14th State Theaters - Sabanci International Adana Theater Festival

14th State Theaters - Sabanci International Adana Theater Festival

Sabanci International Theater Festival Opens Curtains With A Dazzling Show

Upon cooperation of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, General Directorate of State Theaters and the Sabanci Foundation, the 14th State Theaters - Sabanci International Adana Theater Festival kicked off on March 27, World Theater Day, with an amazing performance by Italian ensemble Studio Festi staged on the Seyhan River and Stone Bridge.

Viewed by thousands of citizens with great interest, the show titled  “World of Magical Dreams” featured breathtaking dance performances and shows built around the theme of ‘dreams’ and staged on a 300-m. steel cord on the Seyhan River.

The opening ceremony of the festival was held at the Adana HiltonSA hotel with the attendance of Ertugrul Gunay, Minister of Culture and Tourism; Idris Naim Sahin, Minister of Interior; Huseyin Avni Cos, Governor of Adana; Guler Sabanci, Chairman of the Sabanci Foundation Board of Trustees; Husnu Pacacioglu, Vice Chair of the Sabanci Foundation; Zerrin Koyunsagan, General Manager of the Sabanci Foundation; and Lemi Bilgin, General Manager of the State Theaters, in addition to many distinguished guests. The master of ceremony was actor Zafer Algoz, and the World Theater Day Declaration was read by Kenan Isik.

Chairman of the Sabanci Foundation Board of Trustees Guler Sabanci noted in her speech that the World Theater Day marked the day to open ‘the curtains of understanding, friendship, unity, and solidarity, adding, ”When we launched this festival 14 years ago our goal was to transform Adana into a center of arts and culture. The people of Adana have uplifted the festival to this point through their unwavering attention and support. We almost experience a ‘theater mobilization’ event in our city every year.”

Adana Sets Example for Istanbul Through the Theater Festival

Extending her gratitude to the people of Adana who have shown great interest and bought out the festival tickets within a span of solely 3 hours, Guler Sabanci remarked, “Our festival, which has arranged for the opening and closing performances to reach out to more people, has turned out to be a true fiesta that is open to everyone. It has been so successful that it has set an example for other festivals. Following the festival that poured out to the streets in Adana, Istanbul has also carried its theater festival outdoors, which has been a major source of happiness for us. Setting a model for other festivals signals appreciation of what we do. We will keep on commissioning new projects that will set an example, and continue to improve our festival every year”.

In his speech, Lemi Bilgin, General Manager of State Theaters thanked the Sabanci Family and the Sabanci Foundation for their unfailing contribution to the festival since 1998. Bilgin said, “The 14th State Theaters- Sabanci International Adana Theater Festival will once again host the manifestation of tolerance, friendship, peace and differences on the same stage. Brimming with the excitement, joy, and enthusiasm of the first year, we are going to bring the work of the most exquisite local and foreign theater ensembles to our audiences. We would like to take this opportunity to thank the people of Adana who share our delight”.

Expressing happiness about the encounter between theater and people of Adana yet another time, Minister of Culture and Tourism, Ertugrul Gunay said, “With an improved content and an ever-growing audience each year, the 14th State Theaters Sabanci International Adana Theater Festival backs the brand equity of Adana. On behalf of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism I am very proud of the international accomplishment of the festivals that assume responsibility and are held yearly in various provinces of Turkey. I would like to extend my greetings to the State Theaters and the Sabanci Foundation for putting to life such a momentous festival, and take the opportunity to thank everyone who have played a role in its organization.”

Sakip Sabanci Lifetime Achievement Award Goes to Haldun Dormen

“Sakip Sabanci Lifetime Achievement Award” is offered every year to pay homage to masters who have played a profound role in the development of the art of drama. This year’s award went to the accomplished Turkish actor Haldun Dormen.

Adana Theater Festival Opening in numbers

A huge team of 350 people and 15 rigs of equipment were commissioned for the opening of the Theater Festival on March 27.950 cubic meters of helium was used up for the giant balloons in the Studio Festi shows, whereas 12 kilometers of cable was laid around the festival space. The 450-square meter projector setup allowed viewers to follow the opening performances.

A chock full festival program

The Festival will lure art lovers to the magical world of theater by way of 22 plays by 17 Turkish and 5 international theater ensembles to last for a whole month. During the Festival, Sadri Alisik Theater’s “The Epic of Ali of Kesan”, Dostlar Theater’s “I, Bertolt Brecht”, Duru Theater’s “After the End”, Aysa Production Theater’s  “The Wedding ”, Shaman Dance Ensemble’s  “Istanbul”, Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality City Theater’s “the Eastern Dentist”, Ankara State Theater’s  “Apple Thieves”, “A Cold Berlin Night”, and “Glass Menagerie”, Istanbul State Theater’s “Urine Town” and “Red” plays will meet audiences. Chaliwate Theater from Belgium will stage the play “Josephina” whereas the Spanish Kulunka Theater and Chinese Children’s Opera will perform“Andre and Dorine” and “Little Red Flowers” respectively. Haci Omer Sabanci Cultural Center in Adana will host the plays.

A Young Perspective at the Festival

State Theaters – Sabanci International Adana Theater Festival is opening its doors to young ensembles for the first time this year. Bursa State Theater’s “A One-Man Life”, Altidan Sonra Theater’s “444”, 0.2 Theater Ensemble’s “Lemonade”, Ankara State Theater’s “Contrabass” and “May I Have a Fly-Sized Husband to Watch Over Me”, “Ve Diger Seyler” Theater Ensemble’s “A Century’s Love” plays will meet theater lovers. The young artists will perform their plays on the “Foyer Stage” of Adana State Theater, which hosts alternative works.

As the second leg of the event has been taking place in Istanbul since 2005, 6 plays will be performed at the Sabanci University Performing Arts Center to share the joy of theater with art lovers of Istanbul.

The host for street shows: Stone Bridge

The two thousand-year-old Stone Bridge, which has come to symbolize the city, shall host the street shows to take place during the Festival. Between April 7–15, 2012, the Stone Bridge will serve as the venue for Hacivat-Karagoz shadow puppetry, pantomime, dance, music, folk dances, marionette, and fire shows. Live statues and calligraphy exhibitions will further perk up the Stone Bridge.

The closing of the 14th State Theaters - Sabanci International Adana Theater Festival will feature a street show on April 29, 2012. The Dutch Close Act Ensemble, which performed an outstanding show named “Malaya” last year, will perform their street show “Pi Leau” this time, following an itinerary that goes all the way from Ataturk Park to the Train Station.

The only international theater festival to last for a full month, Adana Theater Festival turns Adana into a meeting venue for the world through theater. In the last 13 years of the Festival, foreign ensembles from all continents of the world, private ensembles from Turkey, city theaters, and State Theaters have delighted more than 250.000 art lovers through 221 plays.

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