Hansel and Gretel
by Engelbert Humperdinck
New Jersey City University, November 29 – December 1 2018
Director: Kimun Kim. Set: Joo Kim. Lighting: Elizabeth Mak.
Costumes: An-Lin Dauber. Projections: Taezoo Park.
Photography: Elizabeth Mak & Paul Gargiulo.
In this English translation of the German Hänsel und Gretel, director Kimun wanted to tell a contemporary story about hungry children around the world. The first act’s prelude begins with the faces and skulls of children living in poverty. In a vivid dream in the forest, Hansel and Gretel imagine a dinner not filled with sweets but with Macdonalds hamburger and fries. In the same vein, once the witch whisks away her cart of sweets, the interior of her house is revealed to be grim, industrial, and nothing more than a rusted abattoir for hungry children. If you wanted some philosophical musings about the true victims of capitalism served alongside a jolly Christmas folktale, this production definitely was that and more.