City and State theaters should be revised
ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
‘I do respect people working in State Theaters but I know that they are earning money for nothing there,’ says the veteran actor and director Haldun Dormen.Closing the city theaters, which have a history of 100 years, is a kind of a murder, according to Haldun Dormen, one of the most significant stage actors and directors in Turkey. Privatizing the state theaters is another thing that will not solve any problems in the country’s theater scene, according to the director and actor.
Currently working as a director, Dormen was speaking to the Hürriyet Daily News about the current situation of theater in Turkey. “The city theaters have a history of 100 years and it would be very wrong to close such a cultural entity or institution.”
However, Dormen said it was a must to revise or change some of the laws and regulations. “I have been saying for many years that both the state theaters and city theaters have to be changed or revised.”
“I do respect people working in State Theaters, but I know that they are earning money for nothing there. There should be contract system, like in the National Theater in Britain.”
Noting that in a contractual system the actors have freedom to play whatever roles they want, Dormen said this was another problem in Turkey. “People cannot play the role they want. Lots of people play roles that are not suitable for them.
Closing city theaters or privatizing the state theaters is not the answer to the problems, according to Dormen. “Who will buy the theaters? The theater is an institution that cannot earn any money. It is the government’s duty to support opera, theater and ballet. A civilized Turkey should do that.”
“People say that only a few people go to plays. It is a must to support theaters even if there may be only one person going to the play,” added Dormen.
Currently, theater in Turkey is in a very good situation, according to Dormen. “The playwright issue is another successful development in the theater world … There are many writers, very good playwrights in Turkey.”
During 1960s the situation was also very positive, he said. “Although after that it entered an unproductive period.”
Writing new plays is very important for the development of the theater, according to Dormen. “In order for you to speak about Turkish theater, there should be Turkish playwrights.”
The Turkish theater scene has changed a lot, he added. “In the past there were only a few theaters, but now there are many private theaters and they are doing great job.”
Those private theaters perform Turkish texts, said Dormen, adding that this was a very hopeful situation for the Turkish theater scene.
Ekol Drama and Dormen together
Ekol Drama, a theater and stage school in Istanbul’s Taksim district, is currently working with Dormen. “This is not a new thing for me,” he said, adding that he was always working with students.
Dormen and his crew have recently staged a musical. “Those people took the stage for the first time … Normally I am very disciplined, but I am also very tolerant. I love to work with students. In fact I do not see myself as an actor. I am more a director or a teacher.”
Dormen is currently directing a musical at Ekol Drama. He loves to play ironic roles on stage and is also currently still on stage, playing in “The Misanthrope.” He is also preparing to have a role in a new movie. “I will be playing the angel of death,” he said.
Students catch role in Tv series
Ekol Drama, situated in the Tamirhane district of Taksim, aims to educate children and adults for theater stages. However, the founder of the institution, Gülsen Çaltıl, says the school also aims to give confidence to children it teaches, and provide successful adults to society. “It is the way that children or adults find themselves within time. Ekol Drama makes this possible.”
Noting that Ekol Drama also, Çaltıl said: “We are working with Haldun Dormen and Derya Alabora. We aim to do best for students.”
There will be new classes such as playwriting soon at Ekol Drama, said Çaltıl noting that the school aims to grow.
Turkish series and their power
Many people come to Ekol Drama to catch a role in TV series. “However, this is something about discipline. One has to be very disciplined to do this,” Çaltıl said. Series’ are very important and powerful in Turkey and we see some great examples, but there are warnings, she added. “What we try to teach is that being an actor or actress is not easy.
One has to be very dedicated and determined. It is a part of our institution to work with discipline.”