HomeBad Ass AsiansGetting To Know 'Cookin’s' Katherine Young-Eun Park
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Getting To Know ‘Cookin’s’ Katherine Young-Eun Park

by Adam Chau, AsAmNews Contributor

With a mix of comedy, food, and music, Cookin’, which first drew attention at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 1999, is one of Korea’s most well-known musicals. Centered around four chefs in a cooking competition, and sometimes compared to Stomp, it’s now drawing Asian American audiences in the Twin Cities.

AsAmNews got a chance to send some questions out to Katherine Young-Eun Park, the Show Manager from Cookin’ who’s helped bring the show to the Children’s Theatre Company.

How did you get involved with Cookin’?

I was looking for a production company where I can work just for Korean Theatres but also have a chance to work with theatres in different parts of the world. And there, Cookin’, the most well-known Korean theatre show in the world, is full of opportunities for me to work in Korea as well as worldwide.

What are a Show Manager’s responsibilities, and what’s a day like for a Show Manager getting ready for production and during the production itself?

When we’re in pre-production, my work is more about drafting presentation agreements and setting up the production plan, such as itinerary for not just company members, but also for the freight including sets and props. Since I’m a production/company manager for the international show, my work includes interpretation, such as responding to the press on behalf of the artistic director or actors or anything that needs interpretation.

My work is more of a company manager, taking care of the company members’ or presenter’s needs.

Do Show Manager’s run multiple shows at one time (do you work on other productions)?

I’m currently working on the Cookin’ pre-production in Japan, Taiwan, and Macau.

How did you decide on a career in theatre?

When I was little, I got fascinated by the sets and music of stage productions and thought I should work in the field that gives me goosebumps in a good way. 😊

What would you say to someone who wants to become a Show Manager?

Be ready to explore the world when there is a continuous pleasant surprise.

How has it been working with the Children’s Theatre Company?

I have never been to any place like the Children’s Theatre Company, where there are full of supportive people, eager to get things ready wherever, whenever we need. One of the production fellows, Anna, asked for the audio recording of each company member’s Korean name, which is tricky for non-Koreans to pronounce, so everyone can be called by their real first names. This was a very unusual and sweet experience because we’re usually called by our last names or English names, which are way simpler and easier to pronounce and remember.

What are 5 theatre shows someone should see?

Of course, the 1st one should be Cookin’ if you haven’t seen it yet. Awakening at Wynn Resort Las Vegas. Sleep No More immersive production in NYC.
Hadestown, the musical in NYC. The last one to recommend would Rebecca, the musical. The original production was German and there are various translated productions including English and Korean. Korean Production of Rebecca premiered in 2013 and has been won numerous award since then.

What are 5 of your favorite TV Shows/Movies?
Grey’s Anatomy, Law & Order, The Pianist with Adrien Brody, Gloomy Sunday a German/Hungarian co-production, and Out of Africa with Meryl Streep and Robert Redford.

COOKIN’ plays at the Children’s Theatre Company in the Twin Cities now through October 22, 2023.

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