While the Jeongdong Theater only seats an audience capacity of 340, the mark it’s made on the Korean performing arts world rivals that of much larger venues. The theater, located in a pleasant street next to the walls of the Deoksugung Palace, opened in 1995 and has been staging a variety of both modern and traditional works ever since.
A longrunning traditional performance known as ‘Miso’ (meaning ‘smile’) is a permanent feature at Jeongdong Theater. Miso performances features longstanding Korean art forms, such as instrumental performances and traditional Korean dance and songs. A new version premiered in 2010, which sees a large cast of up to 30 dancers and musicians perform in a dazzlingly dramatic, high-energy show.
To improve public access to Korea’s traditional performing arts, Jeongdong Theater also stages free ‘Performing Arts at Noon’ events in spring and autumn, attracting huge numbers of local people who work in the area. In 2011, the theater presented ‘Silla, the Land of Gods’, which is a performance derived from Gyeongju, a World Heritage city. This contributed greatly to the development of local culture and the revival of cultural tourism.
The venue can be reached via Seoul Subway Line 1; alight at City Hall Station using exit 12 and follow the road alongside the stone wall of the Deoksugung Palace. Jeongdong Theater is located on the right.