Department of Performing Arts to Present "Kahvehane"


The Department of Performing Arts will be presenting "Kahvehane" (The Coffee Shop) -- a new adaptation of an eighteenth-century play by Carlo Goldoni, which will have its premiere on December 27.  Directed by Hakan Çimenser and performed in Turkish, the play is mainly concerned with the rising power of money in the capitalist system, which gradually makes each of us "modern slaves." The coffee shop from which the play takes its name is situated next to a casino in Venice, and its customers drop in for coffee after they are done gambling. The function of this little coffee shop is quite significant, though: it bears witness at first hand to how the capitalist system works, and during the course of the play becomes involved in the "crime" itself.

In his prologue to the play, director Çimenser refers to its core idea in the following words: "In this dirty wheel and between deformed gears, where each of us has to live as a slave of money and power and where the journey to self-creation requires undermining each other, are you aware that our women are crushed while we are sipping lies from our big foamy coffees, and that we are all becoming the same?"

The preparation for the premiere of the play is still in progress. During the ongoing rehearsals, the actors gather round a table as they try to penetrate the depths of the play to the furthest extent possible. These gatherings are a necessary part of the preparations, because the director often makes references to current real-life incidents and events when highlighting issues he finds especially important.

"Kahvehane," a Turkish re-adaptation of film director Rainer Werner Fassbinder's modern adaptation of the original Goldoni play, will be staged five times following its premiere: December 30 and January 3, 6, 10 and 13 at 8 p.m. The actors/actresses who will be performing roles in the play include Ceren Narinoğlu, Ebru Demirdöven, Efe Erkekli, Emre Eren Turan, Mertcan Semerci, Merve Ünal, Muzaffer Saygı, Sedat Yılmaz, Tunca Soysal and Tunç Efe. A humorous treatment of a serious subject, "Kahvehane" promises to be an entertaining experience for theater-lovers. Mr. Çimenser and his students welcome all those who would like to be guests at their coffee shop.