▲ Sergeant Jung sees the horrendousness of war and the painful cries of people in a vision.
Walter Lionel George, a famous writer known for his fictions that include themes on feminism and pacifism, once said, “War does not teach us to love our enemies. Instead, it only teaches us to hate our allies.” Like he said, war contains only hatred and horror. In this kind of war, would there ever be a person who would lay down his life and teach about love with his actions?
On one hand, the musical, Choice, shows the tragedy of war, but on the other hand, it makes the audience realize the love of God and the value of life. It clearly depicts the heart of the Holy Son who was agonized as he watched people die from the war. And it deeply captures our hearts through the depiction of Sergeant Jung who loved lives during the war with his love for the Heavens.
We met the three stars, Park Jin-hyung, Kwon Jun-woo, and Park Eun-jin, who acted this musical for the first time. Park Jin-hyung played the role of Sergeant Jung who made ‘the choice’ to embrace an enemy who was pointing a gun at him. Kwon Jun-woo played the role of the Viet Cong who pointed his gun at Sergeant Jung but who ended up embracing him with love instead, and Park Eun-jin played the role of Sergeant Jung’s younger sister. We met them and listened to their stories.
▲ Sergeant Jung’s mother and younger sister send him off when he left home for the Vietnam War.
Q. How did you feel about performing in ‘Choice’?
Park Jin-hyung: While preparing for this performance, I felt that the Lord was coaching me in areas I was lacking in one by one and was staying by my side because He loved me. Also, I was able to understand Pastor Jung Myeong Seok’s shimjeong* deeply from the scene where his love for the Holy Son grew deeper and where he realized the value of life. Through this performance, I made another story with the Lord, and it became an opportunity to grow myself more. I truly thank everyone who worked with me, and I truly thank my beloved Lord who was with me from the beginning to the end.
(Translator’s note: Shimjeong means deep heart or how one feels deeply in his heart in Korean.)
Kwon Jun-woo: I didn’t have any experience or skills in acting, and on top of that, I had stage-phobia, so I was originally gonna give up on the performance. But because the Lord cast me, I was really happy to have the chance to stand on the stage to glorify God. The cast, the staff, the band, and the vocal team…everybody here had their own work they had to do outside of this musical, but they put all of it aside, stayed up all night, and practiced with me until dawn. I want to thank them. It was difficult during practice, but I think because of the process, the performance could shine, and that’s why the gratification I felt doubled. This musical is not simply just a memory to me but it is an art piece that has taught me an important life lesson e and about the Holy Son’s love for mankind. I want to live confessing my thanks to the Holy Trinity for my entire lifetime for choosing to use me for the musical even though I was lacking.
Park Eun-jin: First of all, it was an honor to perform in this play before the Heavens. I was so thankful. For a few months, during the practice, there were many times that I had a hard time. But now that the show is over, I feel empty a little bit. Even now, when I think back, my heart is moved. I am so thankful because I experienced something that no one could experience in their teens.
▲ Even within the constant life-threatening war zones in Vietnam, while standing guard and looking at his fellow soldiers who were chasing after momentary pleasure, Sergeant Jung seeks God and reads the Bible.
Q. What did you focus on the most while preparing for the performance?
Park Jin-hyung: I devoted all of myself to portray Pastor Jung Myeong Seok accurately, the man who saw his enemy as a life and embraced him with love even within an intense war zone where he could have lost his life at any moment. In the beginning, since I could not act well and was shy, I tried not to take on the role of Sergeant Jung, but I received this big inspiration: “What are you worrying about? The Holy Trinity is with you.” So I tried out for Sergeant Jung’s role. I wanted to make the audience feel the Holy Son’s love and wanted to make the stage a place of testimony where the Holy Trinity could rejoice as they watched our performance.
Kwon Jun-woo: As I mentioned, because my skill was very lacking, I thought that I absolutely could not perform well on my own. So I determined myself saying, “Since I’m an amateur, I will do it because I love the Holy Trinity.” After determining myself, I focused only on practicing, asking the Holy Spirit to help me so that every movement I displayed and every breath I took would uphold the Holy Son and move the audience’s hearts.
Park Eun-jin: I thought about how I should play the role of Sergeant Jung’s sister. Since it’s based on the true story, I wanted to bring her character back to life. Some people might say that playing a character based on a real person would be easier than playing a character that was made up, but for me, I felt more pressured to enact a character that was real. However, as I practiced more and as the other actors played their roles with the shimjeong of that time as if they were the actual characters themselves, I started to figure out how to act. On the day of the musical, I was able to act with my best, balancing the sister’s sassiness, bubbliness, and prematurity. Also, the more l prepared, the more I came to pray for this musical to not just end merely as something entertaining but as an artwork that would make the audience feel and realize deeply. My role was one that appeared on the stage shortly, but I tried my best to become a part of the musical and to aid in the depiction of Pastor Jung’s life.
▲ Sergeant Jung finds a Viet Cong pointing his gun at him. He hears the Holy Son’s voice, “Love,” and embraces the Viet Cong. He sees the cross on the Viet Cong’s necklace and realizes that he is a believer.
Q. What would you say would be the biggest change that you had through this performance?
Park Jin-hyung: My heart towards the Holy Trinity has greatly changed. This is the heart that came to me: I want to always live, serving the Holy Trinity in every moment of my life. Also, I deeply realized through this performance that if I pray, the Trinity surely will grant my prayer. When I prayed that I wanted to sing before many people, They allowed me to sing in front of many people. When I wanted to be in a play, They let me perform in a play. As much as I have received from Them, I want to do what the Trinity want. So that is why I started to make stories with the Lord while seeking Him in my daily life.
Kwon Jun-woo: I used to be a selfish person. I would only ask the Lord for selfish things. However, through this performance, I saw how everyone tried to be in harmony, be considerate and yield to each other, so I reflected on myself deeply. It was a precious time for me to realize what it meant to truly give glory to the Lord. I didn’t use to know how to love life, but ever since I have realized how the Lord has loved life, I have begun to notice lives who are having a hard time. I want to help them, so I endeavor and study thinking, “How can I help those lives?” with the Lord’s shimjeong. I thought it was impossible to change my heart, but since the Lord chose me, I was able to change this much. I truly thank the Lord who has changed me like this.
Park Eun-jin: When I heard that Pastor Jung embraced the enemy by obeying the Word of the Holy Son when he and the enemy were pointing guns at each other, I simply took it as knowledge or something that once happened. So at first, when I heard that they were going to make a musical based on Pastor Jung’s time in the Vietnam War, I just thought, “They are probably going to just show that scene.” But when I experienced Pastor Jung’s story on the stage from beginning to end, such as the heart of his mom who was sending him off when he was leaving for the Vietnam War, the love of the Holy Son, and the breath-taking situation where he embraced his enemy, I realized that the choice that Pastor Jung made was not a simple choice. Peace does not come coincidentally. I realized that peace was possible because there was a person who laid his life down and paid with his pains. I thank the Holy Trinity for letting me know the value of life and letting me enjoy the peace of the present.
[Video of the Muscial] http://god21.net/Community/DownloadsFaith/Main/View/44753?page=