The 17th Sabancı International Theater Festival, which is co-organized by the Sabancı Foundation and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism State Theaters, will commence on March 27, World Theater Day. During the festival, 24 different plays and 59 performances will be performed at the Adana State Theater Hacı Ömer Sabancı Cultural Center and Sabancı University Performance Hall in Istanbul until April 30.
The festival, which will host many events apart from the plays, will feature activities for the blind as well as workshops for children focusing on mask and puppet making. Moreover, the Sakıp Sabancı Lifetime Honorary Award, established in 2006, will be given during the opening night of the festival. So far, the awards have been granted to Cüneyt Gökçer in 2005, Macide Tanır in 2006, Bozkurt Kuruç in 2007, Yıldız Kenter in 2008, Genco Erkal in 2009, Müşfik Kenter in 2010, Gülriz Sururi in 2011, Haldun Dormen in 2012, Rutkay Aziz in 2013 and Zeliha Bersoy in 2014.
This year, Summer Nite Theater from the U.S. will perform "Marat/Sade," China's Shanghai Dramatic Arts Center will perform "Dog's Face" and France's Demonds et Merveilles will perform "Lulu's White Night." Additionally, the Portuguese theater company Espetaculo da Dobrar will perform "Goda," Macedonia's Skopje Turkish Theater will perform Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream, the Greek National Theater will perform "Cake" and Ukraine's Kiev Modern Ballet Theater will perform their play "Carmen TV."
Among the Turkish plays to be staged, Istanbul State Theater's "The Labor of Life," Trabzon State Theater's "Roulette," Sivas State Theater's "Blood Wedding," Ankara Art Theater's "A Man of the People" and "Elizabeth: Almost by Chance a Woman," Semaver Theater Company's "Birds" and "Datas," Tiyatro Adam's "The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui," İkinci Kat Theater's "Fü," Çolpan İlhan-Sadri Alışık Theater's "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" and Pürtelaş Theater's "War" stand out among the others.
On the other hand, the festival will give space to young theater companies in order to present examples of alternative plays to theater lovers in Turkey's Adana province. Within the frame of the festival, five young theater companies will perform their plays at the Adana State Theater's Foyer Young Stage.In his statement to Anadolu Agency, Efe Ünsal, the Acting Director of Adana State Theater, stressed that the festival holds an important place for both the Çukurova region and Turkey. Stating that Adana will transform into a "city of art" for a month, thanks to the local and international theater companies that they will host, Ünsal said, "This year, we will jointly hold the festival with the Sabancı Foundation for the 17th time. The tickets for the festival sold out quickly once they went on sale."