Sabancı Theater Festival opens again fabulously
The Lifetime Achievement Award of the festival was presented to the artist Zeliha Berksoy (L) by Güler Sabancı at the ceremony.The Sabancı International Adana Theater Festival, jointly organized by the Sabancı Foundation and Culture and Tourism Ministry State Theaters, kicked off at a ceremony on April 14 in the southern province. The festival will present 21 plays, 16 from Turkish theater troops and five from foreign troops until May 16.
At the opening ceremony organized at Hilton, Sabancı Holding Executive Board President Güler Sabancı reminded the audience of the 10th anniversary of the passing of businessman Sakıp Sabancı and said they were working to realize his will.
She said the Sabancı International Adana Theater Festival was one of his desires, and continued: “He loved this country so much and believed you deserved the best of anything and this festival turned 16 this year. Some 45 plays will be on stage for a month and we are happy that you, the locals of Adana, bought tickets on the first day they were on sale. Tonight, for the first time in Turkey, we are opening the festival on the streets of the city.”
State Theaters Arts Director Mustafa Kurt said he had the honor of starting Turkey’s first theater festival 16 years ago with late Sakıp Sabancı in Çukurova. “As technology comes into prominence, need for theater gains importance to protect humane and cultural values. The fact that this world famous event was organized in Adana is very important for the city’s culture and promotion of tourism,” he said.
Lifetime Achievement Award
At the opening ceremony of the festival, actress Zeliha Berksoy was presented the Lifetime Achievement Award by Sabancı. Since 2005, the festival has presented the Sakıp Sabancı Lifetime Achievement Award to those who have made contributions to the development of the art of theater.
Following the ceremony, French group Ilotopie performed “Aquatic Parade” on the Seyhan River.
Parades and marches with themes of dreams and amusement park; colorful characters like mythological figures, knights, jesters, wizards, ghosts and clowns offered the audience a fabulous night.
This year, the festival will have theater groups from Spain, Iran, Azerbaijan and Romania as well. Yllana Theater from Spain will perform “Muu,” Passe-Partout Theater from Romania will perform “Two of Us,” Inruzha Theater from Iran will perform “Drought and Lie” and the State Drama Theater of Azerbaijan will perform “The Adventures of Lankaran Khan’s Vizier.”
City theaters, state theaters and private theaters from Turkey will also perform in the festival. The plays will be performed at Hacı Ömer Sabancı Cultural Center in Adana and at Sabancı University Center of Performing Arts in Istanbul.
The festival will host the Stone Bridge Events between May 10 and 16. Workshops on different subjects, from dance to music and from art to stage photography, will also be organized during the festival.