This photo provided by Les Miserables Korea on June 11, 2020, shows the casting panel at an audition for the upcoming Korean-language theatre production of Les Miserables slated for August 7-16 in Seoul. — YONHAP/VNA Photo
SEOUL — An unusually high number of people have auditioned for supporting roles in an upcoming production of Les Miserables in South Korea, the production company said on Thursday, highlighting the severe competition for jobs among stage actors in a market hit hard by the new coronavirus crisis.
Theatre company Les Miserable Korea said that the number of applicants for vacant supporting roles in the Korean-language theatre adaptation of the French classic musical reached around 1,400. The show is slated for August 7-16 at the Seoul Arts Centre.
Stage veterans, including Oh Hyun-kyung, Park Woong, Im Dong-jin and Jeong Sang-cheol, are currently on board the production. The audition was held to cast more younger actors in the show.
The company said it hired some 50 new actors from the audition.
"The fact that some 1,400 auditioned for the roles reflects the current state of our performing arts industry," said Chung Dal-young, professor of theatre management at Seoul's Dongguk University, who was a member of the casting panel.
Chung added, "Even considering that a lot of shows have been canceled due to COVID-19 and that the project is a timeless classic, the turnout was larger than expected."
The performing arts industry has been among the worst-hit sectors by COVID-19 in South Korea, with aggregate ticket sales of musicals, plays, classical concerts and other performances in April plummeting to 4.68 billion won (US$3.84 million) from the 20.9-billion-won tally in February. — YONHAP