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Loneliness Takes Center Stage At Playhouse’s ‘Wild Goose Dreams’

Yunjin Kim (left) and James Kyson, of La Jolla Playhouse's

Credit: Jim Carmody

Above: Yunjin Kim (left) and James Kyson, of La Jolla Playhouse's "Wild Goose Dreams," in an undated photo.

Loneliness Takes Center Stage At Playhouse's 'Wild Goose Dreams'


Hansol Jung, playwright, "Wild Goose Dreams"

Leigh Silverman, director, "Wild Goose Dreams"


The two lead characters of La Jolla Playhouse's "Wild Goose Dreams" are searching for personal connections when they first appear onstage.

One is a North Korean defector, who has left her family behind to escape to South Korea and is desperate to speak to them again. The other is a "goose father," a term for a husband who sends his wife and children to an English-speaking country for schooling while he stays behind to work and support them.

It is that shared loneliness that draws them together online. South Korean playwright Hansol Jung says she was inspired by reports of goose fathers committing suicide and of a North Korean defector re-defecting. Moving to the U.S. for graduate school, Jung says she has experienced that type of loneliness too.

"The loneliness that I felt is a solitary thing to experience, and it’s so moving to see other people share the feelings that I thought were just mine. So many other people are saying, 'Yeah, me too.' It sort of defeats the purpose of that feeling of loneliness. I think subconsciously that’s what I set out to do when I wrote this play; it was to cure that feeling I was having," Jung said.

The play, which is having its world premiere in San Diego, runs through Oct. 1.

Jung and director Leigh Silverman join KPBS Midday Edition with more on "Wild Goose Dreams" and using music to represent the deluge of online distractions.

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