A Petal is a play presented by Studio Bahn, a theater company in Korea, based on the original play ‘Hotel Splendid’ by American play writer, Lavonne Mueller. It is about the Korean comfort women, who were forced to serve the Japanese army during World War Ⅱ. Mueller wrote the play for years after she heard about them during her visit in Japan. The play depicts the young girls whose lives were ravaged severely by Japanese army and forced to be sex slaves. 'Hotel Splendid' was the real name of a barrack. Studio Bahn adapted the play as a form of interdisciplinary art theater.
It is a story of a war which should not break out again and also of a violence which has hurt the world. describes the true picture of the horrendous days of the comfort women in World War Ⅱ. It seems that lots of people are indifferent to the history of the past. The play tells us about the universal violence as well as the issue of Korean comfort women. sheds new light on this matter with visual performance features to help audience experience the cruel reality and the pain the girls suffered through the play.
Director Lee shows the text through the images and movements. He uses Korean jars on the stage to symbolize the body of the woman. The powder of various colors was used to show each character's feelings. The sound of breathing is notable through the whole play. The breathing, natural and primitive sound of human, shows the girls' appalling lives. Audiences can feel grotesque mood from their movements, facial expressions and also the alternations of the light and darkness. Act Ⅰ is mainly about the body. The comfort women's desperate days are shown through the actors' movements. Act Ⅱ is more about the spirit. Through the girls' talk, we can hear the stories of their lives and the thoughts they have in mind. They chat in a well side, and the water is used as a significant objet for washing their bodies. Director Lee is planning to develop the part of the projection images, dance as a movement and interactive part also.