The Audiovisual Room
Let's pay a little attention on the subway. Everyone is lowering their heads with one hand on the subway handle and the other hand with cell phone. This scene reminds us of a scene from Charlie Chaplin’s silent film “Modern Times”, which was released in 1980. The problem of alienating workers at the time, depicted in the film, led to the problem of disconnection among modern people. Due to the spread of electronic devices and the development of SNS and messenger, face to face meetings have been reduced. Furthermore, the meaning of pure love is also being corrupted. In the flood of modern communication, have we forgotten the meaning of pure love? ‘The Audiovisual Room’, which was presented by ‘Young-Juk Theater’, a school club at Chung-Ang University, sharply points out some problems of modern people. The story of the relationship and communication between three couples in the play, makes the audience reflect on themselves. From now on, let's take a look at Young-Juk Theater's play, 'The Audiovisual Room’.
Synopsis & Characters
Dong-seok & Hye-jin: Dong-seok and Hye-jin are old couple. They have been meeting each other well for over 500 days, but after Dong-seok head over heels in love with the computer recently, their relations began to deteriorate. Dong-seok was absorbed in the computer all day. Being so absorbed in computers, he refuses to even meet Hye-jin in person and only contact by the phone. Hye-jin is dissatisfied with this and always wants to meet in person, but Dong-seok always makes excuses and refuses to meet her.
Man & Woman: Man and woman are a budding couple not long after meeting. Unlike the Dong-seok and Hye-jin couples, they meet face-to-face and have a deep relationship. They played hide-and-seek or badminton when they met. Every moment was precious and enjoyable for them. At first, the woman was clumsy with relationship and reluctant to meet. However, through the consideration of man, she gradually opens her minds and became mature.
Hee-kyung & Male Student: Hye-jin's friend, Hee-kyung, loves a man she has met on pc communications network. He is a 22-year-old student. Hee-kyung got to know him on the film club site. Every night from 9pm to 10pm, communication with him makes her happy. As time comes nears to communicate with him, she becomes a petal in front of the wind just like the fox waiting for the little prince.
A Musical Rather than a Play
The play, which could have been hackneyed by a series of lines, became colorful with various elements such as poems, songs and dances. A poem recited by Hye-jin at the first introduction suggests that the play will deal with love in the future. Poetry, read in silence, immerses the audience in a play at a moment. Also, the dance and song of love between man and woman in the middle of the play better convey their exciting emotions to the audience. The song sung by Hye-jin at the end of the play tells how sad she was when she was hurt by Dong-seok. Young-Juk Theater's play ‘The Audiovisual Room’ was more like a musical than a play. The emotions of the characters, which are hard to deliver through the lines alone, could be better conveyed to the audience through dancing and singing, just like musical.
Contrast of the Scene
Dong-seok, Hye-jin, and man and woman are contrasting couples in every way. Dong-seok and Hye-jin are long-lived couples more than 500 days, but man and woman are fresh couples less than a week after they met. While Dong-seok and Hye-jin have few face to face meetings and only continue to meet on the phone, man and woman couples always have face to face meetings and get to know each other more deeply whenever they meet. These conflicting aspects highlight the disconnection between Dong-seok and Hye-jin couples, and express the deep relationship and fresh excitement of man and woman couples better.
The Meaning of True Love
A total of three kinds of love appear in this play. The first is the familiar love of Dong-seok and Hye-jin, the second is the caring love of men and women, and the last is the veiled love of Hee-kyung. Dong-seok and Hye-jin have been seeing each other for a long time, so love is getting used to. They are no longer excited about each other because they are taken for granted to love each other. When they first met, they met every day and even called all night just like common couples. But now they are building love in their respective rooms without exchange. Concealed with familiarity, they still think they are in love with each other. In contrast, men and women are making love by putting their hands together just like sand castles on the beach. They are careful about everything and always care about each other whether they hurt each other. The love of Hee-kyung is the love created by the illusion of moment. Can a relationship through a message be called love without a meeting? For every couple in the play, love seems to exist. But be sure to examine whether the love was created by an illusion of familiarity or a delusion of moments. The play reminds the audience of what true love means.
Written in 1998, the play ‘The Audiovisual Room’ is set in that era when communication technology developed rapidly and PC communication network became popular. The characters, who used to be linked only by phone and PC communication, are not much different from now. With Kakaotalk from confession to breakup, the play "The Audience Room" allows audiences to reflect on their lives and think about what the true meaning of love is at the same time.< 저작권자 © 중앙헤럴드 무단전재 및 재배포금지 >