CJ Cultural Foundation confirms production of <Crimson Garden>, the winner of 2017 STAGE UP musical creation competition

STAGE UP’, a performance funding program for young creators run by CJ Cultural Foundation, has selected ‘Crimson Garden’ for its production this year.

‘Crimson Garden’, which has been selected as the first-place winner of STAGE UP’s 2017 musical creation contest, is based on Ivan Turgenev’s novella ‘First Love’. Turgenev is one of the three great writers of Russia, along with Leo Tolstoy and Fyodor Dostoyevsky. The story of three men and women who go through first love that is fierce, hurtful, beautiful, yet dangerous, will be put on stage accompanied by beautiful music.

The musical’s writer ‘Jeong Eun-bi’ and composer ‘Kim Deu-ri’ are young creators who had their talent and potentials recognized through the recent performance of musical creations such as ‘Karamazov’ and ‘Julie and Paul’. They arranged ‘Crimson Garden’ so that the emotional aspect is not overly exaggerated but accompanied by classic and sophisticated music to move the audience, and the show has been acclaimed for expressing the story more lyrically and beautifully than the original novella.

2017 Stage Up musical production contest, where ‘Crimson Garden’ was selected, is a program run by CJ Cultural Foundation to provide various opportunities to young creators. The program was expanded to include both ‘rookies’ and ‘re-minds’, and the winner was guaranteed for production, which drove the competition rate up to 30:1.

CJ Cultural Foundation organized professional judges in categories of planning, directing, musical directing, and more and selected 16 pieces that contained appeal for the public, artistic values, and potentials to be staged. Later on through the mentoring stage run by professionals, three finalists ‘Crimson Garden’, ‘Song of the Dark’, and ‘Miss Daddy’ were chosen for reading performance.

The three pieces were funded with professional mentoring, production composition, matching the creative team, casting, and providing practice rooms. They presented a reading performances in November and December of 2017 and ‘Crimson Garden’ was selected as the winner based on the public’s ratings and high scores from experts.

For the reading performance of ‘Crimson Garden’, Jung Sang-yoon, who has shown a wide spectrum of acting through musicals ‘Napoleon’, ‘Salieri’, and ‘Gone with the wind’, played ‘Victor’. Actress Lee Jung-hwa, who has been an all-time favorite of the public through works of ‘Doctor Zhivago’, ‘Josee, the Tiger and the Fish’, played the role of ‘Gina’. Kang Eun-il, who made his debut through the musical ‘Newsies’ and ‘Aida’, took the role of ‘Ivan’. The audience and performance associates who saw the reading performance rated the show saying, “the harmony of spectacular acting and perfect musical is enchanting”, “the story was beautiful and absorbing, and I wish to see it again”.

The writer Jung Eun-bi shared her feelings saying, “I am very excited to stage ‘Crimson Garden’ and very thankful to have the opportunity to do so as a creator”, she added, “I will continue to do my best with the production of the musical and always remember the happiness I felt while writing the piece in the beginning”.

‘Crimson Garden’, which was recognized for its potential for development and staging, will go under production for 2018 STAGE UP performance and be on stage end of June.

Meanwhile, CJ Cultural Foundation has been helping young creators to pursue their dreams in performance arts, music, and film industry by supporting them with their CSR philosophy of “being the supporter for young dreamers”. In particular, the performance arts program ‘STAGE UP’ has supported 92 creators and 60 projects in the past 8 years and among them are 14 musicals including ‘Goddess above us’, ‘Pung-wul-jou’, ‘Karamazov’, and ‘Julie and Paul’ which were very successful in the musical industry and also contributed to vitalization of original musicals.