Ji Young Choi ‘09 to Perform in United Solo Theatre Festival
October 12, 2017
United Solo Theatre Festival™, the world’s largest solo theatre festival, is an annual international festival that explores and celebrates the nuance of an individual's work through a variety of one-person shows. Productions are selected from openly solicited submissions and presented at the highly acclaimed Theatre Row in the heart of the New York City theatre district on 42nd Street. We sat down with Ji Young Choi to discuss her piece.
Tell us about the piece that you're presenting and that you also wrote, An Actress Confession. What's it about? What inspired it?
An Actress Confession is about an actress’s acting journey based on a true story. She has been auditioning for many plays and finally she got a role in The Seagull by Chekhov. She tells you about happenings in the rehearsal and her feelings after she lost her role right before the opening night.
I think everyone has a story that they keep to themselves. Whether it's big or small, you have a memory that you want to hide from others, moments that are embarrassing, sad, but unforgettable. The painful memories don’t disappear. Some people live with that for decades, some people can not move forward because of this memory, but time passes for everyone, even as I speak these words. These precious times do not come back. I have been thinking about how I could get rid of these wounds holding me back and let them flow away like a river. I realized that what’s important is to make my life's journey happier. It is a waste of time to notice and be hurt by someone else’s views. So I decided to tell my story that I had been hiding for seven years. I had lived with Nina’s monologue, a monologue that I never got to speak on stage. I hope to truly meet with Nina and also solve this problem, by being on stage. There may not be an answer. But I want to share my story with the audience and find a solution together. I hope that this isn’t only about my own problems.
How was the application process for the United Solo Theatre Festival? What did you have to submit?
Cover letters and Script should be submitted. There is a great deal of work to do, but I think the most important thing is writing about your motivation and what you would like to express in the solo show. Also writing about why your solo show has to be on stage is important. What I liked about the United Solo Theatre Festival was that all the actors are alone on stage, but they are never lonely as they tell each other stories.
Is this the first time that you're writing and performing? How is it to perform your own text instead of someone else's?
Since I was in university, I've been interested in writing plays. An actress confession is my second piece for the solo play. Last year, I wrote and performed While Ophelia's Korean Drum Weeps at New York international fringe festival. It is an adaptation of Hamlet, written in Ophelia’s point of view. In my experience, when writing plays, I care about the plot and the character's conflicts. But when I perform the play, I begin to see unexpected hidden behaviors and detailed emotional expressions. Many things come to life. For instance, the unexpected laughs and cries, sighs. When I compare it to the original plays and the parts that were added and adapted during performance, the play seems more natural, rich, and alive on stage. An actress confession is continuously created with my voice and movement in the process. It seems to change more vividly. And this time it is based on my own story, so it seems that my own honest feelings will be revealed a lot. Sometimes I feel shy and naked on the inside, but I really want to communicate with the audience and share these moments. This is what I like about the solo show.
More information about the application process can be found here.