Theatre Painted Bird, founded in 2000, is the first professional feminist theatre company in Turkey. “Nora/Nûrê”, an adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, was the first and only Kurdish project of the group. By working with feminist dramaturgy the group found some resemblances between Ibsen’s Nora and the kilam “Saliho and Nûrê” are narrated by dengbêjs. By messing with men’s affairs Nora dishonored Torvald and Nûre dishonored Salih. In the final scene when Nora leaves her Doll House, in the kilam Nûre was killed by her husband. During the play Nûre used different masks. There wasn’t a realistic scenery. The play wasn’t Kurdicized but it unveiled in Kurdish language the same oppression experienced by the women all over the world.

“Mem” from Alan Tribe

Although the name of the play reminds of the epic titled “Memê Alan”, it is based on a dengbêj (performers recounting narratives) kilam (dengbêjs’ narratives) titled “Memê û Eyşê” (Memê and Eyşê). The play’s literary source isn’t just Kurdish. The story has narrated both Turkish and Kurdish with some differences. In the play Mem, who wants to participate as a Kurd in the war for Jerusalem by Saladin, muslim military leader, with an order from the Hakkari seigniory, encouraged by his mother. Mem’s friend Lewend, who will fight for the sake of Islam and his country, will also leave his children and join the war. Mem has Xezal (his wife), who is the bride of a week yet. Mem prefers to fight for his country and religion and Çavreş (his mother) and Xezal stay together at home. He returns home a year later. However Mem returns and comes to the door like a guest Xezal responds calmly his questions, stating that the Kurds respect their guests. Xezal asks for some signs to make sure of him, and Mem convinces his wife that he is his husband. Mem and Xezal hug and lie down the bed. Meanwhile, Çavreş comes. She suspects that why nobody is opening the door. When she enters, she sees his bride in bed with a man. She spears into his son’s chest. At the end of the play she understands her fault and laments for Mem.


Wine & Halva is a play about the unconventional friendship between Farias, a white (or white-passing) gay man from a fictional Anglophone Canadian city called ”New Stockholm,” and Derya, a Turkish woman who immigrated to that fictional city and needs to deal with many invisible cases of institutional discrimination alone. Wine&Halva is an open and playful text, with three narrators getting in and out of these two characters throughout the play to underline the fluid nature of identity in different contexts. The story focuses on how these two people from very different histories and struggles learn (and perhaps invent) ways to support and love each other. Wine&Halva challenges multiple, widely-accepted Canadian assumptions about immigration and represents the nature of institutional discrimination along with its possible impact on the human psyche, especially under conditions of extreme precarity.

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.