Curtains to open for Istanbul Theater Festival


Five plays from abroad, 13 from Turkey and other activities and events will be presented at 18 locations for the 21st Istanbul Theater Festival

The Istanbul Theater Festival, organized by the Culture and Arts Foundation of Istanbul (IKSV), runs from Nov. 13 to Nov. 26 for the 21st time this year.

First organized in 1989, the event presents local and foreign theater, dance and performance groups. The Istanbul Theater Festival used to run in May every two years since 2002. The festival returns to its original format this year and offers national and international, classical and contemporary performances.

There will be 18 theater, dance and performance groups, five from abroad and 13 from Turkey, participating in 55 shows, along with free activities such as readings, chats, book promotions, movie screenings, workshops and master classes.

The International Platform, first organized in 2014 to include successful examples of local theater stages in international festivals and programs of various associations and to promote them to wider audiences continues this year. The Istanbul Film Festival will first welcome guests from Nov. 16 to Nov. 19 in collaboration from the Istanbul Theater Festival and A Corner in the World X bomontiada ALT. Various theater professionals will get to watch the festival program with the support of the ONDA Association from France and then again from Nov. 23 to Nov. 26.


► The legend of ancient Greek theater, Theodoros Terzopoulos

The latest work by the living legend of ancient Greek theater, director Theodoros Terzopoulos, "Encore," is his 30th year gift to the Attis Theater, which he founded and where he directs many plays. His plays were performed two days in a row in 1990 at the Atatürk Culture Center. In 1999, the director became known for his "Heracles Trilogy," the first international co-production of the festival, and this year festival audiences can watch "Encore," the final play of the trilogy that started with "Alarme" and continued with "Amor" on Nov. 14-15. Two leading actors from the Attis Theater, Sophia Hill and Antonis Myriagkos, will display an incredible performance with giant razors in their hands that become natural extensions as the play progresses. "Alarme" and "Amor" will be at the Moda Stage Cinema Hall before "Encore" as part of festival side activities and events.

► Dazzling dance from star choreographer La Fresque

A star choreographer of both the classical balletand contemporary dance, French Angelin Preljocaj, will dazzle with his latest work, "La Fresque."

Becoming world famous for his groundbreaking, rebellious choreography, Preljocaj's work has become an integral part of famous groups' repertoires from Milano La Scala to the New York City Ballet and the Paris Opera. This time, he bases his choreography on a Chinese fairytale. "La Fresque" tells the story of two travelers who are invited to see a mural full of women by a monk they encounter on the road. The music was composed by Nicolas Godin, part of the French electronic duo Air, and costume design was by Azzedine Alaia. The show is poetic, yet strikingly harsh, courageous, contemporary and questioning. Produced by Ballet Preljocj, "La Fresque" is at Zorlu Performing Arts Center's (PSM) Main Theater on Nov. 18. Preljocaj will receive the festival's Honorary Award after the performance.

Incomparable experience for viewers of all kinds

Italian theater group TPO invites adults and children to look at the world through the eyes of butterflies. "Farfalle" offers a grand experience to viewers with lights, colorful shots and sounds of rain forests. Directed by Davide Venturini and Francesco Gandi, the play tells the miraculous story of butterflies. Veteran theater artist Tilbe Saran participates in the performance via voiceover. A delicate, naive and elegant world will be created on stage for this performance, welcoming all viewers above the age of four. The performance invites younger audiences to discover this world physically on stage. Butterflies will surround viewers of all ages at this event. There will be 10 performances at Zorlu PSM Studio from Nov. 21 to Nov. 26.

Gift to Istanbul from Portuguese director Pedro Penim

When Portuguese director Pedro Penim moved to Istanbul two years ago, he started pursuing the feeling known as "saudade" (melancholia or nostalgia), which Istanbul made him feel just like Lisbon. He was inspired by these words that made him feel at home when he was in Istanbul and started to write about the similarities. The result was "Before," a performance that takes audiences on a journey in time with the guidance of a melancholic atlas. Starring Bernardo de Lacerda, Frederico Serpa and Director Penim, "Before" can be viewed at the Moda Stage on Nov. 22-23.

Master writer and director Wajdi Mouawad

The art director of France's Colline National Theaters, Wajdi Mouawad, presents "Alone," which he wrote, directs and stars in. It is an emotional play that focuses on Mouawad's long, personal journey. It is the story of a child who has to immigrate due to war, build a new life and rebuild himself in a different language away from his home, habits and environment - in short, everything that makes him, and the longing he has to face. Performances will be on Nov. 24-25 at the Zorlu PSM Drama Stage.

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