New theater festival primed to jazz up Bozcaada

Web Desk

Are you ready to welcome the grape harvesting season with enthusiasm and theater before Dionysus as is the tradition in the region? Bozcaada Theater Festival, which was realized for the first time this year, impresses with its four-day program

Following the sixth edition of its annual jazz festival on Aug. 26-28, Bozcaada (Tenedos), a beautiful island in the northeastern part of the Aegean Sea, is set to host a new theater festival for the first time this year. The Bozcaada Theater Festival will meet enthusiasts at Ayazma Monastery on the island on Sept. 1-4.

The festival, whichis organized with the partnership of Lemur Company & K Bozcaada, includes the most popular plays of the season as well as plays that have been followed with interest by audiences for a long time in its line-up. It is also primed to offer its participants an unforgettable festival experience with children’s plays, concerts, theater and Bozcaada experience workshops.

A photo from Physical Theater Studies'
A photo from Physical Theater Studies’ “Under the Castle” play.

12 plays in 4 days

The Bozcaada Theater Festival will present 12 plays in four days to its audience. The first play on the festival’s program is “Every Brilliant Thing,” to be performed by Talimhane Theater. Written by Duncan Macmillan and Jonny Donahoe, the play starts with a list written as a gift by a child to his mother. The chronically depressed mother could not find a reason to live. After learning that she was hospitalized, her son creates a list of things worth living for in an attempt to raise his mother’s spirits. The list turns into something completely different over time and changes the son’s perception of life.

The second production to meet spectators is “Istırap Korosu” (“Chorus of Agony”), which had its premiere at the 25th Istanbul Theater Festival. Written by Murat Mahmutyazıcoğlu, the play tells an apartment story. The audience hears voices from a peaceful family apartment, in other words, the sound of ordinary folk. The silent thoughts and uncontainable yells of neighbors leading immensely distant lives in homes extremely close together; doors slamming, windows shaking, hearts breaking, children stomping and running around are all in this two-actor yet polyphonic play. The actors, who shoulder the performances of women and men, young, old, married, single, child and even dog, in brief, all of the characters, manage all the sounds and effects that radiate throughout the play, as well. The performer company of the play, BAM Istanbul, draws its power from the script and the performances of the actors, and while focusing on one corner of the city, it tells the story of the entire homeland.

A photo from Every Brilliant Thing,
A photo from Every Brilliant Thing,” to be performed by Talimhane Theater.

“Lungs,” written by Macmillan, will meet spectators with the performance of Tiyatro.IN. The play looks into the life of an everyday couple in a fairly stable relationship. Out of the blue, the man pops the question about having a baby and what follows is an emotional rollercoaster ride. “Lungs” is an intimate, intricate and funny play about what it means to be a couple confronted by a world of uncertainty. They grapple with making responsible choices in the face of rising social inequity, environmental disaster and political unrest.

Physical Theater Studies, which was founded as an experiment blending different styles such as clown, physical storytelling, mask acting, bouffon and grotesque acting, will present their awarded plays “Under the Castle” and “Kalabalık Duası” (“Crowd Prayer”). In “Under the Castle,” the text, which is based on William Shakespeare’s “Macbeth,” was adapted onto the stage after a rewriting. Bouffons, which is one of the most unique styles in French stage actor Jacques Lecoq’s pedagogy, create the foundation of the play. When the creatures of the underworld, whose sole purpose on stage is to make fun of everything and not to believe anything, meet with one of Shakespeare’s strongest tragedies, the result is a comedy that is absurd, tragic and full of blood. The play invites the audience on a journey that is provocative, dark, disturbing and quite funny. It’s the journey to the darkness within us.

After “Under the Castle,” Physical Theater Studies share with the audience the results of brand new research with “Crowd Prayer.” This time, the audience pursues the physical and interdisciplinary possibilities of the narrative while the play brings an original text to the stage. The story, which centers on the contemporary and traditional, the rational and the mystical, the madness and wisdom in the background of Istanbul, searches for the narrator, playful energy, enthusiasm and theatrical truth.

A photo from
A photo from “Istırap Korosu” (“Chorus of Agony”).

“Kreutzer Sonat” is the name of a sonata by Ludwig Van Beethoven for violin and piano. The play, adapted from Lev Tolstoy’s novel of the same name and published in 1889 under the influence of “Kreutzer Sonata,” is among the standouts of the Bozcaada Theater Festival. The play tells the story of a couple’s unhappy relationship that develops on the axis of love and jealousy. The play was performed by Versus Theater for the first time in Turkey on the 250th birthday of Beethoven.

“Sanki Hiç Unutmayacakmış Gibi” (“As If You Will Never Forget”) is a production of Kadıköy Emek Theater. The play tells the life of Nihan, a village girl who goes to the mountains with a goat, which is her only friend, and looks at the trees and olives. Nihan’s life starts changing when a stranger called Zerda comes to their village. Kadıköy Boa Sahne’s play “Istifra Çıkrıkçılar Yokuşu” (“Vomiting Çıkrıkçılar Slope”), on the other hand, focuses on the story of a young man who is an exchange office worker and tries to cope with the endless demands that require time, effort, money and patience.

Theater Gülgeç’s “Öfkenin Yakın Geçmişi” (“The Recent History of Anger”), which touches upon individual and social problems arising from the suppression of anger, a natural part of the human psychic stages of grief, as a way of coping with modernism, is another play to meet the audience in Bozcaada in a one-man performance “Bir Alzheimer’ın Anıları” (“Memories of an Alzheimer’s patient”), in which actor Mustafa Kırantepe tells the story of a land that offers a completely different life rather than the life he painted in his own memory and in his own mind, will have its premiere on the island.

A photo from
A photo from “Kalabalık Duası” (“Crowd Prayer”).

Children’s plays

Little theater lovers were not forgotten within the scope of the festival. “The Only Bird Not Afraid From The Cold,” is a puppet play that shared messages about growing and maturing while depicting the beauty of the changing and transforming of the seasons and human nature. Performed by Theater Gülgeç, the play will appeal to everyone from all walks of life. Riki lives the coldest and longest winter of his life. That year winter didn’t finish, spring, summer, event autumn did not come. In the end, exhausted Rikki wakes up one morning and decides to find the winter and talk to him and persuade him to leave. Like the rest of the village or even the rest of the human race, he goes by saying goodbye to his sleeping parents all day and leaves the village. Thinking that winter can be found in the coldest place in the world, Riki reaches the coldest place in the world. But before the winter he meets one bird. This bird is the only bird not afraid of the cold.

Another children’s play with puppets is “Pırt”, a joint production by Lemur Company and Theater Gülgeç, will also tell how Zart and Zort, who live in the bowels of Inci, struggle to exist in their own worlds, while helping Inci’s development.

During the Bozcaada Theater Festival, the participants will also have the opportunity to learn about different fields of theater through workshops to be given by theater professionals. The details of Bozcaada experience workshops, concerts and after-party events will be announced in the upcoming days. The tickets for the festival are now on sale at

Courtesy: Dailysabah