Play staged at İzmir prison for children
A play prepared by the Directorate General of State Theaters has been staged for a group of children staying in a prison with their mothers in the western province of İzmir as part of a project conducted between the Justice Ministry and Culture Ministry.
“These children are being brought up inside these four walls without any fault of their own. We want to show them that someday they, too, can fly kites and overcome these walls,” said Gürol Tonbul, the director of the play “Chickpea Boy.”
“Children own the fairytales and the plays. We put our focus on children who are in prisons, who never went to a theater and who we forgot in every nook and cranny,” he added.
The play “Fairytales of Us” tells the story of the “Chickpea Boy,” compiled by Tonbul and narrated by actress Sıla Topçu. The 35-minute-long play is inspired by Ottoman miniatures with minimal decors, said Tonbul.
“We all need imagination. Thus, we prepared this play to infuse the imagination of a magical world to the children,” said Tonbul.
Nineteen children attended to see the play. Some of them, dealing with uneasiness due to the unusual nature of the theater environment, attended the play with prison wardens and their kindergarten teachers. But despite all, the children watched with laughter, cheers and songs.
“Fairytales are quite important. They shape our conscience and always have happy endings. Here, the children are preparing for their lives; they should see that life isn’t that bad,” said Topçu.
Topçu, suggesting that fairytales change a person’s point of view, also stressed that children watched the play in an attentive manner.
After the play finished, the management team of the prison voiced their keenness on staging new plays for the children and presented gratitude plaques to the theater crew.
A similar event was organized in April for children in an Istanbul prison, jailed with their mothers, to mark April 23, National Sovereignty and Children’s Day.