The Language of a Korean-American Family

SCR Staff
 | Oct 31, 2019
Jinn Kim and Sab Shimono
Jinn S. Kim and Sab Shimono as ​father and son in Aubergine.

Julia Cho’s Aubergine, which is currently playing on the Segerstrom Stage (through Nov. 16), centers around themes of family, food, love, loss and life. In Cho’s poetic tale of a dysfunctional father and son relationship, Ray is a Korean-American chef​—a career his father never really understood. Now that his father is in hospice, Ray returns home and learns to cook a dish that connects the two men in ways that words cannot.

Playwright Cho admits that she speaks very little Korean, but she knew that having a Korean relative show up in the play would demand that the character speak his lines in Korean. Although Cho wrote those lines in English, she then found a translator who is fluent in both Korean and English, which allowed the play to reach a level that Cho wouldn’t have been able to get to on her own. As a poignant and powerful drama with elegantly written language, Aubergine is, indeed, a story to savor.

Korean family names are unique and work quite differently than family names in English. Read the following articles to learn more about Korean family names and titles:

Also, here’s an interesting article on 10 Korean words that have no English equivalent.

Learn more about Aubergine and buy tickets.