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Written by Ashley Minju Song | Published. 2020.12.21 18:02 | Count : 280

Recently, while working on a theatre/film project called Parallax with my fellow members of the founding division of Proactive Players, I encountered various challenges. Before diving deeper into our project work, I should explain what Proactive Players is. Proactive Players is an international theatre troupe comprised of a wide and growing community of independent theatre-makers. As an international theatre troupe, we harness our unique backgrounds, skills, and expertise to tackle and present current and pertinent social issues through performance. Our current project is led by the founding division, which includes myself and three other members, focusing on the topic of COVID-19 and education in Korea. For this project, throughout this year, we have been doing online research on issues that are relevant to the topic, which we chose after reading articles and interviews online. Upon choosing our project, we decided to create our own original production, combining and adapting aspects of theatre to film. This decision was made after the numerous discussions that we had on the fact that it is nearly impossible to hold a live performance in a theater these days. 

Before writing the script and creating the storyboard of the film, we took a decent amount of time to collect information and ideas by contacting different groups of people in our local community. As the topic we decided to focus on is highly relevant to the society in which we live as high school students, we first started interviewing teachers and faculty members of our school to hear the thoughts, opinions, and perspective of teachers and adults. By interviewing the principal of our school, we were able to get the gist of the process that schools go through when making decisions during COVID-19 and how communication is conducted within the school community. To go beyond our school, we contacted city halls, governmental organizations, NGOs, and governors to find out what kinds of systems, policies, and/or regulations have been applied upon the issue of COIVD-19 and how they have impacted the nation. Since we focused on the topic of education, we asked about how support is provided to students in need of help in order to gain some insight into education inequality in this time.

[Storyboard of Parallax. Photo Credit: Ashley Minju Song]

After gathering information and doing numerous interviews with people from different parts of society, we wrote a script that portrays the current society and encapsulates the issue of education inequality amid COVID-19 in South Korea. During the process of finalizing the script and deciding the filming location, we experienced extreme difficulties. Although the COVID-19 situation seemed to get better when we were in the process of gathering information, writing the script, and creating the storyboard, as soon as it came time to decide the location and date of filming, the situation had rapidly gotten worse. Beginning from this stage, it was harder to find locations to film as there were governmental rules and regulations that we had to follow. Since we were able to film only within the schedule that we had created earlier, we were left with very few choices. Thus, instead of filming in our school theater as we had originally planned, we had to film at each others’ home. Hence, we had to purchase our own lighting equipment and also bought backdrops for the film.

[Filming the First Scene of “Yujin and Jihye.” Photo Credit: Ashley Minju Song]

However, we were able to overcome the challenges we faced and learned that communication and organization skills are extremely important these days. We managed our time wisely, and thus successfully finished filming all the scenes that we had planned to. Currently, we are in the process of editing the scenes that we filmed separately in numerous places throughout the month and are looking forward to finalizing the editing by the end of this month. I am extremely grateful to have had the members by my side while facing these hardships, and I am proud that we were able to produce this project, which was something that I have dreamed of since the beginning of 2020.

Lastly, anyone who is interested in getting involved with making arts online, feel free to contact the Proactive Players at: proactiveplayers@gmail.com!


Ashley Minju Song
Senior (Grade 12)
Chadwick International

Ashley Minju Song  student_reporter@dherald.com

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