In addition to bringing its audience prominent international productions from world stages and highly anticipated premieres of local theatre companies, the Istanbul Theatre Festival also works towards promoting Turkish theatre and modern dance internationally with the International Platform.
The International Platform programme has been organised since 2014 with the intention of establishing international connections and opportunities to perform abroad for local theatre, dance and performance companies. Through the International Platform, prominent festival and theatre directors, art consultants, and performing arts professionals are invited to watch a selection of the works in the festival programme or, from time to time, a selection of works staged in season. With these meetings, the Istanbul Theatre Festival supports the recognition of Turkish companies abroad by introducing participating guests to local theatre companies and artists.
Here are some of the theatre communities and artists who went on tour to festivals abroad with the connections they established through the International Platform:
- I Love You Turkey’s (Seni Seviyorum Türkiye) premiere at the festival in 2016 was immediately followed by being included in the programmes of Iran’s famous theatre festival Farj Festival, and one of Germany’s major festivals Heilderberg Stückemarkt.
- Studio Actors took part in the Le Passage Festival held in Metz, France with Play (Oyun).
- Waiting for Godot staged by Studio Actors in 2016, was staged at Toneelhuis in Brussels.
- Staged by Gülce Uğurlu in 2016, Evvel Zaman was screened at the Fast Forward Young Directors Festival program held in Dresden, Germany.
- The play titled Unwanted (İstenmeyen), staged by Ceren Ercan and Gülce Uğurlu, which had premiered at the festival in 2014, took the stage at the Chantier D’europe Festival organized by Theater de la Villle Paris.
The International Platform, which was held in 2019 between November 28 and December 1, has facilitated new meetings. Among the guests of the International Platform, held within the scope of the 23rd Istanbul Theatre Festival, were important names such as; the artistic director of Teatro São Luiz Teatro Municipal, Portugal, Aida Tavares, Schaubühne Berlin dramaturg Bettina Ehrlich, international programme director of Thalia Theater Nora Hertlein, artistic director of MA Scène Nationale, one of 74 national scenes throughout France located in Montbeliard, Yannick Marzin, and, the programmer of the showcase section of CPH Stage, one of Denmark’s major festivals, Karen Toftegaard.
This year, the participants watched several performances from the festival’s programme; Incendies (Yangınlar), For Rent (Sahibinden Kiralık), I’ve Stood Like That, Waiting, On The Bridge Of No-Passers (Öyle Durdum Bekliyordum Geçmeyenler Köprüsünde), Forest of Fled Sons (Kaçmış Evlatlar Ormanı), As Much (Kadar), İo, “A Thing” & Kitty Kitty (“Bir Şey” & Kedi Kedi), and the reading theatre Kalanlar. Participants also joined the panel “Contemporary Theatre in Turkey”, one of the activities organized by the festival under the Learning and Development Programme.
2020 tour news from local communities that were guests of the festival
Produced by Mustafa Kaplan and Filiz Sızanlı, who performed at the 21st festival in 2017, Victory Over the Sun (Güneşin Zaptı) will be the guest of the Theater de la Villle Paris in February. The performance staged by the contemporary dance duo Taldans, infiltrates the Russian futurist opera by highlighting the auditory material derived from the text’s images and words, and re-examines them with a choreographic software. Victory Over the Sun will meet theatre lovers in Paris between 27 February and 3 March. Click here for detailed information.
The play For Rent (Sahibinden Kiralık), initially staged in 2018 as a reading theatre at the festival by Biriken, caught the attention of Festwochen Festival’s director Chirstophe Slagmuylder. This year the play was staged at the festival as a co-project of Istanbul Theatre Festival and Festwochen Festival. In June, For Rent will be the guest of Festwochen Festival in Vienna with four performances.