If you’re new to Korea and you love the arts then look no further. Just because you’re away from home doesn’t mean you should put your hobbies on hold!
Whether you’re a seasoned performed, rekindling an old flame, or trying something new, our list of 10 Best Performance Groups Korea has you catered. From acting and singing, to improv and stand up, there’s a place for anyone and everyone either on stage or behind the scenes.
Camarata Music Company | Seoul
The Camarata Music Company is the perfect organization for classical music lovers! There are four ways to participate in the group: You can join the Camarata Chorale, an amateur choir open to all participants who have abilities to sing in tune.
The Camarata Chamber Singers is a mixed choir of twenty-seven singers who are selected through annual auditions. The Camarata Orchestra is a semi-professional orchestra that occasionally performs with the Chorale and Chamber Singers.
Finally, all children from ages seven to 15 can join the Camarata Children’s Choir. They perform two concerts a year and have smaller performances as guests to other concerts, hospitals and more. Both Koreans and foreigners with a basic command of English are welcome to join.
Seoul Players | Seoul
Seoul Players is an English-speaking non-profit theatre company based in Seoul. Created almost 15 years ago by Roman Zolniercsyk, an Australian who describes himself as a “keen thespian,” the company came about in an effort to combat the lack of english-speaking theater available in Korea.
Now an asset to audiences and performers alike, the company puts on 1 or 2 main stage productions a year as well as an annual shadow cast production of The Rocky Horror Picture Show and their competitive 10 Minute Play Festival.
Run solely by volunteers with a love of great theatre, Seoul Players welcomes contributions for all areas: Whether you’re interested in performing, working behind the scenes or just seeing some great english-language theatre!
Stand Up Seoul | Seoul
Stand Up Seoul is an English-language stand up comedy group that brings local and professional comedians to the stage in Seoul. Kicking off in 2009, the group’s roster of open-mic nights, monthly events, and special guests has made them the city’s best resource for budding english-speaking comics and anyone looking for a good laugh!
While most of their events are held in venues around Itaewon, the group has been known to hit the road and brings the laughs to all nooks and crannies of Korea.
As well as their monthly showcase and regular open mic nights, Stand Up Seoul ships in acts from abroad as well, with professional stand up comics like Esther Ku, Glen Wool, Tom Rhodes, Kyle Kinane, and Matt Braunge taking the mic in Korea thanks to the group. If you’re looking for a good laugh or thinking of getting behind the mic, then get in touch!
Seoul City Improv | Seoul
Seoul’s first and longest running English Language Improv Troupe! Seoul City Improv first began as a short-form improv group in 2007, but in the past nine years has expanded to perform in various different improv styles, such as long-form and musical.
Seoul City Improv provides practice and performance opportunities in both English and Korean. No experience necessary here, just come to one of their open level rehearsals armed with 5,000 won and a desire to make people laugh! Open level rehearsals are held every Sunday (EXCEPT the 1st Sunday of the month) from 7:30-10:30.
Seoul Shakespeare Company | Seoul
Seoul Shakespeare Company is a non-profit theatre company that brings Shakespeare in its original language to audiences in Seoul. Founded by Kevin Gerald Connors in January 2010, the company started with A Night of Shakespeare, its first collection of William Shakespeare’s scenes and monologues in association with Seoul Players.
The company has produced five full-length productions including The Tempest, Hamlet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Titus Andronicus. This year, they are currently working on Much Ado About Nothing production performed at the Theater Egg and Nucleus, Hyehwa.
U&i Productions | Daejeon
U&i Productions is a bilingual theater company based in Daejeon, Korea. With members hailing from far and wide, the group was founded just last year by expat Lynne Van Der Merwe, and aims mainly to produce local theater for charity.
Each summer and winter, U&i Productions performs a showcase event, featuring short plays and monologues written by their own U&i Production members. Last year they also performed Romeo and Juliette, in a modern, bilingual take on the classic play. Most recently, they showcased the famous performance piece, The Vagina Monologues.
With a mind to the community that brought them together, U&i Productions donates between 50% and 100% of their profits to local charities, such as animal shelters and women’s shelters. As well as performances, the group is also set to run acting workshops and writers workshops later this year.
Daegu Theatre Troupe | Daegu
The Daegu Theatre Troupe found its beginnings in 2008 when a small group of expat teachers based in Daegu decided they wanted to launch into the world of theater. From these humble beginnings, the group has continued to expand year after year, and now boasts a well established gang of talented writers, actors and musicians.
A staple of the Daegu community, the groups performs both well known plays as well as original pieces created by their own members. Ever expanding, they are always welcoming new members and can be contacted via their Facebook page for more information about how to get involved and upcoming shows.
The Industrial Theater Troupe | Ulsan
Founded in 2012 by Peter Musto, Danielle Malson, and Yoojung Im, The Industrial Theatre Troupe puts on exciting English language shows for audiences in Ulsan. Over the past four years, their most well-known presentation has been their 30 Plays in 60 minutes series, which features original plays. Interested in submitting your work? Contact ITT to inquire!
Recently, they veered from their annual 30 Plays in 60 Minutes series with a performance of Neil Simon’s hysterical play Rumors. Currently, they are teaming up with the Busan English Theatre Association for a production of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew.
Jennifer Howell started an English-language theater group called “Shakespeare in Busan” with the production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in 2010. Two years later, new troupe members collaborated to form the Busan English Theater Association allowing the company to expand into other artistic genres.
In 2013, Busan ETA was awarded second place in the Short Play Festival. Any expats in Busan are welcomed to join the group to perform quality western entertainment. Check out their website to find more information about auditions.
Gwangju Performance Project | Gwangju
Aimed at making the arts accessible and inclusive to everyone in Gwangju, this community theatre group has consistently put on critically acclaimed shows in English since 2011. Their most recent productions were A Midsummer Night’s Dream and, their first musical, The Last Five Years.
In addition to shows, the GPP also offers several different outlets for the performing arts lover. Monthly workshops are open to the public, with classes ranging from acting to singing to puppetry. Interested in honing your improv skills?
The GPP has an improv troupe that meets weekly and is open to all performers, no experience necessary. More of a dancer than an actor? You’re just in luck! The GPP is currently looking to form a dance troupe and is on the hunt for dancers in the Gwangju area.
Celebrating its fifth anniversary this year, the GPP’s current season is a 10 minute play festival and competition. They are currently looking for playwrights of all nationalities in South Korea to submit their original work.
We had a couple of great expat performing group Korea that aren’t quite open to everyone or were a little small to make the top 10 but are definitely worth of an honorable mention!
This non-professional female vocal ensemble strives to bring together women from many different countries. Founded in September 2004, Varioso has many international members. Varioso offers many performance opportunities (4-5 performance a year), with performances in many different venues and for many different occasions, including the Goethe Institute.
Their repertoire ranges from classic to contemporary styles. Rehearsals are every Thursday evening in Hannam-dong. Perfect for women love singing and are interested in joining an international community that promotes choral performance and cultural exchange.
Seoul Fire and Flow Facebook Group
Interested in dancing with fire? Join the Seoul Fire and Flow Facebook group! Whether you spin poi, hoop, or fancy the fire staff, this group on Facebook welcomes all who are interested in flow arts. The group invites all fire dancers, flow artists, circus performers, amateurs, and newcomers to come together to celebrate and practice fire & circus arts. They meet on the weekend once or twice a month in places around Seoul.