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calikusu (the wren)

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    “The Wren” is about the destiny of a young Turkish female teacher named Feride. The events in the novel take place in the early twentieth century, in a war-weary Ottoman Empire that is about to collapse. Most of the novel is narrated in the first-person point of view by Feride. In the first section, Feride narrates her childhood and the events that brought her to her current state. 
      The second and largest section of the book is constituted of Feride’s diary entries. The third section is the only one written from the third person point of view, and recounts the events during Feride’s visit to her family.

Our play was preformed in Turkish, and subtitled in English.

the

original soundtrack

photos

meet the cast:

İpek Kadılar (Playwright)

       Studied Tourism Management at Hacettepe University. Attended numerous seminars and trainings in Strasbourg, European Youth Center as part of Volunteer Youth Services. Directed the production and staging of a total of 47 productions that included 29 theater plays, 5 cabarets, 5 musicals, 6 concept concerts, and 4 TV programs. Provided consulting, script and song writing, and conceptual planning to more than two hundred art and commercial organizations, and artists. Aside from publishing scripts, poems, short stories, playwriting published one novel and numerous song lyrics. 

İbrahim Yazıcı (Director /General Ihsan/ Neighbor)

 

     Born in Istanbul. Upon completing high school, moved to New York in 1988. He met with theater for the first time at Sariyer Public Training Center of Youth Theater. Attended drama classes at Queens College. Took part in many theater plays. While taking some of his theater projects on a tour in the US, Mr. Yazici also took part in various television and film productions. He is the founding director of TAASNY and Calikusu is his 7th play. He has taken some of his theather plays, such as Kanli Nigar, Hisseli Harikalar Kumpanyasi, and Kesanli Ali Destani to Broadway. He has been the first person to put on a children’s musical on stage in the United States. The children’s musical Flying Man (Ucan Adam) has been staged in 15 elementary schools, thereby exposing 15 thousand American children to a play by a Turkish Playwriter. He has staged the traditional Turkish shadow play of Karagoz-Hacivat at American Institutions for numerous times. While his career has started as an actor he has since successfully directed plays such as Calikusu. Mr. Yazici ascribes to the mission of introducing and vitalizing Turkish Arts and Culture abroad through theater.

Hakan Dündar (Stage/Costume Designer)

              Hakan Dundar graduated in 1989 from Izmir Dokuz Eylul University, in the Faculty of Fine Arts  Stage Design Department. In 1991, he began working as a "stage designer" for the Turkish State Theaters (TST). Hakan has been involved in a number of international projects where he as worked as artistic director for movies and TV and designed stage costumes, masks and puppets for more than 200 plays.  Additionally, he has taught design classes in the Directing Department of Bilkent University from 2000 and 2008. Hakan was the first Turkish designer invited to the World Stage Design (WSD) exhibition in Toronto, Canada in 2005 where he exhibited his two design works. In March 2006, he was the first and only Turkish designer invited as guest of honor to display and present his works and designs at the United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) conference. In March 2011, Hakan was invited provide workshops on the puppet making techniques of Karagoz, presention on the history of costumes from the Ottoman times to the present and the western influences in a conference organized by USITT.  He also won the visitor children's special prize for curating the Turkish pavilion in the Prag Quadrennial. Hakan continues to work as a designer at the TST.  He has been a member of the Board of Directors of Art and has held the title of Technical Director of Art for the TST for the past 6 seasons since 2007.

Oğuzhan Ulutaş (Technical Director)

         He was born in New York. He graduated from “The Fame School”, Laguardia H.S. of Performing Arts, in the conservatory drama program in New York. Since he was eight, he had a role in various productions and graduated among the top seven in his high school class. He also was a stage manager in the “Turkish American Play Festivals”. He also had a role in the previous TAASNY production. As for now, he is countinuing his love for theatre by working behind the scenes in the current production, “Caliskusu”. 

Dilek Aba  (Feride)

     She was born Istanbul. Studied music at Anatolian Art High School. Plays piano and flute. After graduating she got accepted to Istanbul University State Conservatory with major in Opera. After studying two years she transferred to Musical Theater and Drama. In 2002 with her four friends from conservatory, she attended the Eurosivion Song Contest  in Turkey after becoming the finalists, they represented Turkey in Eurovision Song Contest in Estonia. In 2006 she started working for Theater Kedi, she played several productions, such as Casablanca, Pinchpenny Phantom of the Opera, The Bourgeois Gentleman, The Wedding of Figaro, The Wren and A Midsummer Nights Dream. She got the “Lions Youth Talent Award” with her role in Pinchpenny Phantom of the Opera and she was nominated to  “Best Supporting Actress in Comedy” for Sadri Alisik  Theater Award in 2007. Her TV and movie credits include, Love Triangle with Ay Productions and Last Stop Salvation with BKM Productions.  In 2012 she moved to New York and studied two years at HB Studio for her acting core training, focusing on Hagen technique and Meisner technique. She also got her Hagen Teacher Training education at HB Studio. Since she moved to New York, she shot a commercial for Manicube and she did two student films. In 2013 she joined TAASNY and she played Feride in “The Wren”. 

Uğur Özışık (Doctor Hayrullah)

Özgen Çalışır  (Kâmran)

       Ozgen was born in Istanbul in 1981. During his primary education, he was fond of folk   dances. Starting his high school years, Ozgen became interested in performing arts. He acted in   various plays staged by the Bakirkoy Municipal Theater in Istanbul. At the same time, he took   modern dance classes at Yildiz Technical University. Later, he moved to Baku, the capital of   Azerbaijan to get his college degree. He graduated from Baku City University with a major in   International Relations and Business. Ozgen has been living in New York State for last three   years. He has joined the Calikusu group recently and is aiming to advance his acting career   working with them.

         Born in Istanbul on February 14, 1957. Lived in Ankara. Attended A.D.M.M Faculty. Worked at Ministry of Environment and Urban Planning. On May 10, 1982, he was appointed to the New York Consulate General as a contracted employee. In December 1991, he was appointed to the Montreal Civil Aviation Organization for the Turkish Mission, and worked there for two years. His articles were published at various magazines and newspapers. He took an acting part in the play called Resimli Osmanli Tarihi (Ottoman History in Pictures). While thinking he has been through his years of official education, he continues his life in New York still learning.

Aysen Darcan (Mujgan / Nerime / Principal)

     Born in Istanbul. Completed her undergraduate degree in Counseling Psychology at Bogazici University. Completed her masters and doctorate degrees in Counseling Psychology at University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. Has been living in New York for 14 years. Has her own private practice in New York as a psychologist. In addition, continues to take roles as staff psychologist, supervising psychologist, lecturer, and consultant at various colleges and universities such as NYU, Pace, Fordham, Barnard, and JTS-Columbia University.  Has been taking classes in improvisational theater and story telling since 2006. Has performed at People’s Improv Theater (PIT), and Upright Citizens Brigade (UCB). Has been writing short stories and essays, and has published at various magazines. Calikusu is her first theater play. 

Deniz Türkan (Woman in Black / Huriye / Principal)

         Born in Istanbul, Deniz has been living in New York for three years. She's been acting since 1992 in theater plays and television shows. In Turkey, she has played in various theaters such as Levent Kirca & Oya Basar Theater, Koza Theater, Gamsiz Cabaret, Fuaye Actors. She'a taken parts in various plays including children’s plays. In addition to taking parts in TV commercials and acting roles in TV series, she's portrayed various character roles on the famous TV Show; "Olacak O Kadar". Before coming to the US, she has performed on stage at Cahide Cabaret Club for five years. She continues to take acting parts at TAASNY, LaGuardia Performing Arts Center, and New Dance Alliance. In addition, in September 2014 she took the leading role in the Turkish American joint short film production; MELISSA. She's also stepped into the American TV scene with her role in the TV series named "Elementary". Aside from acting, she has prepared a comedy show called "Havalideniz" for New York Radio; "Radyo Turkum".

Ümran Ünlü (Auntie Besime / Hatice / Wife of Mr. Kurban)

    She was born on January 10th, 1951 in Afyon’s village of Üclerkayasi. She received acting training for two years at the Kadıköy Halk Eğitim Deneme Sahnesi. She was in plays like Savaş Oyunu (War Game) and Kına Gecesi (Henna Night). She also had roles in the theaters of AKM, Haldun Taner, Kadıköy, Mecidiyeköy, and Sarıyer. Came to the US in 1999. She continued her Turkish Art Music and theater work in the US. She wrote plenty of children’s stories in many websites and magazines. Also writes as a columnist for the newspapers; Turkish News and Frighaber. At the moment she is writing the book “Bir Yerlerden Başlamalıyım” ( I Need To Start From Somewhere) and the play “Ah Amerika.”  Her theater credits include Turkish play “Keşanlı Ali Destanı”, "To Love...". 

Türkan Baltalı (Munise)

        Graduated from Notre Dame de Sion highschool in Istanbul. Studies BA Acting at Pace University. Got her start in theatre in elementary school with the leading role in the musical Bringus. At Notre Dame de Sion, she acted in Novecento 1900 and Learned Ladies. Later she also took part in The House of Bernarda Alba, the Story of Sarah and the 127-hour Theatre Festival. She has taken classes at Central School of Speech and Drama and has received tutoring by Susan Batson. She has also done summer programs at NYU Tisch and Carnegie Mellon, which included singing, auditioning, improv, ballet, jazz and theatre literature classes.

Saadet Yüce (Principle / Mr. Kurban's Older Sister)

     Born in Izmir. During her years of education, was always interested in acting and folklore. Attended private theater acting classes for one year while in Izmir. Despite the fact that acting was the only dream she wanted to pursue, she worked in the automotive industry for  many years. Moved to New York in 2005, and took English language courses at Long Island University. She acted in the play called Kesanli Ali Destani. Also took part in the film called The Promise of Living. Her interests include scuba diving and horseback riding.

Murat Otoğlu (Superintendent)

       Born in Istanbul. After middle school started to work in the Grand Pazaar, Istanbul. Came to the states in 2002 to study ESL. Later, he pursued a degree in psychology. Studied at City College of New York (CCNY) for B.S., Psychology. Currently working on his Master's thesis in the cognitive attention laboratory at CCNY. Murat is enjoying to spend time with the group. He joined the group to learn some aspects of stage, and in the mean time he figured some features of himself that he never knew.

Mehmet Barışkan (Maarif Nazırı)

       Born in Istanbul in February 1980. During his primary and high school education at his school years, he had been fallen in to love to theater stage. Then he got training from the TRT (International Television of Turkey) about acting, presenting, and dubbing.  He had made voiceovers in many movies and cartoon characters. He was a leading role in TRT with “Red Umbrella” series, and “bald boy” in TGRT. He has been completed his engineering degree at Istanbul and Erciyes University, and he completed his master education from the same department at CUNY. He has been continued to his engineering life in reactor technology. He wants to maintain the love of a scene as an amateur with actor and actress from the team of Calikusu.  

Umut Özbek (Necmiye / Nadide / Nurse)

     Born in Ankara. She completed her undergraduate degree in Statistics at Middle East Technical University (METU). She received MS and PhD degrees in Biostatistics from Ankara University and the University of Pittsburgh respectively. During her college education, she joined the METU Theatre Club. She completed a certificate program at Ankara City Theatre. She took performance classes at the University of Pittsburgh, Department of Theatre Arts. She studied acting at Pittsburgh Public Theater for two years and at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting New York City for one year. She acted in various plays and a feature-length film. She continues her studies in acting, writing, and directing in New York City.

Gonca Kartal (Kristiyan)

       Gonca was born and raised in Turkey.  She studied Business Administration at Bilkent University and then moved to the USA where she continued her studies, earning an MBA degree from Rutgers University in NJ.  Following her graduate studies, Gonca began her professional life in the financial services industry. Currently, she works at JPMC in the Finance department. Gonca dances Argentine tango and has been involved in several dance productions in various roles. As a performing arts aficionado, Gonca accidentally stumbled into Calikusu's rehearsals.   Performing in Calikusu is Gonca's first acting experience and she's hoping this "breakout performance" will help her overcome her shyness.

Selin Gönen (Necmiye / Nadide / Nurse)

     October 15, 1984 was born in Mersin. Bogazici University in 2007 after graduating in Economics and Business Double Major program at Iowa State University, graduated with a Masters in Economics. Later in the SUNY-Stony Brook University Ph.D. in Economics' s admission to the program area Gonen, PhD presenter during training began to take lessons. Istanbul Dialogue Lecture Contact the presenter during training taken acting lessons it was very impressed and presenter program in first after completing the New York Film Academy and Ayla Algar Drama Arts Academy, studied acting at the bottom of this training at the end of a few short played in the film. Now, however, the first doctoral education plays in progress and Wren.

Ali Ozan Akın (Kâmran)

He was born in Istanbul. During his high school education at Saint Joseph, he started acting in french. In 2005 he was chosen “the best actor”  in Ankara Tevfik FIkret High School Theater Festival, after the award, he attended “The Avignon Theater Festival” and sponsored by French Consulate. He was the co-founder of the theater group called “Tiyatroman”. In 2008, he got the “Lions Best Young Talent Award” by his performance as “Othello” in Shakespeare’s Othello. He studied Business Administration at Istanbul Technical University and State University of New York, with dual-diploma program. During his college education, he joined the theater club, and had a chance to act English.  He was the first student in SUNY who performed in “New Plays Festival” even though he was not studying in Art Faculty. He also attended some workshops at Stella Adler. Ali Ozan is now studying Film Making in New York Film Academy.

Jimmy Gürkan (Village Head / Superintendent)

       Born in Istanbul. Started to get involved in theater during high school years. Acted in “The King and I” and “The Sound of Music”. Received ‘The Best Male Actor Award” for his leading role in the play Kind and I. Came to the US for his education and settled in the US. His first acting role in the US was at a Broadway Stage in “Kesanli Ali Destani”. His first film was “The Promise of Living”. He produced and broadcasted an Internet/Radio show for many years. Worked in various art teams for theater plays, dancing performances, stand-up shows and film festivals in New York. 

Michael Kutay User (Marif Zaziri)

In 1974, Frankfurt am Main, was born in Germany. Kutay infancy in Germany undergoing primary school in Atlanta, GA, graduated from the United States. Boğaziçi University Department of Mechanical Engineering at other universities who Kutay, since 2001, Germany, Ukraine, Switzerland and finally in New York, NY, has been living in the United States. Supply chain managers who specialize in professional life and Kutay, is an amateur in theater.

Turkish American Arts Society of New York © 2017