YASEMIN – Arthur Miller’s ‘Crucible’ revived in Istanbul, 45 years on

Arthur Miller’s ‘Crucible’ revived in Istanbul, 45 years onandldquoCadI KazanI,andrdquo a Turkish adaptation of American playwright Arthur Millerandrsquos 1953 play andldquoThe Crucible,andrdquo is making a comeback in Istanbul 45 years after the famous playandrsquos first Turkish production debuted at the now-defunct Ataturk Cultural Center (AKM) in TaksimThe new production by the private theater company Tiyatro Tatavla opened on Dec. 2 at the companyandrsquos Cihangir-based theater, which hosted the play for a second time on Saturday night.

andldquoCadI KazanIandrdquo is directed by Eraslan SaIlam, the founder of Tiyatro Tatavla It is based on a text translated into Turkish in the 1960s by the late author-translator Sabahattin EyuboIlu, who was the brother of well-known artist-poet Bedri Rahmi EyuboIlu, and Vedat Gunyol, a prolific translator, critic and publisher who died in 2004.Set in the late 17th century and centering on one familyandrsquos tragedy during the infamous Salem witch trials in Massachusetts, Millerandrsquos play stands as a dramatic metaphor for the post-WWII anti-Communist movement that swept the United States in the 1940s and andrsquo50s.

Tatavlaandrsquos new production in two acts, although generally staying true to the original translation by Gunyol and EyuboIlu, is sprinkled with slight updates that cleverly turn Millerandrsquos enduring text into a metaphor for Turkeyandrsquos current political atmosphere. Several references to well-known remarks by present-day Turkish politicians during Saturdayandrsquos performance drew applause and even laughter at several instances throughout the otherwise somber play.

Tatavlaandrsquos 15-member cast brings veteran and up-and-coming thespians together on the same stage and offers some stellar performances, particularly by young lead Kaan Songun, who plays John Proctor, a farmer who was convicted of witchcraft and hanged during the Salem trials, and Irem Erkaya, who portrays Abigail Williams, who is known to have triggered the Salem trials.Ersan Uysal plays Deputy Governor Danforth, who presided over the trials, Erhan Tuna plays Reverend Parris and Aysan Sumercan is Rebecca Nurse, who was executed during the trials, all three representing the older generation of thespians in the cast.

andldquoCadI KazanIandrdquo was first performed in Istanbul during the 1969 theater season when the Ankara State Theater staged its production under actor-director Cuneyt Gker at the AKM, which was then called the Istanbul Cultural Center That production, which also continued into the 1970 theater season, is best remembered in Turkey for being the production during which the center, which took more than 20 years to build, burned down in just 45 minutes in a fire on Nov. 27, 1970, around a year-and-a-half after its inauguration.

Tiyatro Tatavla is next performing andldquoCadI KazanIandrdquo this Saturday, Dec. 13, at Tatavla Sahne.

Tickets can be purchased via Biletix.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman