Gabriel’s Dream: A Captivating Theatrical Journey.

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Gabriel’s Dream: A Captivating Theatrical Journey.
Gabriel’s Dream: A Captivating Theatrical Journey.

I saw “Gabriel’s Dream”, which premiered at the 25th Istanbul Theater Festival, in its 3rd season at DasDas in Istanbul.

I did not expect that this evening would turn into a fascinating journey in my memory.

 

A Captivating Atmosphere:

As we entered the hall, the stage welcomed the audience with an evocative atmosphere characterized by melancholic music and subdued lighting. Director Ahmet Sami Özbudak and writer Sema Elcim took us to Lesbos Island, where the lives and goals of different characters brought together by migration are intertwined by fate on the shores of a single island. Ahmet Sami Özbudak’s interpretation of “less is more”, writer Sema Elcim’s simple text, and the only accessory of the play, the red fabric, which takes shape in the hands of the actors each time and turns into a different object, provided a great metaphorical visuality.

 

A Masterful Performance:

In this Ensemble, there were names that shone on the stage: Burak Tamdoğan, who plays the character of “Angelos”, a Greek from Istanbul, who, as a child, migrated with his family from Istanbul, where he was born and spent his childhood, to establish a new life on the island of Lesbos in Greece, where he grew up and aged after the mass attacks against the Greek minority in Istanbul in 1955, which went down in history as the “6-7 September Events”, The performances of Oğuz Öztekin as the academic-poet “Mirvan”, who fled the Syrian Civil War, separated from his homeland, and took refuge on the island of Lesbos as a refugee, dreaming of going to Germany and starting a new life, and Hande Öykü Ekmen as his wife “Yana” stood out. While these two actors made us painfully watch the desperation of the characters “Mirvan” and “Yana”, who are deeply in love with each other, separated in their aspirations and ideals due to refugeeism caused by the war, and another war is born in their lives, the character of “Angelos” on Lesbos Island, Burak Tamdoğan’s gloomy atmosphere of the play, making us both laugh and cry, despite the passing years, the exclusion of the “Motherland”, the effort to gain a homeland, and the tragicomic state of his anger were skillfully positioned at the center of the play with a masterful performance.

 

The Power of Nonverbal Expression:

In the play, which focuses on a few days spent in Lesbos by characters who live separate lives in the same time period on the Middle East-Aegean-Germany line, the audience is left alone with the butterfly effect created by seven people on each other’s personal stories.

The actors’ skillful use of body language and facial expressions, their harmony as partners, their energy and their portrayal of their characters had a unique depth that made the audience feel intense empathy. I witnessed the tears in their eyes and their pain echoed in me as if it were my own.

 

Reality Based Dialog:

The dialog written by Sema Elcim went beyond the words spoken on stage and served as a realistic expression of the characters’ feelings and desires. It resonated deeply and prompted me to think about the refugee experience from a new perspective.

 

Multi-layered Symbolism:

By presenting a multi-layered symbolism, the play, with its approach that does not distance itself from the phenomenon of migration, which is almost as old as the history of humanity, makes a touching reference to the phenomenon of migration, which has renewed itself for centuries and is perhaps the biggest problem of humanity sociologically, economically and politically, with a humane approach to the phenomenon of the same wound carried in different parts of the world.The audience, while giving the reactions they are accustomed to to the migrant crisis that they have watched for years through their own viewfinder, find themselves confronting themselves, suddenly turning into migrants and being watched from the stage.

 

In this adventure that has been going on for three years, Çiçek Dilligil (Angeliki), Burak Tamdoğan (Angelos), Oğuz Öztekin (Mirvan), Hande Öykü Ekmen (Yana), Ayşegül Tekin (Berna), Kerem Pilavcı (Berk), Batur Belirdi (Gabriel) carry the heroes of the story to the stage.

 

To briefly summarize the plot of the play:

 

Unbeknownst to each other, Berna and Berk have made decisions about the fate of their ten-year marriage and have chosen the opposite coastal island of Lesbos to take action. The owners of the house they rent for their vacation are Angeliki and Angelos, members of a family who immigrated to the island from Istanbul after the September 6-7 events of Turkey’s recent past.

While the couple begins their vacation in Angeliki and Angelos’ house, which ‘smells of history’, Mirvan and Yana, who fled the Syrian Civil War in the hope of going to Germany and are stuck in the Mora Camp in Lesbos, are looking for ways to end their forced stay on the island.

 

While the island of Lesbos is going through perhaps the most chaotic period in its history, Gabriel, the deceased saint of the mysterious monastery overlooking the island, turns into a hope of salvation for the women of the three families, who are both distant and very close to each other.

 

Gabriel’s Dream tells the audience a story of migration in the enchanting atmosphere of Lesvos Island, depicting the effects of migration on social memory and the destruction of human nature through the members of three different communities, while shedding light on the knife-edge struggle between the feelings of compassion and hatred for the migrant.

 

THEATER DEA

GABRIEL’S DREAM

 

Author: Sema ELCİM

Director: Ahmet Sami ÖZBUDAK

Director: Assistant: Kerem PİLAVCI

Dramaturgy: Selen KORAD BİRKİYE

Light Design: Yasin GÜLTEPE

Choreography: Alparslan KARADUMAN

Composition: Vehbi Can UYAROGLU

Assistant: İrem ASLANHAN

Poster: Lokal Istanbul

Photo: Murat DÜRÜM

Players: Ayşegül TEKİN, Batur BELİRDİ, Burak TAMDOĞAN

Çiçek DİLLİGİL, Hande Öykü EKMEN, Kerem PİLAVCI, Oğuz ÖZTEKİN

 

 

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