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Posted : 2014-01-28 16:55
Updated : 2014-01-28 16:55

Veteran critic to head national theater

Kim Yun-cheol
By Kwon Mee-yoo

Kim Yun-cheol, 65, thespian and current director of the Korean National Archives of Arts, has been chosen as the new art director of the National Theater Company of Korea (NCTK), sources said Tuesday.

The appointment could be made official as early as Wednesday. The post has been vacant for two months after the government decided not to renew the term of Sohn Jin-chaek after it expired in November.

However, a spokeswoman at NCTK said the company has yet to be officially informed about Kim's arrival. The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has been criticized for prolonging the search for Sohn's successor.

Kim, a Seoul National University graduate, had been an actor and director who founded the drama company Maekto. After injuring his vocal chords in a performance, he pursued a career as a drama theorist and critic.

He earned his master's degree in theater and cinematic arts at Seoul Choong Ang University and a Ph.D. in theater and cinematic arts from Brigham Young University in the United States.

Kim was involved in designing the structure of the Korea National University of Arts (K-Arts), which opened in 1993, and is currently the dean of the university's school of drama. He is also the current president of the International Association of Theatre Critics (IATC) and was named as the head of the National Archives of the Arts last year.

Kim has a year left before retiring from K-Arts. Until then, he is likely to be a non-permanent artistic director with the national theater company, which is expected to absorb Myeongdong Theater by the end of the year.

The integration of two organizations was suggested during an open forum hosted by the culture ministry in September to reduce overlap and create a stronger state theater company.

Currently, the NTCK is housed at a temporary theater behind Seoul Station and adding the Myeongdong performance venue is critical to its future plans.

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