The week before last, the Department of Performing Arts hosted five graduate students from the Texas Tech University School of Theater and Dance, along with Professor of Costume Design Mallory Maria Prucha, also of TTU. Throughout the week, the TTU students joined second-year Bilkent Performing Arts students in attending two master workshops. Director, choreographer and actress Ayşe Emel Mesci and Arkadiusz Klucznik from the Wrocław National Academy of Theater Arts Department of Puppetry conducted the workshops, titled “Ritual to Drama” and “Ancient Greek Mask Work.”
The students then took a trip to visit ancient sites in and around İzmir, including Ephesus, Priene, Miletus and the Temple of Apollo at Didyma, and spent time exploring Ancient Greek drama from different perspectives. In the Priene theater, they performed “Antigone” and staged a ritual enactment inspired by the Eleusinian mysteries. The trip was organized by department instructor Hande Vural Johnson, who teaches the THEA227 History of Theater I: From Origins to Renaissance course.
“We’re very pleased that our intercultural exchange with TTU has been so collaborative for the last two years,” said Jason Hale, chair of the Department of Performing Arts. “This is a unique program that we’ve been happy to initiate not only for our students at Bilkent, but also for our guest actors from the US, enabling them to learn about the birth of theater and experience it in the actual ruins of Ancient Greek and Hellenic sites. This experience is a dream come true for any theater student, and I believe it will remain with the participants for the rest of their lives.”