1.9.2013 - 30.10.2014
Istanbul, Lublin, Lviv

Ümit Özdemir – Galata Perform (Istanbul/Turkey)
Grzegorz Reske – Lublin Cultural Center (Lublin/Poland)

The project started with the brief visits of three playwrights from Poland, Ukraine and Turkey, namely Malgorzata Sikorska-Miszczuk (Poland), Pavlo Arie (Ukraine), and Özen Yula (Turkey) to each other’s cities. The playwrights invited to the project upon the partners’ decision were then asked to produce new texts about Istanbul at the end of their 15-day research visits to this city.

During their stay in Istanbul, the playwrights had the opportunity to both work on their plays and meet with young playwrights from Istanbul. On Saturday March 8, 2014 at GalataPerform Malgorzata Sikorska-Miszczuk and Pavlo Arie conducted an open house workshop on playwriting based on their own playwriting experiences. During the workshop, Polish playwright Malgorzata Sikorska-Miszczuk discussed the writing method of Israeli playwright Hanoch Levin, proceeded to analyze sample acts from the writer’s plays, and shared her own experiences of writing plays for theater. In the second part of the workshop, Ukrainian playwright Pavlo Arie shared her own theater experience with the participants based on the Ukrainian Theater. The playwrights who went to Lublin right after their Istanbul visit completed their works there.

The second residency took place in Lublin. Playwrights were then expected to concentrate on the plays they were writing. During the residency, The Centre for Culture in Lublin provided an additional opportunity for the playwrights to present their already existing texts to the Polish theater audience in the form of play-reading. After each play-reading, playwrights participated in Question and Answer sessions which gave recognition to the authors before their new plays were staged in the Konfrontacje Theater Festival. The play-readings that took place at The Centre for Culture in Lublin on March 10-11-12, 2014 were as follows: Malgorzata Sikorska-Miszczuk’s The Mayor, Özen Yula’s Keep the love away from our homes, Pavlo Arje’s Glory to the Heroes.

All texts written on Istanbul were translated into Turkish, Polish and Ukrainian. These translations met with the audience in the form of play-reading by local artists and directors at the events organized by the partner organizations. First, the play Good times are the worst by Özen Yula was presented to the audiences in Istanbul at the Pera Museum during the 3rd New Text New Theater Festival organized by Galata Perform on June 10, 2014. Additionally, Özen Yula conducted a workshop on playwriting on June 14, 2014 within the scope of the Play.City project.

The second play to meet with the audiences in Istanbul was Malgorzata Sikorska Miszczuk’s From Istanbul with Love. The play was read for the first time at Studio-X on October 18, 2014 as part of the TANDEM projects exhibition.

All plays written on Istanbul, including The Full Moon by Pavlo Arie, were performed for the Polish audiences at the International Theatre Festival “Konfrontacje teatralne” / “Theatrical Confrontations” on October 12-13-14, 2014. The readings were prepared by artists affiliated with the Soho Theatre and the Lublin readings constituted the Polish premiere.

The three new plays are planned to be performed in different theatres internationally. In addition, each play will be open for public access as an e-book.

Supporting Organizations: Konfrontacje Teatralne Lublin, East European Performing Arts Platform, Galata Perform ‘New Text New Theatre’ Festival Istanbul, Pera Museum Istanbul.

About Good times are the worst:
An apartment building and two flats on the Asian side of Istanbul... Mine had divorced from his husband a long time ago. She finds her job as an accountant boring, and she drinks constantly. Her brother, Ayhan, is a teacher at a training center, and he visits his sister from time to time. On a September night when Ayhan is visiting his sister, things get inextricably complicated as Nesrin, Mine’s upstairs neighbor who is subject to the constant violence of her husband, and her daughter Fide, come downstairs... Ayhan, who has a turbulent affair with Arzu, finds out that she is cheating on him... And, there is a dead body that needs to be disposed. The women have their cup of tea and continue with their daily chats, but nothing is like it seems. Suddenly we find ourselves in a big city, in “The Worst of the Planets”/“The Worst of Good Times”, where violence and swearwords have turned into a form of “communication”... We are in Istanbul and Arzu’s husband Sabit is trying to climb up the stairs, struggling to stay on his feet despite the kicks of Mine.

Credits for the performance in Turkey:
Written and directed by: Özen Yula
Performers: Esra Ronabar, Eylem Tanrıver, Ercüment Acar, Mustafa Diriöz, Gizem Koçer, Ömür Sevgi Çil
Video: Sevinç Yavuz



About From Istanbul with Love:
The play tells the story of four people who witness the last moments of a man murdered by the police in Istanbul. The play narrates the thoughts of a woman who has stepped out to put to sleep her baby who just doesn’t sleep, two passersby and a soldier, their thoughts on life and themselves as they circle around the death they have witnessed.

Credits for the performance in Turkey:
Written by: Malgorzata Sikorska Miszczuk
Directed by: Ayşe Lebriz Berkem
Performers: Sefa Tantoğlu, Ulaş Tuna Astepe, Hakan Kurtaş, Esme Madra, Nadir Sönmez, Yağız Can Konyalı
Translation by: Hakan Koçyiğit

About Full moon:
You cannot hide and run away from evil, you can only respond it; you either become its victim or its abettor.
Two siblings with histories filled with trauma: Yan who is suffering from the agony of being left by woman he loves and Sasha who cannot forgive his father. At a time when Yan has lost the will to live, suddenly Sasha shows up. And the two begin a journey into their dark childhood memories, sexualities, fears and the strange stories of their father. The reason for Yan’s crises, which he experiences every full moon, is hidden in his childhood. Mysterious telephones beckon Yan to face his past. “Full moon” follows the traces of a family tragedy through characters living under the shade of death.

Written by: Pavlo Arie
Translation by: Hakan Koçyiğit