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“A brilliant mishmash of pop and celebrity culture … not to be missed.” – Exeunt Magazine

Seongbukdong Beedoolkee, South Korea’s leading contemporary theater company, makes its NYC debut with a highly original take on the enduring Greek tragedy of Medea. MEDEA on Media recasts the ancient tale as a commentary on contemporary media and serves it to the audience in wildly outrageous ways, including talk shows, action movies, Disney cartoons, and an Instagrammable yoga class. With plenty of physicality and more than a dash of absurd hilarity, MEDEA on Media is also clever and profound. The work is performed in Korean with English supertitles.

Led by director Kim Hyun-tak, Seongbukdong Beedoolkee Theatre freely deconstructs the texts of both well-known masterpieces and modern Korean dramas to recreate them, incorporating contemporary social issues. Often, Kim’s performances use a different theatrical style depending on the material and topic, such as dance theatre, melodramatic film, or physical theatre, and most of them include active audience participation.

Content advisory: This performance contains adult language, mature themes, and the use of gun props. A non-tobacco cigarette is also smoked briefly.



Ultimately, the tragedy of Medea is caused by the monster that is the media, which we summon and relish in daily. Here, this media refers to every means to satisfy desires that feed on violence and obscenity while hiding and ridiculing the truth and the good and forcing certain ideologies. It breaks down the wall between reality and fiction through recurrent images and sound, providing a pretext for distorted judgment and choices.

The performance follows Medea as she draws near to the murder and focuses on the roles that today’s media could have played. The piece then configures them into different channels and presents them to the audience like a studio version of a TV program. The piece asserts that not only are the media involved in Medea’s crime, but the people watching it, as well. MEDEA on Media encourages harmonious coexistence of media and the society.

As in the original play, Medea betrays her family to follow her husband Jason, but when he abandons her for Creusa, the daughter of Creon, Medea decides to avenge. MEDEA on Media brings scenes from the original play into television, one of the most common media of our time. The fight between Jason and Medea happens on a television talk show; the scene where Creon banishes Medea turns into a melodrama; the nurse’s lamentation takes the form of a documentary; Aegeus’ promise of sanctuary is referred to as the pleasure of an adult channel. Fleeting scenes, loud noises, and recurring sensational images cause empty laughter and interest, which numb the audience of the murder at hand. Like the chorus behind the veil of anonymity, the audience abets all, without guilt or remorse.

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MEDEA on media is co-presented with the Korean Cultural Center New York to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the ROK-U.S. Alliance. This program is supported by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Korea and the Korean Foundation for International Cultural Exchange as part of the Traveling Korean Arts Project. 

Korean Cultural Center NY to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the ROK-U.S. Alliance. Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports & Tourism. Traveling Korean Arts. KOFFICE Korean Foundation for Intercultural Exchange

MEDEA on Media is also presented with support from the NYU Gallatin Fund for Classics and the Contemporary.

NYU Skirball’s programs are made possible in part with support from the National Endowment for the Arts; the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature; and by Howard Gilman Foundation; FUSED (French U.S. Exchange in Dance), a program of FACE Foundation in partnership with Villa Albertine; General Delegation of the Government of Flanders to the USA; Collins Building Services; Korean Cultural Center New York, Marta Heflin Foundation; Harkness Foundation for Dance; as well as our valued donors through memberships, commissioning, and Stage Pass Fund support.

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MEDEA on Media

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