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우리 거리극은 연극 제도에서 벗어나 탈 양식화를 지향하는 공연들을 포괄하는 광의의 개념으로 접근하는 것이 바람직하다. 우리에게 거리극은 낯선 장르가 아니다. 이미 전통극에서 그 원형을 찾아볼 수 있기 때문이다. 하지만 1902년 최초의 실내공연장 협률사가 등장한 이래 전통극은 무대와 객석을 구분하는 프로시니엄 형태의 극장 안으로 이동하면서 쇠퇴하기 시작했다. 우리 연극이 다시 거리의 활력을 향수하면서 극장 밖으로 나선 것은 1970년대 마당극 운동을 통해서이다. 하지만 90년대 서구 사회주의의 몰락, 문민정부의 등장 등 정치․사회 상황이 변하자 마당극은 급속도로 쇠퇴했다. 1990년대 이후 공연예술로서의 성격을 강조하는 거리극이 등장했다. ‘거리’를 극적 공간으로 수용했던 앞서의 시도들이 자연발생적이거나 사회운동 차원에서 이루어졌다면 이 시기에 이르러 ‘거리’에 대한 인식을 갖춘 예술적 움직임으로 구체화되어 거리의 미학을 탐구하기 시작했다. 단순히 물리적 환경이 조성되지 못했거나 삶의 현장이라는 정치적 의도로 ‘거리’를 수용했던 것과 달리 ‘거리’는 예술적 공간으로 이해되기 시작한 것이다. 그리고 지자체의 지원으로 양산된 지역축제를 기반으로 거리극은 급속하게 발전했다. 이 시대에 연극이 거리로 귀환한 것은 필연적이다. 지배적 미학인 포스트모더니즘의 영향으로 거리 공간을 실험성과 다양성이란 관점에서 긍정적으로 평가하기 시작했다. 환경문제에 대한 인식이 확대되고, 물질문명과 도시화에 대한 저항담론이 확산되었다. 그리고 양산되는 지역 공연예술축제의 컨텐츠가 필요해지고, ‘적은 비용으로 최대의 효과’라는 경제적 효용성까지 부각되면서 거리극은 점차 기존 공연예술의 대안으로까지 인식되기 시작했다. 우리 거리극의 특성으로 대안예술, 탈 양식화, 쌍방향 소통방식, 공공성, 놀이성, 생태성 등을 꼽을 수 있다. 거리극은 크게 고정거리극과 이동거리극으로 나눌 수 있는데, 고정된 공간에서 진행되는가, 극적 공간이 실제적으로 이동하는가에 따라 구분된다. 하지만 이러한 동적인 구분 외의 분류는 거의 불가능하다. 독립적인 창작과정과 실험적인 시도로 이루어지는 거리극은 예술가의 수만큼 다양한 양식과 내용을 포함하기 때문이다. 우리 거리극의 미래를 담보하기 위해서는 내적, 외적 변화가 이루어져야 한다. 먼저 외적으로 공공지원이 확대되어야 한다. 지원금 같은 경제적 지원뿐만 아니라 제작소 확보, 법 규정의 유연한 적용이 함께 이루어져야 한다. 하지만 적극적으로 지원하되 거리극 특유의 독립적인 제작방식을 침해하지 않는 지원체계를 모색해야 한다. 내적으로는 거리극의 예술적 완성도를 확보하기 위해 공간, 서사, 관객과의 소통방법, 생태의식의 회복을 위해 고민해야 한다. 단절의 시대에 소통의 길을 열고, 막장의 시대에 인간적 가치에 대한 의미를 부여하는 공공성에 대한 인식도 제고해야 한다.


It has been getting activated for some theatre people to present theatre on the street since 1990 in Korea, which they attempt to make the show not in the indoor place, theatre, but on the outdoor, street. Namely, it is "Street Theatre" that could be classified as one of the cultural phenomenon based on "play." Street theatre has a wide range of its spectrum from a performance to a play, the former explores street and tries to transform it into a theatrical space and the latter simply moves venues from in a theatre to on a street which is the same as the theatre in indoor space. And also it is in progress through experimental attempts and it compounds different genres of art forms in a variety of ways. Due to these reasons it is advisable to define "street theatre" as one of the theatrical art forms in a broad range of theatres which aims at forming a new type of theatrical performance. In the past Korean traditional performing art began to formulate itself naturally among people mixed with dancing, singing and other performing art genre together on the street. By the way, in the history of theatre development in Korea it occurredsuch an astonishing issue in the early 1900s. A Korean royal theatre named Hyeopyulsa was founded in 1902, and a ShinGeuk(new theatre) was performed for the first time in the first-founded national theatre called as WonGakSa in 1908. After this it was increased of the tendency to build a new type of a theatre from the West. The advent of this western styled theatre place has weakened the influence of Korean traditional art genre, traditional performing art in a way, I think. In general, it could be stated that street theatre in Korea appeared again in 1970s through MadangGeuk(a courtyard play), which this style of theatrical performance aimed at taking the liveliness of Korean traditional performing art back to the present, originally street theatre's, from the past. And then when there were other turning points in 1990's such as the decline of socialism in the western countries and the advent of new democratic government in Korea, the courtyard theatre began to lose the influence on the public. The reason why in terms of the theme and expressional way of it, it was too political so that it failed to pace with people who had changed political and economic notions in their minds. A many of attempts to escape from a theatre has occurred since 1990, and then they were performed at an outdoor space like street under postmodernism. This movement in the field of performing arts gave an opportunity to re-estimate the affirmative viewpoints concerning streets as a space in order to do some experiments and constitute another way of theatre itself. With this phenomenon, street theatre could be regarded as a means, which was originally from the west, however, it was Korean theatrical presentation way on the street. Futhermore, the recognition of ecological matters has spread widely and globally, and the discourse regarding materialism and urbanization has increased among people. The street theatre itself could be regarded as one of the alternative art forms because it was so economic that we could save the globe in the ecological respect. Then the demand for it has been much stronger, which could be produced without financial waste, but with a enormous effect on people. Features of street theatre are alternative art form, de-conventionalization, mutual communication way, publicness, recreational view, ecological awareness. This street theatre has been categorized into two sorts, unmovable street theatre and movable street theatre, according to the possibility about if the performance can move or not, along side with the street. Except for this criteria there are very few factors to classify street theatre in detail. Because every practitioner in this theatrical form has his or her own way to create his or her own piece and also with some experimental attempts, which means it is difficult to classify into certain standards. For the future of street theatre in Korea needs the expansion of support from the government. It includes the expansion of financial aid, the occupying space for creation and the flexible application to the law. There is one thing to remind about supports from the governments which its supports and aids must be on a process positively and actively, however, they must keep a distant from the practitioners' creative independence so that they are able to consider their own productions and pieces. And the artists of street theatre must trying to the maintaining aesthetic perfection. More consider which for space, narratives, active audience and ecological awareness. It would be the most valuable theme for street theatre to aim at the publicness in this ear of confusions and illusions, which the theatrical form of street theatre can suggest the public to communicate with others and to understand the real meaning of humanism.