Seyyar Sahne – Stage on the Go

Seyyar Sahne was founded in March 2001 with the cooperation of two actors and two actresses who had been involved in amateur theatre during their university years at Bogaziçi University and who searched for ways to prolong their theatrical studies on a rather semi-professional platform. Having broadened with the participation of new members, Seyyar Sahne began working on acting in the spring and summer of 2001. At the end of this period of training, the group decided to stage Les Précieuses Ridicules (The Affected Young Ladies), a classical comedy by Molière. The project, the cast of which widened with the participation of certain actors from another semi-professional group (The Theatre of Graduates of ITU), was performed in a variety of stages in and around Istanbul for a total of almost twenty times.

In the summer of 2002, the group launched a new project focusing on tragedies, which would help reinforce new ways of research and theatrical expression. This period of textual study (particularly on Aeschylus’ play Agamemnon) has evolved into the group’s writing their own original script. Having been produced after a long period of practice and rehearsal, the original script, Tales of Sirat, was staged and performed in different theatre halls in Istanbul and Ankara.

During the theatre season 2003-2004, the members of Seyyar Sahne turned their efforts into the creation of another original theatre text. In the end of a period during which the process of writing the script went hand in hand with practical experiments on stage, a new production was born: a one-act play with the name The Most Beautiful Story of The World.

The general course of theatrical progress for Seyyar Sahne for the season 2004-2005 was shaped by the common training program and cooperation that the group had with The Theatre of Graduates of ITU during the summer of 2004. The summer training program aimed at reinforcing the creativity, technical expertise and acting skills of each and every actor in the group. The cooperation eventually led both groups to stage a co-production: Shakespeare’s Macbeth. The play was performed for around twelve times in Istanbul and Ankara.

2006 was a year when Seyyar Sahne, having now established stronger artistic ties with the group The Theatre of Graduates of ITU, decided to focus on certain workshops which would be carried out cooperatively. A product of this period has been the stage adaptation of the central part of the book I, Pierre Rivière, Having Slaughtered My Mother, My Sister and My Brother, which was edited by Michel Foucault and his friends from the juridical reports concerning a real life familial murder witnessed in the 19th century. The result has been a play with the title I, Pierre Rivière…, a one act piece with a single actor, which is still being performed.

In the summer of 2006, Seyyar Sahne and The Theatre of Graduates of ITU held a summer camp in Kemeraltı district near Iznik with the purpose of working in an environment which activates theatrical creativity and of finding ways to lead a communal life at least for a certain period. In this summer camp that lasted for two weeks with the participation of the majority of members from both groups, the participants worked on vocal and bodily expression in acting, on dramatic action and on various approaches towards audience, all the three questions being based on and triggered by Grotowski’s principles.

After years of cooperation and common training, the two groups decided to unite under the name Seyyar Sahne (Stage on The Go) in the beginning of the theatre season 2006-2007.

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İTÜ Mezunlar Tiyatrosu (The Theatre of Graduates of ITU)

“The Theatre of Graduates of ITU Initiative” was founded in July 2000 by the six founder member who worked in the theater club of the İstanbul Technical University, “ITU Sahnesi” during their university education and wanted to continue the activity of theater after they are graduated. The first play of the troup was “The Doctor Despite Himself” of Moliére. The play was first shown in December 2000, in İstanbul. The play was also participated in The Festival of French Plays (Debrecen-HUNGARY) and the theater festival of The Technical University of Compéigne (FRANCE). At the same year the troup has shown the performance called “At the Beginning of an Endless Story”, based on the traditional dance of Alevi community in Turkey. The troup has collaborated with the ITU Folcloric Research Club, in this performance. The group has changed its name to “The The Theatre of Graduates of ITU ” in 2002. That year two plays were displayed by the group: “The Open Couple” of Dario Fo & France Rame and “Affected Young Ladies” of Moliére .(collaboration with Seyyar Sahne) The next two years the group has shown two Shakespeare plays: A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2003) and one of the greatest tragedies, Macbeth. (2004, collaboration with Seyyar Sahne) In 2005/2006 theater season, the group has reached over 3000 spectators with the play “The Miser” of Moliére. (collaboration with the Theater Club of ITU/ITU Sahnesi and Seyyar Sahne). The group continues the research studies about exceeding the actors’ limits. After influencing from the works of the theater masters Grotowski and Barba, the group focused on exceeding the limits of the instruments of the actor: The body and the voice.

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In 2007, Seyyar Sahne adapted a text from the Old Testament, namely ‘The Sermon’, which was followed by two plays staged in 2009: ‘Letters’, a performance based on the letters left by their owners to the second-hand book sellers; and ‘Dangerous Games’, an adaptation of a novel written by Oğuz Atay.

Some of the plays produced by Seyyar Sahne in 2010 are as the following: Gılgamış – Epic of Gilgamesh; Anneannem – My Grandmother (Based on a story by Fethiye Çetin); Çocukluğun Soğuk Geceleri – Cold Nights of Childhood (Based on a novel by Tezer Özlü)

These solo performances represent Seyyar Sahne’s recent approach to theatre as an art of dialogue. Seyyar Sahne has tried to transform rehearsal and performance processes into an ongoing dialogue which starts between the actor and the director and continues between the actor and the audience.

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Chronology:

Çocukluğun Soğuk Geceleri / Cold Nights of the Childhood (Seyyar Sahne-2010)

Anneannem / My Grandmother (Seyyar Sahne-2010)

Konuşmadan Geçen Bir Tren Yolculuğu / A Train Journey Without a Word (Seyyar Sahne-2010)

Korku ve Titreme / Fear and Trembling (Seyyar Sahne 2010)

Gılgamış / Gilgamesh (Seyyar Sahne-2010)

Tehlikeli Oyunlar / Dangerous Games (Seyyar Sahne-2009)

Mektuplar / Letters (Seyyar Sahne-2009)

Vaiz / The Sermon (Seyyar Sahne-2007)

Ben, Pierre Rivière… / I, Pierre Riviere… (Seyyar Sahne-2006)

Cimri / The Miser (İTÜ MT-Seyyar Sahne-İTÜ Sahnesi-2005)

Macbeth (İTÜ MT-Seyyar Sahne-2005)

Yazmadan Dökülenler / Weepings from the Headscarf (Tiyatro Amargi-Seyyar Sahne-2004)

Dünyanın En Güzel Hikayesi / The Most Beautiful Story of the World (Seyyar Sahne-2004)

Bahar Noktası /A Midsummer Night’s Dream (İTÜ MT-2003)

Sırat Öyküleri /Tales of Sırat (Seyyar Sahne-2003)

Gülünç Kibarlar /The Affected Young Ladies (İTÜ MT-Seyyar Sahne-2001)

Açık Aile / The Open Couple (İTÜ MT-2001)

Merhaba /Hello (Semah Gösterisi) (İTÜ MT & HBSK-2001)

Zoraki Hekim / The Doctor Despite Himself (İTÜ MT-2000)