Taipei, TAIWAN -- On Nov. 25, about 160 seats of the Experimental Theater at the National Theater & Concert Hall in Taipei, Taiwan were full. In front of the audience were two Taiwanese actresses -- Da Tian and Lee Ling-Wei -- and a cello and piano duo. The actresses sitting facing the audience on two simple chairs turned into two characters, both named Yujin: "Big Yujin" and "Little Yujin."
With their lines and dramatic songs, the two actresses led the audience into the minds of two teenage girls, both victims of sexual abuse as children, and trying to work through their trauma in different ways.
Centered around the monologue and conversation between the two, the actresses assume versatile roles, embodying characters that include their mothers, boyfriends, and friends.
The show was meant to mimic a cold reading of a Mandarin version of the Korean musical, “Yujin and Yujin," but felt like a full performance and absorbed the audience. Sobs filled the air toward the end of the 110-minute show.
#Based on the 2004 novel of the same title by Lee Geum-yi, the story follows two middle school girls, Big Yujin and Little Yujin, who were sexually abused in the same kindergarten. After several years, the two girls become classmates in middle school but Little Yujin doesn’t remember Big Yujin or the horrible incident. Meeting with Big Yujin brings back Little Yujin’s memory.
#The musical was introduced in Korea in 2021 by Nangman Barricade. The company’s founder, composer-producer Damiro decided to begin his own production company after his proposal to turn the novel into a musical was turned down many times.
##The local adaptation of the work for Taiwan was done by Taiwan’s C Musical, founded by musical enthusiast Chang Hsin-tzu, who fell in love with musicals after watching 11 musicals in three weeks while she was in Seoul. Since its founding in 2016, C Musical has introduced several Korean musicals to Taiwan’s nascent musical market, adapting them for the local Taiwan market.
"Yujin and Yujin" tested its potential in Taiwan as part of a showcase arranged by Korea's Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Korea Arts Management Service. The K-Musical Roadshow introduces well-made Korean musicals to overseas markets including the US, Japan and China.
Taiwan’s growing musical fans