16th State Theaters - Sabanci International Adana Theater Festival

16th State Theaters - Sabanci International Adana Theater Festival

Adana turns into a Theatre Stage for the 16th time!

The State Theatre - Sabanci International Adana Theatre Festival organized upon cooperation of the Sabanci Foundation and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, opened its curtains for the 16th time on Monday, April 14th.

The Festival’s opening, which has been marked with spectacular performances on the Seyhan River for the last five years, kicked off with French show company Ilotopie’s fantastic show in 2014. The world-renowned company, which stages innovative performances featuring diverse elements of visual arts, came to Turkey for the first time for the Festival.

Ilotopie’s performance "Water Fools and Aquatic Parade" started with a fire show and fireworks. As part of the performance, there were two parades with themes of "Dream" and "Theme Park". Many colorful characters showed themselves on the Seyhan River. The Dream ceremony included mythological figures, knights, jesters, wizards, ghosts and clowns; whereas the Theme Park ceremony presented comical and enjoyable moments from daily life. The performance ended with fireworks and it captivated thousands of spectators on the shores of Seyhan River.

The opening ceremony of the festival was held at Adana HiltonSA Hotel with the participation of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism Undersecretary Ozgur Ozaslan; Governor of Adana, Huseyin Avni Cos; Mayor of Adana, Huseyin Sozlu; Sabanci Foundation Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Guler Sabanci; Deputy Chairman, Husnu Pacacioglu; General Manager, Zerrin Koyunsagan, and the General Art Director of State Theatres, Mustafa Kurt, along with other distinguished guests.

“We have a festival competing in the international arena”

In her speech for the 16th year of Adana Theatre Festival, Sabanci Foundation Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Guler Sabanci said that they were celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Foundation: "The seeds of our Foundation were sown 40 years ago in these lands, in Adana. Since its inception, our Foundation has always attached great importance to culture and arts. As Sabanci Foundation, we are proud of all the culture and art activities we have been supporting, including Adana Theatre Festival."

Guler Sabanci, who stated that the State Theaters Sabanci International Adana Theatre Festival had been made possible by the support of the citizens of Adana in the last 16 years, remarked: "The legacy of the late Sakip Sabanci, who passed away 10 years ago, is owned by all of us. It is a great fortune that we come together on this stage of peace, friendship and tolerance, in Adana Theatre Festival."

The State Theatres General Art Director Musfata Kurt said in his speech: "We feel the great honor of organizing the 16th of our Festival, which we had first conceptualized as a project back in 1998. This land strengthens its culture with its fertility and hosts many artists with its liveliness and special texture... We are in Cukurova, the beautiful land where productivity of man turns into labor and labor into productivity. We greet all lovers of art once again with the State Theatres Sabanci International Adana Theatre Festival." 

Local and International groups bring a breeze of culture and art in Adana

The longest running theatre festival of Turkey, which lasts for a month, hosted 16 local and 5 international theatre companies in 2014. These groups staged 21 different plays.

The festival hosted theater companies from Spain, Iran, Azerbaijan, Romania and France. The staged performances were "Muu!" by Ylana Theatre from Spain, "Two of Us" by Passe-Partout Theatre Company from Romania, "Drought and Lie" by Inruzha Theatre from Iran, and "The Adventures of Lenkeran Khan’s Vizier" by the State Drama Theatre of Azerbaijan. 

City Theatres, State Theatres and private theatres from Turkey also took part in the Adana Theatre Festival with numerous plays. The plays were staged in Adana at Haci Omer Sabanci Cultural Center and in Istanbul at Sabanci University Performing Arts Center.

The Festival hosted the Stone Bridge Events between May 10-16. The citizens of Adana fully experienced the festival spirit enjoying the music, dance, and performances that took place at Adana’s symbol, Stone Bridge.

The Festival also hosted different workshops on dance, music, art, and stage photography.

This year’s Sakip Sabanci Lifelong Achievement Award went to Prof. Zeliha Berksoy

The Sakip Sabanci Lifelong Achievement Award, which has been in place since 2005 to recognize and pay homage to the masters of the art of drama, went to Prof. Zeliha Berksoy this year. Berksoy’s award was presented by Sabanci Foundation Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Guler Sabanci.

For further information on the plays, you can refer to the festival catalogue.

More than 80 thousand spectators followed the Festival

Adana Theatre Festival has hosted more than 5000 artists and 79 international theatre companies from 40 different countries in 16 years. Including the plays staged by the Turkish private theatres and State Theatres, a total of 292 plays and 628 performances were staged. The Festival, which attracts audiences not only from Adana but from all over Turkey, attracted more than 80 thousand spectators this year.

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