This spring, Department of Theater students will be presenting two plays, both of which had their Bilkent premieres last week: “Blue Hotel” and “Devinim.” The plays will run through mid-May, with performances taking place in the Bilkent Chamber Theater and the Bilkent Theater Hall.
A decidedly modern take on an ancient topic, “The Blue Hotel” wrestles with the Turkish notion of “hüzün,” or melancholy. Drawing on the music of Joni Mitchell, the paintings of Eric Fischl and a choreography all its own, “The Blue Hotel” is devised theater. Starting four weeks ago from nothing, the Bilkent third-year student performers, guided by director Whit MacLaughlin (artistic director of New Paradise Laboratories in the US), have cooked up an unusual theatrical vision of “araf,” or limbo, complete with a monkey and dreamy scenes of love. Expect unanswerable riddles, floating ambiguities, blue feelings, blue cocktails and blue everything.
The assistant director for the play is Emilie Krause; lighting design is by Yılmaz Ertekin and set design by Selim Cinisli. The technical team is Yağmur Seber and Eyşan Dönmez; cast members are Ecem Aydın, Yeliz Balım, Selim Galip, Burak Günaydın, Orkun C. İzan, M. Burçak Kaya, Turgay Korkmaz, Beril Pozam, Yağmur Uzunoğlu and Ege Kesmeci.
Remaining performances of “The Blue Hotel” will take place on April 4, 11, 18 and 25 and May 2 and 9, at 8 p.m. in the Bilkent Chamber Theater.
“Devinim,” a Turkish translation and premiere of American playwright Sam Shepard’s Obie Award–winning 1974 play “Action,” is being staged by department students as the second and final senior project of the current academic year.
The play takes the audience right “into the living room of a post-apocalyptic holiday.” Lupe (Melisa Berberoğlu), Liza (Naz Göktan), Jeep (Ahmet Kılıç) and Shooter (Berk Cem Göksel) are trapped in a cold, isolated cabin after a mysterious “crisis” and are struggling to pull off a holiday meal. Limited food, an uncertain future and overwhelming boredom begin to take their toll, with disturbing and absurd results.
Tackling the issues of the downfall of civilization, captivity, fear and sudden release, “Action” is one of Shepard’s most abstract, yet physical plays. Translated into Turkish by senior student Melisa Berberoğlu and classmates, “Devinim” is directed by Jason Hale of the Bilkent Department of Theater.
Costume design is by Selvi Şaşmaz, set design by Jason Hale and lighting design by Yılmaz Ertekin. Cast members are Naz Göktan, Berk Cem Göksel, Melisa Berberoğlu and Ahmet Kılıç.
Remaining performances of “Devinim” will take place April 5, 12, 19 and 26 and May 3 and 10, at 8 p.m. in the Bilkent Theater Hall. A shuttle bus to Tunus will be provided following the performances.
Students taking GE 250-251 will receive 20 points for attending either play. Tickets may be obtained at https://ticket.bilkent.edu.tr. For additional information, please call 290-1775.