A Look Inside the Senior Thesis: Korean Identity Takes Center Stage in Sister Mok-rahn

Written by
Steve Runk
June 29, 2020

In February 2020, the Program in Theater presented the first full English-language production of Sister Mok-rahn, an acclaimed, contemporary play from Korea that explores borders, separation, and a sense of home.  Sister Mok-rahn follows the ordeals and relationships of Jo Mok-rahn, an accomplished North Korean accordion player who defects to South Korea only to discover she wants to return home. Desires and ideologies clash as Mok-rahn tries to navigate her way through South Korean culture and capitalism.

Princeton seniors Jenny Kim ’20, Carol Lee ’20, and Hannah Semmelhack ’20 proposed the production as their senior thesis in the Program in Theater and in collaboration with East West Theater. The seniors’ journey was fueled by their shared desire to bring different perspectives to the theater, and ultimately they achieved a deep sense of power and joy in representing previously unheard voices onstage.