Currently in its 45th year, the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (IKSV) is taking a step forward to realize a dream project: Starting in 2017, the Istanbul Theater Festival returns to an annual cycle after 15 years of being held biennially.
The festival had opened its curtains once a year from its initiation by İKSV in 1989 until 2002. Now, the festival will once again enrich Istanbul’s theater life with its wide program of events, international and local theater and dance performances every year.
The 21st Istanbul Theater Festival will be held between Nov. 13 and 26.
The director of the Istanbul Theater Festival, Leman Yılmaz, said returning to an annual festival had long been an ambition.
“We have always carried the hope to return to making the festival annually in our hearts. But it was not an easy step to turn a festival that is quite costly in production to an annual cycle in a city like Istanbul. In fact, we divided the festival’s existing program and duration into halves. This formula allowed us to do the festival every year and to keep up with the burgeoning ‘creative spirit’ in the city. While carrying the festival to an annual basis, we have slightly reduced its duration to 12 days,” Yıldız said.
The 21st Istanbul Theater Festival program will include four international performances from abroad and 10 local companies from Turkey. In addition to these performances taking place in diverse venues, panels and workshops will also be held free of charge with the participation of instructors and experts in their field.
The “Showcase,” organized within the festival for the first time in 2014, will continue in 2017 to ensure that successful local plays are included in the programs of international festivals and theaters, and reach wider audiences. International festival directors, theater professionals and theater critics will be invited to see a special program and will get the chance to meet with artists and ensembles from Turkey.
Attended by 15 international guests in 2014 and more than 70 in 2016, the “Showcase” made it possible for productions from Turkey to be performed in festivals such as Avignon Le Off, Edinburgh Fringe, Chantiers d’Europe and the most prestigious theaters of Europe.
The complete program of this year’s festival will be announced in September.