Istanbul Theater Festival on stage, screen in November

Istanbul Theater Festival on stage, screen in November

Istanbul Theater Festival on stage, screen in November

The 24th edition of the Istanbul Theater Festival will be held between Nov. 14 and Dec. 1 both on stage and online with a hybrid program.

The festival will present both physical and online performances by 29 local and international theater and dance companies. The stage performances will take place under COVID-19 measures in various venues in Istanbul such as DasDas, Fişekhane, Moda Stage, Zorlu PSM, Harbiye Muhsin Ertuğrul Stage, Babylon, Yapı Kredi bomontiada, Caddebostan Kültür Merkezi and Surp Vortvos Vorodman Church.

The performances will be available for streaming on for audiences to enjoy on their screens.

From sound performances to interactive productions, the festival program presents an unusual experience this year. With many unique projects, theater enthusiasts will find themselves in a promenade theater by walking through venues in Istanbul’s famous İstiklal Street or turn their homes into a gallery.

Because of the extraordinary conditions of the pandemic and its adverse effects on the local theater scene in Turkey, the festival has decided to welcome as many local productions as possible in its physical and digital program. The majority of the online performances in the program are produced exclusively for the online platform of the festival. In the program, audiences will also see productions questioning the concept of “digital theater.”

This year, festival’s Honorary Awards will be presented to dancer and choreographer Geyvan McMillen, director Işıl Kasapoğlu and director Ivo van Hove. The festival program also features a number of events within the scope of its Learning and Training Program including panels, reader’s theaters, master classes and workshops. Details of the program will be announced on the festival’s website by late October.

Five online performances by local and international productions from the festival’s program will be available for streaming for audiences both in Turkey and around the world. “Swan Lake” by Club Guy & Roni, “Dopo La Battaglia” by Pippo Delbono Company, “Lear in the Kitchen” by Kadro Pa, “Less Than No Time” by Taldans, and “A Case Per Day” by BGST Tiyatro are the performances included in the list available for streaming with English subtitles.

There are several performances that focus on women in the festival program this year like that of “Dear Milena,” which imagines and fictionalizes the “missing parts” of the love correspondence between Franz Kafka and Milena Jesenská.

Another marvelous performance is seen in “The Revolutionist” that highlights four executed women of the French Revolution on stage.

“Hou Vast! Laat Los!” is an adaptation from Deniz Kaptan’s book “Kadın Hikâyeleri” (The Book of Women) that well expresses and justifies its title.

In “The Land of Dead Women” is one of the unique performances that will meet the eye of the audience in which one will hear the voices of women murdered by men from the afterlife.

“I Am Anatolia” is staged in memory of the legendary Turkish actress Yıldız Kenter by her students, and “A Case Per Day” picturizes seven women that tell seven COVID-19 stories.

These choices of plays have made their place in this year’s festival that will meet the audience soon.

Nederlands Dans Theater (NDT) 2, a regular guest of the festival, will welcome the festival audience at a pre-festival event with a live world premiere this year. “Dare to Say” presents two programs by Alexander Ekman and Dimo Milev. The choreographers challenged the dancers of NDT 2 and created different approaches to movement in response to the restrictions imposed by COVID-19. These two programs will be broadcast live from The Hague on Nov. 6 for audiences to enjoy from the comfort of their living rooms.

The festival will host four international productions as part of its program. “Diagonale Ascendante” by the French company Retouramont will be performed live in Istanbul at Yapı Kredi bomontiada on Nov. 14 and 15, while the other three productions will meet the audience on digital platforms.

This year the festival is bringing stage actor Metin Akpınar’s extraordinary career spanning over 60 years to screen through the renowned film, “İyi ki Yapmışım,” which is a unique production that shines light on the artist’s career and entire life.

In the documentary many artists, authors and scholars, such as Demet Akbağ, Umur Bugay, Ferhan Şensoy, Ahmet Gülhan, Dikmen Gürün, Kandemir Konduk, Perran Kutman, Nevra Serezli, Selma Sonat, Zeynep Oral and friends who have witnessed his life, will be seen sharing their memories about Akpınar.

Tickets will be put up for sale on Oct. 23.