Istanbul's Municipal Theater will visit Frankfurt, Germany to support the Theater Frankfurt in its efforts to promote Turkish theater abroad
Istanbul (Daily Sabah) - Istanbul Municipal Theater will travel to Germany for the first Frankfurt Turkish Theater Festival as an honorary guest in May.
The Municipal Theater participated in many tours and festivals, but this one has a special place in the heart of the Theater, said Hilmi Zafer Şahin, the general art director of Istanbul Municipal Theater, at the press conference held at Harbiye Muhsin Ertuğrul Stage.
Şahin said the institution will use the trip as an opportunity to promote Turkish theater, starting with the municipal theaters while in Frankfurt. "As a corporate identity that has survived for more than a century, the Istanbul Municipal Theater aims to reach wherever Turks and the Turkish language exists," said Şahin. "We don't want to be confined in Istanbul. We wanted to support Theater Frankfurt, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary by performing five plays at this special event."
Salih Efiloğlu, the manager of the Municipal Theater, stressed that Istanbul's involvement in the event was inevitable since the city was selected the European Capital of Culture in 2010. He also emphasized Turkish performances should promoted abroad, especially in the Balkans.
A lack of appreciation and popularity were cited as impediments to the growth and development of Turkish theater by Kamil Kellecioğlu, the general art director of Theater Frankfurt. According to Kellecioğlu, the initiative aims to help European youth to better understand Turkish culture. Kellecioğlu noted that 500,000 Turks live in Frankfurt and its vicinities. "We are trying to inform them about the beauties of Turkey," said Kellecioğlu. "We have a wonderful language, culture, invaluable actors and playwrights.
We do not want Turks who were born in Germany to grow up deprived of the fortunes Turkey has to offer. "We have been living together for 50 years.
We always see each other on the train, on the ferry or at the market. We are neighbors, colleagues and much more. But we also want Germans to become aware of our art. We want them to have the chance to see us through our theater," said Kellecioğlu.
Kellecioğlu expects the festival to draw around 5,000 visitors and each of the five plays in the program will be performed seven times. The festival will be organized with the support of the Turkish Consulate in Frankfurt with a budget of 100,000 to 150,000 euros.
Actor Erhan Yazıcıoğlu also expressed his enthusiasm about the project. "It is a very special event for us and we are very enthusiastic about it and will join the festival with pleasure," said Yazıcıoğlu, who will also hold a workshop during the festival. Veteran Turkish actress Perihan Savaş also said that performing for Germans will be a fruitful experience.
Theater Frankfurt was founded a decade ago with the support of the Turkish Consulate in Frankfurt. The theater performed various Turkish plays, along with European stage productions. The main aim of the institution is to promote Turkish theater and popularize Turkey in Europe.
The plays also attract Germans and are performed using German over-scripts to allow both Germans and Turks to enjoy the performance together. There will be German over-scripts available for all festival performances.
The festival will be held May 21 to May 26. The five plays to be performed are "Yüzleşme" (Confrontation), "Yolcu" (Traveler), "Ben Sinema Artisti Olmak İstiyorum"(I want to be an Actor), "Üç Kardeş ve Muhteşem Kurt" (Three Siblings and the Magnificent Wolf) and "Kedi İle Palyaço" (Cat and the Clown).