Istanbul Theater Festival to question norms in arts

Istanbul Theater Festival to question norms in arts

Istanbul Theater Festival to question norms in arts

The 23rd edition of the Istanbul Theater Festival, organized by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (IKSV), will take place between Nov. 13 and Dec. 1.

The festival will present a total of 78 performances by 28 theater and dance companies, 12 from abroad and 16 from Turkey. 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 with the participation of international guests and experts.

This year, the festival’s slogan is “life upside down.” The festival will seek to answer questions such as “where is the stage?” and “who is the actor?” with its program consisting of performances with unusual staging technique and structure in which the generally accepted patterns of performing arts are questioned.

The festival’s Honorary Awards will be presented to the playwright, theater actor and stage director Ferhan Şensoy, stage designer Metin Deniz and director Emmanuel Demarcy-Mota.

The festival also salutes one of the greatest names of our theater, Erkal, who is celebrating his 60th year in art, and Dostlar Theater celebrating its 50th anniversary. A recipient of numerous awards, Erkal will be on stage with three different plays.

Following its commencement last year, Istanbul Theater Festival continues its collaboration with The Golden Mask Performing Arts Festival this year with four productions from Russia.

“Being Faust - Enter Mephisto” is a game that utilizes various virtual and physical game styles that can be played by registering with a smartphone. Adapted by Benjamin von Blomberg from legendary author Goethe’s master work “Faust,” “Being Faust-Enter Mephisto” fictionalizes the human mind’s potential to be enticed by desires within a game app designed by the Goethe Institute Korea and Nolgong.

“Profil Perdu,” which will have its world premiere at the Istanbul Theater Festival, is a show that brings together the disciplines of film, theater and dance. Directed by Marco Martins, the show will put two bodies on stage as a repository of memories in which many consciousness and unconscious reflections are intertwined.

Directed by Anestis Azas and Prodromos Tsinikoris, who work on the field of documentary theater, “Clean City” deals with women’s migration issue in Greece and the troubles migrant women cleaners face. The play presents the realistically staged stories of women cleaners in Athens from their real owners.

Also featured in the festival will be “Ionesco Suite,” a bold adaptation of Eugene Ionesco’s works through the creative mind of Emmanuel Demarcy-Mota who will be receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award of this year’s festival, and “Taking Stock,” directed by Delphine Ciavaldini documents how social events affect societies and make a record in history through the eyes of a historian and an artist.

The collaboration between the Istanbul Theater Festival, Belgium-based Platform 0090 and the Flemish Culture Ministry continues with three plays. In her one-woman show “Voicing Pieces,” Belgium-based rising Turkish artist Begüm Erciyas will be personally inviting the audience members one by one in to the performance area where they will have a unique experience as they stand in the intimacy of a sound booth guided by a recording and become the spectator of their own voice.

Ultima Vez, one of the leading dance companies of the world, will be the guest of the festival with their deeply affecting show “TrapTown.” The remarkable Belgian dancer and choreographer Lisbeth Gruwez will give an enthralling performance in “It’s Going to Get Worse and Worse and Worse, My Friend” which will challenge our notion of speech.

“IO,” “Somewhere in the Middle of the World,” “Shacks and Palaces,” “Much,” “The Sidewalk Sparrow,” “How Do You Like That!,” “For Rent,” “Incendies,” “Tehran’s Dream” and “a thing” are some of the local productions of the festival.

Ticket sales for the festival will begin on Sept. 14