Istanbul Theater Festival to raise curtain in November
The 22nd edition of the Istanbul Theater Festival, organized by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV), will take place between Nov. 17 and Dec. 4.
The festival will present a total of 52 performances by 24 theater and dance ensembles – 12 from abroad and 12 from Turkey – in 21 different venues. The festival program also features a number of events including panels, film screenings, master classes and workshops with the participation of international guests and experts.
The program of the festival was announced at a press conference on Sept. 5. Hosted by Ceylan Saner, the night also saw the presentation of the festival’s Honorary Awards.
The event featured talks by İKSV chair Bülent Eczacıbaşı, Aygaz General Manager Gökhan Tezel, Opet General Manager Cüneyt Ağca, Tüpraş General Manager İbrahim Yelmenoğlu from Koç Holding Energy Group Companies and Istanbul Theater Festival’s director Leman Yılmaz.
“The Istanbul Theater Festival is now a yearly event like our other three festivals,” Eczacıbaşı said. “This year, like last year, students will also be able to purchase Istanbul Theatre Festival tickets for only 10 Turkish Liras.”
Yılmaz underlined the special projects in the 22nd edition of the festival in her speech about the performances featured in the program.
“Various events will take place in 21 different venues in the course of 18 days. Twelve local and 12 international productions are featured in the program. We are further developing the collaborative relations that we have established with culture and arts institutions abroad. This year, we also started collaborating with the Flemish Culture Ministry. The ‘International Platform’ that we established in 2014 will continue hosting foreign professionals this year as well. It has become a program that festival directors, program consultants, and theatres closely follow. Local productions showcased at the festival are getting included in festivals or theatre venues abroad,” Yılmaz said.
During the press conference and awards ceremony, gratitude plaques were also presented to the contributing organizations and institutions.
The festival’s first Honorary Award was presented to the screenwriter, director, stage designer and academician Zeliha Berksoy and the Russian film and stage actor and artistic director of the Theater of Nations in Moscow Evgeny Mironov.
The 22nd Istanbul Theater Festival performances and side events will bring theater lovers together in 21 different venues on the European and Anatolian sides of Istanbul.
Festival plays will be staged at the Zorlu Performing Arts Center, Moda Sahnesi, Salon İKSV, DasDas, Oyun Atölyesi, Yunus Emre Culture Center, Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University’s Bomonti campus, UNIQ Hall, Üsküdar Tekel Sahnesi, and the venues that will host the festival for the first time this year: Duru Theater, Toy Istanbul, Adahan Istanbul, and Abud Efendi Konağı.
The festival’s free-of-charge side events will take place at Yapı Kredi Culture Center, Goethe Institut and Zorlu PSM.
The event will be hosting 12 theater and dance companies from around the world. It will be presenting “Hamlet | Collage,” staged by the Canadian director Robert Lepage and featuring the famed Russian actor Evgeny Mironov playing 11 characters from Hamlet, as well as the dance marathon that consists of four distinct choreographies by Nederlands Dans Theater I, one of the world’s leading companies in contemporary dance.
The audiences also got the chance to enjoy “Encore,” the concluding play in the trilogy by Theodoros Terzopoulos, the greatest living master of Greek theater.
This year, theater lovers will get the chance to see “Amor and Alarme,” the first two pieces in the trilogy. Additionally, “Il Teatro Comico” by Carlo Goldoni, one of the first names that spring to mind when it comes to the tradition of commedia dell arte, will hit the stage interpreted by Roberto Latini, who is known to bring classics to the stage with a contemporary view.
“PIXEL,” choreographed by one of the iconic figures in the ‘90s hip-hop scene, Mourad Merzouki, will be pushing the boundaries of light and dance.
“Pss Pss” by Compagnia Baccala, the product of a fruitful collaboration between Camilla Pessi and Simone Fassari, is a highly entertaining, smartly constructed, and quiet unusual show that blends theater with circus acts and the genre of clown.
In collaboration with Platform 0090, an interdisciplinary and international workspace based in Belgium, the Istanbul Theater Festival will present a selection of five productions that feature subjects, themes, and contexts related with Turkey and with the involvement of artists from Turkey.
Presented under the title of “Choice from Flanders” and supported by the Flemish Culture Ministry, the selection includes “Fourfold” by Meryem Bayram, Icelandic choreographer and dancer Bára Sigfúsdóttir and Iranian artists Masoumeh Jalalieh and Seyed Alireza Mirmohammadi’s collaborative work “Being;” “White on White” by Marc Vanrunxt, “Nocturnal Symposium” by Mesut Arslan and “YU” by Gizem Aksu.
The festival will also feature 12 local productions. “Talk About the Passion,” “45’s” “King Lear,” “Mr.” K “Crocodile” and “Guest” are among these productions.
The festival program also features more than 10 free-of-charge events including reader’s theater, panels, film screenings, master classes and workshops with the participation of international guests and experts.