WHEN: Feb. 1, 3 PM, 7:30 pm; Feb. 2, 2 PM
WHERE: Merseles Studios, 339 Newark Ave., Jersey City
TICKETS: General admission $30; students/seniors $20
SELL ME: I Am From North Korea is inspired by the true stories of North Korean defectors who risk everything to escape one of Earth's most repressive regimes. Ms. Baek’s solo performance weaves together relatable young naïveté, the harsh realities of life inside a brutal regime, and the unforgiving struggle of life as an undocumented refugee in order to bring voice to a silenced people.
After reading and researching the harrowing stories of her Northern neighbors, Korean-born playwright and performer Sora Baek was inspired to give voice to this crisis. She wishes to not only share the hardships of North Korea, but the continuing obstacles, stigmas, and prejudices defectors face once they escape. Bringing this story to an American audience will add humanity and nuance to the North Korea question that passes in and out of our current news cycle. North Koreans and their stories deserve to be examined as the world grapples with its response to refugees, humanitarian crises, and the human cost of the rise and perpetuity of dictatorial regimes.
Ms. Baek began working on this story shortly after the birth of her second son. It is her wish that her children grow up in a world that is more welcoming, free, and just than the one she sees around her now. This piece is her contribution to bring about this change in both Koreas, America, and the broader world.