Protests broke out in Turkey in May 2013 over plans by the government to replace Istanbul’s Gezi Park with a new shopping mall and apartments. In July 2013 elsewhere in the city, the government began bulldozing the Yedikule gardens that line the fifth-century Byzantine walls of old Constantinople. In the eyes of the protestors, the government’s plans put development at odds with historical memory, sustainable living, and preservation.
Immediately following the first round of voting in the upcoming Turkish presidential election, New Brooklyn Theater, in association with Harvard University’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies, will stage a site-specific production of a new adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard in Turkish in Istanbul. This classic play shows the decline of one class, the rise of another, and how an ancestral estate changes hands at a historical turning point. The play is an apt choice for the Yedikule gardens as they face new questions of development and community impact. The production will coincide with the announcement of an alternative, agriculturally inclusive plan for the space by community organizers.
Each performance will include a talkback discussion between the audience, the cast, invited elected officials, archaeologists, botanists, and community leaders. The production will provide a unique, arts-driven opportunity for public dialogue about the country’s future. Full information for these panels will be announced shortly.
Jonathan Solari, Artistic Director of New Brooklyn Theater, directs the production, which is designed by Courtney Nelson.
In association with Harvard University’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies
Anton Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard
In a new adaptation by New Brooklyn Theater
13/8/2014 – 30/8/2014
Wednesday / Thursday / Friday 20:00
Performances are in Yedikule Gardens, Istanbul, Turkey