TODAY’S – Puppet shows from 23 countries presented at Izmir festival

Puppet shows from 23 countries presented at Izmir festivalForty theater companies from 23 countries are bringing 42 productions to Izmir this week as the city’s annual puppetry festival unrolls its 2015 edition on Thursday. Thirty-eight venues across the Aegean city will host 153 performances throughout the ninth Izmir International Puppet Days, which runs from March 5 through 22, organizers said in a recent press release.

Performances in various styles and for all age groups will be featured. Bulgaria is the most widely represented country in the lineup after Turkey with six puppet theater companies, including the State Puppet Theatre Burgas, Mila Theatre, Pro Rodopi Art Center, Theatre Trio, State Puppet Theatre Varna and State Puppet Theatre Vidin.

Eight Turkish companies are taking part in the festival, where Romania is also sending three companies: the Lightwave Theatre Company, Teatrul Tandarica and Teatrul de Marionete Gepetto. UK’s Storybox Theatre, American actor and puppeteer Paul Zaloom, Germany’s Ensemble Material Theatre, Australia’s Perth Theatre Company and the Objetable Theatre from Argentina are also among performers.

Companies from Iran, India, South Korea, Israel, Russia and Greece are also taking part. The program’s sidebar will feature four exhibitions, one of which is a traveling show from Norway, and four workshops on puppetry, one of which is for professional thespians.

Giant shadows in Izmir One highlight of the program is an exhibition that offers a set of new, unusually big depictions of traditional shadow theater characters from the well-known Turkish tradition Karagz. Designed by Karagz master Suat Veral, the one-meter-tall figures in the show are the biggest Karagz figures made to date, the organizers say, adding that the exhibition will be the most comprehensive show of its kind ever held in Turkey.

Organizers expect the 2015 edition of the event, billed as “Europe’s leading puppetry festival,” to draw more than 50,000 theatergoers. Festival director Seluk Diner says Izmir has not only become an international hub in puppetry thanks to the festival, but also a location that “plays a critical role in the development of contemporary puppet theater in Turkey.

” “It’s pleasing to know that in Izmir, there’s a rapid development and interest in modern puppetry. There’s no doubt that Izmir’s native puppet theater troupes will soon be performing in the most prestigious festivals of the world,” Diner said.

For further information and the full program, visit the festival’s website www.izmirkuklagunleri.

com Karagz master Suat Veral’s designs will be showcased in an exhibition as part of the Izmir Puppet Days. The Ensemble Material Theatre from Germany will also perform at the ninth Izmir International Puppet Days.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman