Korea: Changwon theater troupe pays it forward

Korea: Changwon theater troupe pays it forward

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New Korea : The Changwon Community Theatre paid it forward for its most recent play, raising funds for a local multicultural center.

After a venue was provided for free, the group decided to keep costs low and give the money from ticket sales to the Gyeongnam Multicultural Families Support Center, a local welfare facility that provides services for the whole of South Gyeongsang Province.

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Director Sunil Mahtani said they chose the play, Norm Foster’s “Maggie‘s Getting Married,” as a strong play that allowed the group to keep costs down to maximize the amount donated. “The rights and royalties was the only thing we couldn’t change, but we were able to save money in the production,” he said. “So it became a fund-raising production where we were able to give 600,000 won ($550) to the support center, so we are really pleased.”

The money will help support the welfare facility’s Danuri Center, a space for multicultural communities, and pay for school supplies for children from underprivileged multicultural families to allow them to take arts or language classes.

“It’s a shame that a lot of these families seem to be underprivileged,” he said. “I don’t think they get the same kind of support from the community or the government that traditional Korean-Korean marriages get.”

The play was the troupe’s fifth play since setting up, but Mahtani said it had become more difficult to stage productions after government cuts to public school jobs.

“We seem to have shrunk as an English-speaking community in Korea,” he said.

“It’s a shame, but finally we got a bunch of great actors together. It was a really big success. The audience loved it and they thought the play was a good choice and good subject matter and the acting was good.”

Mahtani is cautiously optimistic, saying the group plans to stage another production in June.

“We have to be careful on our next production,” he said. “Because we will need more people than we had (this) time.”

By Paul Kerry (paulkerry@heraldcorp.com)

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