Entries by Arjun Dhawan

The Rat

This play is about the clash of the rat and 4 cats. Cats harm and domineer the rat and people. The rat as a leader resists attacks with people and eventually win. They resist cats by coming together in weddings, harvests etc… and reach a consensus how they fight to cats. Masks were used for cats and the rat ; but these animals were not played by imitating. They are like human. The rat represents of a Kurdish society who are under the control of the authority, are oppressed. Four cats (Turkey, Syria, Iran, Iraq) are authority. The literary source of the play is about the rat and the cat but in this play it is changed by four cats.


“Sayê Moru” is the first play that performed entirely in Zaza language. The play was staged as narrated. It wasn’t rewritten. A non-Aristotelian staging was preferred via metaphoric and symbolic items that based on the Dersim (an area of eastern Turkey) version of the well-known “Shahmaran” fairy tale. The narrative is based on the theme of death-immortality. “Lokman Hekim” (Luqman the Wise) is looking for a solution to death. Before he died he legated 3 papers to his son Camisan. Camisan met Shahmaran in underground. At the end of the play, Camisan became “Luqman the Wise” like her father. Unlike other versions, Şahmaran is a bearded snake in “Sayê Moru”.

The Hunter

The play is about two smugglers (Şûrzal and Zanyar) in a village of Mardin. They are caught in a storm on the way back and lose their mules. A conflict occurs with the gendarmerie. The smugglers who take refuge in a village spend the night in the house of the village headman, Reşid. The soldiers come the village to find them. They don’t want the soldiers to persecute the peasant because of them. As the conflict broke out, Şûrzal flees; Zanyar is killed. Zanyar confronts Şûrzal in a dream, and it turns out that Şûrzal killed his sister and the woman’s (loved by Şûrzal) brother for affair of honour. In this play the scenery is a backdrop. It is a picture of a smuggler pulling a mule carrying a load. Pictures of Ehmedê Xanî, Melayê Cizirî, are also given prominent place on the set. The musicians and the dengbêj sit on the right side of the stage. It is the first time that dengbêj narrates a kilam that summarizes the preceding scene. Playwright wrote new kilams for the play.

Six-Fingers Hand

“Destê Şeş Tilî” came in first at the “4th Ebdurrehîm Rehmî Hekarî Play Writing Contest”. The playwright is a convicted prisoner. The play focuses on the war losses. There are 4 main characters in the play. A mother who did not accept the death of her son, who died six years ago in the war. A wounded man, who was supposed to have died during the conflict, was buried by his friends and after 3 days he came out under the ground. A sister who will be watering her brother’s grave and lamenting him for seven years. And a man is a betrayer who doesn’t go after his sins and fears he committed in the war. The main characters are in a timeless and space-free situation. Reality and dream are together in this play. The stage was covered with sand and It was interesting to see a man came out under sand at stage.

Disco No.5

Disco No.5 has been performed by Mirza Metin from Destar Theatre about the torture of Kurdish political prisoners in Diyarbakır Military Prison after military coup in Turkey (1980). The performance has been based on memories, books, documentaries and interviews about that period. In that one-act play the actor performed a spider, a rat, a dog, a prisoner and a jailkeeper by getting reality and fiction together. The characters/actions of the play have referred to reality of that period by fictioning. The group described their play as “confrontation plays”. Always welcomed with great admiration the play won “the best solo performance of the year”, “the actor of the year”, “the best performance of the year” awards.

Under the Castle

Mei and Po, two ugly, monster-like laundry women living in the basement of Macbeth’s castle, are the only ones who remember what Macbeth’s tragic story was. In an uncertain time after their Lord’s death and after all the awful things they witnessed, these two on stage with all their deformed, abject bodies start to tell and restructure this well-known story. They are both storytellers while they are enacting several characters from the story: narration and acting intertwine together and accompanied by a feminist dramaturgy and grotesque aesthetics. While the tragedy turns into a political burlesque consisting of the discourse of otherness, all the implications belonging to this idea range from gender, sex, ugliness to body, flesh, blood, and death takes place on stage. The set is composed of the laundry sheets that are used as proscenium arch and curtain, where they have been cleaning up all the bloody stains under the Macbeth’s castle, or in other words, all-pervading shambles in the history of ‘man’kind.


Io is a contemporary text written in the form of a Greek tragedy by Şahika Tekand using the story and information from Greek mythology. The story is inspired by a mythological figure named Io who appears in a short scene in Prometheus Bound by Aeschylus. In Prometheus Bound, Io meets Prometheus during her exile and hears his prophecy about Zeus’ end. In Tekand’s tragedy, a long time after this meeting and all that happened, Io finally returns to her homeland, Argos. When she encounters the people of Argos, it turns out that her story was mistold, no one does neither listen nor believe her. They prefer to accept the story that they heard and keep things according to that, instead of finding out about the truth. Then, Hermes, Kratos, and Bia appear as the representatives of Zeus to force her to stay silent; but Io keeps telling the truth. While people cannot understand who is right and what is the truth, Prometheus appears and explains the human’s blind side: people always tend to forget in order to keep conformity. As they forgot about the fire he’d stolen from the Titans and gave them before, now they prefer not to the truth about Io. In the end, Io’s unstoppable rebellious voice is interrupted by the absolute darkness of oblivion.

Lick But Don’t Swallow! (Little Fantasy)

Lick But Don’t Swallow! (Little Fantasy) is a play written by Özen Yula that is one of the texts of his Objection Plays series. It is a story about a dream of an angel/porn star who tries to save humanity. By divine rule, angels are sent to the Earth once in every hundred years in a human body and they must convince at least one person to follow the moral goodness in their 24 hours. This is the only condition to stay as an angel for one more hundred years; and if she/he fails she/he will get stuck in the world as a mortal human being.

The play takes place on the set of a porn movie in Turkey where an angel finds herself in the body of a porn star named Leyla. She tries to raise awareness of set workers for the world matters while the filming of the porn movie scenes continues. According to the biriken, the duo staging the play, Lick But Don’t Swallow! (Little Fantasy) is on one side brings out present-day harsh realities through the porn star Leyla, “on the other hand, it chooses a platform where it cancels out everything it tells about, denies the reality surrounding us, and where the only reality is hedonism.”


Flag, a crime drama written by Berkun Oya, is the tragic story of the decline of a family because of homicide. The family consists of elderly mother and father, their two sons and daughters-in-law; and the names of the characters are not mentioned. The play opens with the homecoming of one of their sons with some terrible news that ruins everything. He murdered his wife and wants to bury her in the garden of their family house. The mother wants to help him, yet the father is more strict with his son. They wait for the older brother who will bring the body, but a police officer visits the house before him. After this epilog, the first episode starts with a flashback of three days ago and focuses on the things that happened until the murder is committed. At the end of this first episode, it is figured out that the wife who is supposed to be dead is actually alive. The second episode opens with a dialog in between her and the older brother who is abandoned by his wife and then gives himself to drink. While they are talking about the younger brother, the talk turns into a bloodletting discussion that results in murdering her. This last episode answers the question of whether this time the woman is dead or not.

Who Is It There? – Muhsin Bey’s Last Hamlet

Who Is It There? – Muhsin Bey’s Last Hamlet has a fictional story based on historical facts. The play’s text is written by the four members of the company some of who are also performers in it. In late 19th century during the last years of Ottoman Empire emerging modern Turkish speaking theater was performed mostly by non-Muslim population especially by Armenians. First Muslim woman performing on stage didn’t happen until 1919. When Modern Turkey was established in 1923 Muhsin Ertugrul became one of the leading figures to institutionalize western theater in Turkey. While Ertugrul mostly trained with old Armenian masters when he started his profession, they were mostly gone when he was running State Theater of Turkey.
In the play we see Ertuğrul in his late age getting prepared to direct Hamlet for a last time. Hamlet was also Ertugrul’s directorial debut in 1912. At that time he worked with Vahra Papazyan who Ertugrul calls his first theater teacher. Throughout the play ghosts of Papazyan and an imaginary actress Latife/Arusyak as the representative of the Muslim actress of the time, accompany Ertuğrul in his prep for the play by bringing memories from his unspoken personal history when he was building a national theater in Turkey with references to both Hamlet and Ertugrul’s career. By doing this, the audience starts to question the history of Turkish-Armenian theater people who we do not know well and whose tradition kept going in Turkish theater until today.