Seoul Foundation for Arts and Culture opens multipurpose theater, SFAC Theater QUAD

Seoul Foundation for Arts and Culture (SFAC) Theater QUAD in Jongno District, central Seoul [SFAC]

Seoul Foundation for Arts and Culture (SFAC) opened a public multipurpose theater called SFAC Theater QUAD in Jongno District, central Seoul, on Wednesday.

Located on the basement floor of the newly refurbished SFAC Daehakro Center, QUAD is described as a black box theater that allows flexible staging to accommodate a wide range of performances.

The theater has 258 seats that can be rearranged in five different positions depending on the type of performance being held at the hall, according to Jeong Il-han, SFAC’s director of policy and communication, during the foundation's press conference on Wednesday.

The versatility of the theater also enables it to host more experimental performances that erase the boundary between the audience and the performers.

During the QUAD’s six-week opening festival, which begins Thursday, it is slated to host 12 performances in 11 different genres.

Some of the festival events include a classical concert reinterpreting Johann Sebastian Bach’s music by classical band Malto Quartet; a play titled “OiL” depicting the world's relationship with finite resources by theater group Punggyeong; and a dance performance titled “Birthday Body” by Ambiguous Dance Company, a group that was featured in British rock band Coldplay’s music video for the song “Higher Power” (2021).

QUAD expects to annually host about 50 different productions, including ones that the foundation produced and private productions. Five percent of its seats will be offered for free to underprivileged people in society.

Jeong added that QUAD will function as the city's center for performing arts distribution, dispersing its productions to public theaters in all 25 districts in Seoul.

SFAC CEO Lee Chang-ki, fourth from left, held a press conference for the opening of SFAC Theater QUAD in Jongno District, central Seoul, on Wednesday. Artists who will be performing in QUAD's opening festival were also in attendance. [SFAC]

QUAD is part of SFAC’s plan to revitalize the performing arts industry in Daehangno, which had been battered by Covid-19 and gentrification. Daehangno is a 1.6 kilometer (1 mile) long cultural street in Jongno District housing some 135 small- and medium-sized theaters.

In November, SFAC will open a new arts center for disabled artists and reopen the Seoul Theater Center, both in Daehangno. The Seoul Theater Center had been closed for a year and five months due to remodeling.

"We will open a new era of Daehangno by opening SFAC Theater QUAD, Seoul Theater Center and Seoul Art Center For Disabled,” said SFAC CEO Lee Chang-ki.

SFAC is a non-profit public organization established and funded by the Seoul Metropolitan Government.