A Play For Every Year

Opening their doors to young writers, the Turkish State Theaters this season are staging the world premieres of 60 new Turkish plays on the 60th anniversary of their founding.

The Istanbul State Theater, which one by one has been losing its long-standing venues (like the Taksim Theater and Ataturk Culture Center) in recent years, is promising a very productive winter. The plays selected by the theater, which is opening the season at eight venues, are an important indicator of theater in Turkey since the founding of the Republic. Among the leading works to be staged are ‘Two Times Two’ by Behiç Ak, Güngör Dilmen’s ‘Kuzguncuk Türküsü’ and Meltem Yıldırım’s ‘Fesleğen Çıkmazı’.

With established venues in 12 provinces and traveling troupes in five centers, the Turkish State Theaters nevertheless face fierce competition in the form of the City Theaters. The City Theaters of the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, for example, are opening the season with 14 new plays. Harking back to the good old days with the reopening of the Muhsin Ertuğrul Stage, the City Theaters will be staging plays about Istanbul starting from the new year. Some prominent examples include Güner Sümer’s ‘Bozuk Düzen’, Ephraim Kishon’s ‘The Lark’, Jean-Paul Sartre’s ‘No Exit’, Tuncer Cücenoğlu’s ‘Cıkmaz Sokak’ and Ragıp Yavuz’s ‘Mecbur Adam’.

There is good news as well on the private theater front. The Altıdan Sonra Tiyatro Topluluğu (After Six Theater Group) is opening a new venue 1st November at Kumbaracı Yokuşu No. 50 in the district known as Tünel at the lower end of Taksim’s İstiklal Caddesi. Among the theater’s backers are prominent figures from Özen Yula and Levent Üzümcü to Berkun Oya and Bennu Yıldırımlar.
The repertoires as usual are eminently diverse. The Semavar Company is opening with ‘The Lourcine Street Affair’, directed by French regisseur Daniel Soulier. Another new play for this theater is Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus. The Kenter Theater’s new offering meanwhile is ‘Queen Lear’ featuring Yıldız Kenter in both the lead role and as director.
Based on his own life story, Memet Ali Alabora’s ‘Muhabir’ (Reporter) continues at Garajistanbul in a performance aimed at refreshing memories and taking a look at recent history. The Duru Theater is staging the ever popular ‘When Harry Met Sally’, while Tiyatrokare is putting on ‘Leyla’nın Evi’ and Tiyatro Kedi ‘Steel Magnolias’.
‘Terms of Endearment’ at Aysa Productions’, ‘7 Şekspir’ at Oyun Atölyesi, ‘Uncle Vanya’ at Tiyatro Pera and ‘Üç Kuruşluk Mahalle Dersleri’ at Tiyatro Maan are just a few more of the offerings that will put paid to any dreams of a quiet evening at home.