Private theater company Avesta premieres ‘Beker/Beceriksizler’ in Kurdish

Independent theater company Avesta’s play “Beker/Beceriksizler” (The Incompetents), written by Cuma Boynukara and directed and translated from Turkish to Kurdish by Aydin Orak, will have its world premiere this week at the Diyarbakir Municipal Theater.

Avesta, founded 10 years ago by Orak, stages Kurdish renditions of world classics and also features the work of current playwrights.

The name Avesta comes from the name of the sacred text of Zoroastrianism, a dualist religion that originated in Iran and which was the official religion of the Persian Empire from 550 B.C. to A.D. 651.

Avesta stages every play entirely in Kurdish, aiming to support work that meets their political and theatrical goals.

“Beker/Beceriksizler” deals with the existential crisis of two “incompetent” people who cannot manage to commit suicide even though they try. They believe, “They are escaping from the material world and they should not welcome anything that belongs to the world from which they are escaping,” according to the The plot grows absurd when the two are shaken by the arrival of a woman in their lives. They struggle to choose between changing their lives or abandoning them completely.

The production will tour Kurdish-speaking districts starting from May 10, including those in Diyarbakir, BingOl, Siirt, iirnak and Bitlis, as well as the Nusaybin district of Mardin and the Viraniehir district of ianliurfa.

Avesta’s first production was “Rojniviska Dineki/Bir Delinin Guncesi,” a Kurdish adaptation of Nikolai Gogol’s “Diary of a Madman.” They have also performed Aziz Nesin’s “Tu Ne Gara Yi/Sen Gara Deiilsin” (“You Are Not Dark,”) and “Araf/iki ulke Arasinda,” (“Between Two Countries,”) written by Cihan ian, a one-man show about Musa Anter, a Kurdish activist and writer who died in an armed attack.

Writer Boynukara’s previous play “Mem u Zin,” named after a famous Kurdish love story, is known for having sparked a dispute that was settled in court, when Boynukara accused the Van Municipal Theater of ruining the original version of the play.