About UCLA Korean Culture Night

UCLA Korean Culture Night’s mission is to broaden understanding about who Korean-Americans are, where we come from, and where we are going.

What started as a small talent show has grown into the largest Korean-American student-run production in the United States, lasting for over 31 years.

Korean Culture Night is annual production featuring an original theatrical play, stage design, and traditional and modern dance performances, aiming to promote and educate about Korean history, culture, and society through the performing arts.

Meet Me Where I Am
나를 만나러 와요


For the 31st Korean Culture Night production, we bring focus to the history of first-generation Korean-Americans and the various endeavors encountered when adjusting to a dual culture juxtaposition. We present a multi-dimensional story that highlights the difficulties and sacrifices of a first-generation Korean American, focusing on the goal of a better life for families and future generations ahead. This story covers generational trauma that has been carried through years of authoritarian expectations and breakthroughs that can be reached with each generation as each representing character is willing to take a step towards healing.

Family is always unique to each individual and can be difficult to navigate through every stage of life. In hopes of bringing light to this subject, we aspire to exhibit an accurate portrayal of the challenges that come with complex familial relationships as we grow older.

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You Are Not Alone
넌 혼자가 아니야


The theme for this year’s production, “You Are Not Alone / 넌 혼자가 아니야,” will be focused around the student experience within the hyper-competitive Korean society. We hope that the event may spark conversations about the difficulties younger generations face, especially regarding mental and emotional health due to external stress and internalized pressure. These factors may be more damaging and hard to recover from than we expected.


COVID-19 has brought many changes to our lives, and younger generations are especially prone to experiencing feelings of frustration and helplessness. We hope to explore these emotions and provide a sense of comfort through all of the performances we will be having on the premier night. We are all unique, gifted, and too strong to be defeated by a temporary setback.


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In 2021, due to COVID-19, we were unable to feature a KCN production in person. Thus, we decided to film and post a series of documentaries in order to spread awareness of Korean-American culture.



Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we were unable to hold KCN in 2020. The theme of this production was going to be “Dreamer.”

The Place We Used to Love
우리가 사랑했던 곳


The title for KCN’s production in 2019 was “The Place We Used to Love” (in Korean, “우리가 사랑했던 곳”). For this year’s theme, KCN focused on the idea of unconditional love between all people: friends, family, and even strangers. The setting of the story was an army base located at the border between North and South Korea, and through the characters’ intertwining of their lives, an unexpected example of unconditional love was portrayed. The reason for this theme was due to the climate and long history between the people of North and South Korea, as well as hopes and progress made toward unification during this time. Unconditional love may be far-fetched and idealistic, but peace and harmony is something worth fighting for.

Between the Lines


This year’s KCN seeks to bring awareness about issues such as mental health, bullying, and sexual assault that are buried and covered up more often that not in Korea’s high pressure society. these issues not only masked by those in power but by average citizens that try to make Korean society look perfect on the outside rather than focusing on and addressing these underlying issues. The lack of attention to such issues may contribute to South Korea’s high rates of alcoholism and suicide even as a first-world country.

However, even with all the research done, KCN is no case a perfect representation of these dense issues that are ingrained in Korean society, especially because there are many affected individuals that aren’t lucky enough to experience happy endings. Rather, KCN seeks to send a message of hope and to encourage an open mind about these topics so that people may change their attitudes towards these issues and treat them as a reality that should be addressed more willingly throughout generations to come.

Sewol: A Passing of Time


In 2017, we invited the audience into the lives of four unique students who are all brought together by a historic and tragic incident. This devastating event is the sinking of the Sewol Ferry, a disaster that was so widely covered by the media, that united all of Korea into a grim and solemn time of waiting and hoping, and ultimately a day that took over 300 lives.


Too often, as we sympathize with the families who suffered from losses, we, as outsiders, are not able to fully picture the incident in its scale and relatability. Through KCN 2017 we delved deeper into the lives that were affected and brought to life a tragedy that shocked and angered our country. We followed the lives of four ordinary students who had hopes, dreams, and ambitions who lives were changed by truly an extraordinary event.


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When You Kill a Butterfly


In 2016, we explored the definition of being Korean through the struggles of our people. The term “comfort women” is a euphemism that refers to women and girls who were forced into sexual slavery by the Imperial Japanese Army before and during WWII. Our goal is to honor the women of our country and many other Asian nations who were so wrongly treated, and through drama and performance, bring to light the horrific stories of the few women who survived and endured through these horrors.


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Miracle from Yesterday


In 2015, we focused on a groovy time when discos were the hopes of Fridays, and the clamor of student protest filled the streets. We want to pay homage to our parents’ youth and the sacrifices they made for their children’s future. Join us as we travel to the 80s to celebrate the miracles of yesterday.


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This year’s production titled “Arirang” while striking a familiar folk tradition in title will share a somewhat unfamiliar facet of this living culture through its focus on the North Korean people. Inspired by true stories of North Korean refugees, “Arirang” will follow the journey of a teenage boy named Taewoo to discover the common threads of humanity that transcend a regime’s tight control. Even in Taewoo’s world of poverty and injustice, the warm elements of familial love, friendship, and happiness exist. Throught its struggles and joys, KCN 2014 hopes to look beyond politics to remind the community that humanity exists in North Korea.

A Tale of Two Lilies


This year’s musical production is title “The Tale of Two Lilies” and will be the first of its kind, juxtaposing two different time periods as settings to intricately display the enduring theme of sacrificial love. Will a commoner in the early 1900s allow his past hostilities with the Japanese dictate his future to save a little girl of the same nationality? Will a father in the present time be able to repair the broken relationship with daughter after losing a recognized job due to the IMF crisis? Through these two stories, KCN 2013 will illustrate two themes that exist beyond a single setting or narrative: to love unconditionally and give without holding anything back.