Theatrical Propaganda and an Imagined West During the Korean War

Part of the Palgrave Studies in Theatre and Performance History book series (PSTPH)


This chapter aims to show how a Korean theatre company, Sinhyup played a pivotal role in shaping a theatre culture in Korea during the period of the Korean Civil War (1951–1953). The Korean word ‘Sinhyup’ means ‘a New Theatre Society’. It was the only theatre company to produce the work in times of the Korean War. For this, I will argue how this theatre company is positioned in the context of Korean theatre history particularly in the 1950s. Then I will explore how the Sinhyup worked as an entertainment troupe and how it helped to spread an anti-communist ideology throughout the performances. I will also show how Western translated plays—which the Sinhyup introduced and performed during the war, such as Hamlet,—contributed to shaping a new trend of Korean theatre at that time, in relation to a new style of acting.


Korean war Sinhyup theatre company Realism Korean identity American theatre influence 

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University College CorkIreland

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