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Sunday,December 11,2016
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What 'Father' Means to us

A salesman for all of his life, Willy Loman decides to take his own life in the Death of a Salesman for the benefit of his family. A renowned actor Lee Soon-jae takes the role of Loman in an adaptation of the play, called Father. It was Lee’s third time to be taking a role in Father, which recently completed an encore run at the Lee Hae-rang Art Theater from September 7th to 30th.

Father revolves around the last days of a failing salesman, who cannot understand why he failed to win success and happiness. The story talks about tragic heroes of our time, fathers. Director Kim Myeong-gon adapted and re-written the script of Death of a Salesman, so that young people can understand the message of the play.

   
 
  ▲ Actor Lee Soon-jae sits for an interview after the play.  
 
Father is an extremely Asian play. You can tell from the composition of the family,” says Lee Soon-jae, who spared his break time for an interview. “However, besides from the composition of the family, the ‘familyship’ is all the same in both the original and adaptation. That is what appealed to the audience the most.” Lee believes that the key to the success of the play Father lies in how fathers are portrayed in the eyes of the audience. According to him, the way the play is comprehended also differs as time passes by.

“When I first played this role in 1978, some parts were rather incomprehensible. But now, as our society developed, we can finally fully understand what those lines mean. That is the beauty of working on masterpieces like Arthur Miller’s,” shares Lee on the question of his role as Loman. “I feel a satisfaction and regret at the same time, for I have reached a new comprehension, and for the perspective that I have yet to discover.”

Many people in the audience were caught tearing up after the curtain was closed and they gave the actors a standing ovation. “Father taught me many ways to make the relationship with my son better and helped me rethink over my life,” said Yoo Jae-chul, a 62 year-old audience member who came to watch the play with his son.

Father has influenced the audience in many ways. It sure did win the hearts of many and left us a lot of room to think. Perhaps the greatest gift given to us is that our fathers are, one way or the other, with us at this moment.  

Lee So-young  soybeans@dongguk.edu

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