang-ill, the director and the producer, who are kind of the villains in the play, also gave a great performance that the audience was able to be lured to the play. All the actors did well enough to make the audience concentrate on the story in general.
3. Give Applause to All of the Third-rate
Even though the audiences’ situation was not the same as the main character of the play, the play ‘A Third-rate Actor’ was enough to have it is sure to have impressed the audience. The reason many people sympathized with Lee Young-jin who has been an unknown actor for 30 years is that they could relate to his lower-class life. Therefore a question may occur to your mind, ‘Is the third rate bad?’ Most people only have negative images as about being unprofessional or lacking in ability. But we should think about it inversely. Why do many unknown actors keep their place in spite of low wages and disdain for them? It’s all because of their dreams and passion for their work. Can we criticize or point fingers at them for the reason that they don’t succeed in their work? If their goal is not to be first-rate but just to play their part well, they are not third-rate but first-rate just in the way that they are. In that sense, the play ‘A Third-rate Actor’ can mean an opportunity to raise awareness and give encouragement to all the people who think they are the a ‘third rate’.
Regardless of areas, all areas have a first rate and a third rate. Not everybody can be first-rate but everyone is essential in their own place. The problem is that we make ourselves third-rate by setting our sights on becoming first-rate. We should focus on our dreams. I hope your recognition and attitude toward a lower-class will change through this play. Why don’t you start to see your failures, as well as the failures of people around you, with a gentle gaze?< 저작권자 © 중앙헤럴드 무단전재 및 재배포금지 >