Song – who started his career as a television and theatre actor – is most widely known for creating the musical show Nanta (also known as Cookin’ or Cookin’ Nanta).
The non-verbal performance, which mixes comedy, music, cooking and traditional Korean samul nori rhythm, debuted in Seoul in 1997 and has gone on to become the country’s longest-running show, attracting more than 10 million theatregoers since its premiere. Nanta made its international debut at the 1999 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, where it received an award for best performance, before becoming the first Asian musical to be performed on Broadway in New York in 2004.
“It is a great honour to join PyeongChang as Executive Creative Director for the 2018 Olympic Games’ ceremonies,” said Song. “I will devote my best efforts to orchestrate exciting and memorable ceremonies.”
POCOG President Yang-Ho Cho added: “I am very pleased to have Song Seung-whan on board with us. His experience and creative talent will prove to be valuable assets in producing ceremonies that will harmoniously connect our passion, tradition and cosmopolitan culture to the international audience.”
Following Song’s appointment, POCOG now plans to bring together experienced creative teams filled with outstanding Korean cultural talents, alongside highly-qualified international experts, to deliver the Opening and Closing Ceremonies for the 2018 Olympic Winter Games.
The PyeongChang Opening Ceremony will take place on 9 February 2018, while the Closing Ceremony will be held on 25 February, with both events being staged at the PyeongChang Olympic Stadium.