After Yosup picked us up and drove us to Uijeongbu (a city north of Seoul, where we will be working), we spent the morning trying to figure out what to do. First, Yosup took us to see Tuida’s (pronounced ‘TEE-dah’) rehearsal space, which reminds me a lot of the SITI Company rehearsal space. There’s a common area, an administrative office, a small prop/mask shop, and a rehearsal hall. It’s lovely, small-ish, and very asian. The three of us had tea and talked about our work while we waited for the breakfast restaurants to open (we got to the rehearsal hall at about 6.30am). At 7.30, Yosup decided that it was time to find breakfast, but despite a lovely investigative drive into the countryside, none of the restaurants were open. So, we headed back to Uijeongbu, to a little bakery right near the rehearsal spaced. I had a peanut roll and a sesame seed donut with sweet pumpkin filling. Mmmmm.
After breakfast, we went back to the rehearsal hall to talk through what we could of the show. It’s always an awkward conversation to have because the artistic director is often a little bewildered by how little Eli and I have firmed up and ready to go. Of course, a big part of why we’re here is to experiment with what happens when you don’t plan too much, so we just talked about our initial ideas and how excited we were to try them out and then replace them with something more interesting!
Now, Yosup’s dropped us off at the hotel. It’s about noon now, on Sunday afternoon, and Eli and I have retired for the afternoon. I’m going to try to nap, and he and I are going to meet up at 4.30 to have a walk around the neighborhood where the hotel is. Then, Yosup will pick us up at 6.00 to take us to a nice welcome-to-Korea dinner. Then, sleep like an angel (who is jetlagged).
First impressions of Korea: it’s like New England without NYC or Boston. The cities feel like driving along the NJ turnpike – lots of urban-ness, some green, but mostly a hastily-assembled series of highways and buildings. When you get out of the city, however, the countryside turns into the Berkshire mountains. Huge green hills, winding roads, cafes and gas stations. Some places look like Pittsfield, but other places look like Stockbridge (an ASIAN Stockbridge, of course).
Okay, time to take a nap.