by Sedef Ecer
Set in Istanbul and Paris, AT THE PERIPHERY is a new play that focuses on the rarely told stories of migrants in Istanbul’s urban slums. Farmers Dilcha and Bilo leave their home in the countryside to make a life in the big city. Young lovers Azad and Tamar appeal to superstar Sultane’s reality TV show to realize their dream of a life in France. Gyspy woman Kybelee finds home in a shack she has made with her own hands.
Sedef Ecer’s new play takes a lyrical, funny, and deeply human look at hope and home against all odds. Furthermore, the play examines homelessness and displacement in Istanbul with an expansive global lens that brings it home to the San Francisco Bay Area where these issues are extremely palpable and relevant.
Translated from Turkish by Evren Odcikin, this production marks both At the Periphery’s US premiere as well as the first co-production between Golden Thread Productions and Crowded Fire Theater. For more information about the history between these two companies, click here.
Golden Thread Productions is the first American theatre company devoted to plays from or about the Middle East, defined broadly and inclusively. We produce passionate and provocative plays and are a developmental catalyst and vibrant artistic home to artists at various stages of their career. We bring the Middle East to the American stage, creating treasured cultural experiences for audiences of all ages and backgrounds.
Crowded Fire Theater’s ensemble produces poetic, bold theater created by new and contemporary artists. We seek to engage our community by producing adventurous work, innovative in structure, which addresses the diverse political and social concerns of our audiences.
Sedef Ecer was born in Istanbul, where she grew up in the world of movie-making, theatre and television. She has written numerous articles or opinion pieces for national newspapers or magazines, novels, screenplays, explored new genres with transmedia stories and translated Charlotte Delbo, and Saint-Exupery’s works into Turkish. But her major work is in the field of theater, in French. Now living in Paris and writing in French, her plays are published by Les Éditions de l’Amandier, Les Éditions l’Espace d’un Instant, Lansman and l’Avant-Scène in France, and translated into Polish, Turkish, Armenian, German, Greek, and English. Ms. Ecer’s plays have been seen across Europe at venues including Metz Opera House, National Theatre Le Liberté, Théâtre du Peuple, Aalen Stadt Theater, and Théâtre National de Strasbourg.
She is one of the three women writers who founded the Parlement des Écrivaines Francophones, and is entered in the 2014 Dictionnaire Universel des Créatrices (The Universal Dictionary of Women Creators Worldwide, supported by Unesco). She is represented by Zelig in France, Merlin Verlag in Germany, and Habitus in Turkey. https://www.sedefecer.com
Erin Gilley (Director). Erin is a director and video projection designer who specializes in immersive theatre and new plays. Directing credits include: Manar, Turning Tricks and Counting in Sha’ab [Golden Thread’s ReOrient festival]; Wreckage [Crowded Fire]; The Speakeasy and Equus [Boxcar Theatre]; Unhinged [Winchester Mystery House]; digital theatre productions Longitude and Peek A Boo [London International Festival Theatre]; Fiction [Dragon Theatre] The Technology Cave in Taylor Mac’s The Lily’s Revenge [Magic Theatre]; The Unauthorized Autobiography of Kim Deal and Beautiful [elastic future]; The Woods by David Mamet [Theatre in the Woods]; Criminal Genius by George Walker and Making Noise Quietly by Robert Holman [TheatreFirst]. Assistant directing credits include: 12 Angry Men [Bill Kenwright, West End]; The Life of Galileo [Birmingham Rep/Royal Shakespeare Company]; Khandan [Birmingham Rep/Royal Court Theatre]. Upcoming projects include projection design for Elevada at Shotgun Players and directing Secrets, Dreams, and Other Missing Objects, a new immersive theatre adventure produced by 3 Girls Theatre and First Person Travel. Erin studied theatre as an undergraduate at Princeton University and received her MFA from Birkbeck, University of London. www.eringilley.com
Evren Odcikin is a San Francisco-based freelance theatre director. Recent credits include KISS by Guillermo Calderón at Shotgun Players, and the world premiere of Mona Mansour’s WE SWIM, WE TALK, WE GO TO WAR at Golden Thread. Other credits: the world premiere of MJ Kaufman’s SENSITIVE GUYS at InterACT (Barrymore Recommended), I CALL MY BROTHERS by Jonas Hassen Khemiri at Cleveland Public Theatre; Saïd Sayrafiezadeh’s AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A TERRORIST, and Kevin Artigue’s THE MOST DANGEROUS HIGHWAY in the World (6 BATCC nominations, including best director) at Golden Thread; I CALL MY BROTHERS (TBA Awards nomination for Outstanding Direction) and INVASION! by Jonas Hassen Khemiri and GONE by Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig (Production Notebook feature in American Theatre Magazine) at Crowded Fire. A graduate of Princeton, Evren was named a “Theatre Worker to Watch” by American Theatre Magazine in 2016, awarded a 2015 National Directors Fellowship by the O’Neill. Odcikin.com
Cast: Ayla Yarkut*, Leila Rosa, Zaya Kolia, Lijesh Krishnan, Sofia Ahmad*
Creative Team: Kate Boyd^ (Scenic Design), Cassie Barnes^ (Lighting Design), James Ard^ (Sound Design), Maggie Whittacker (Costume Design), Kenan Arun^ (Makeup Design), Nima Dehghani (Projection Design), Stephanie Alyson (Production Manager), Beckett Finn (Technical Director)
*Member, Actors Equity; ^Golden Thread Resident Artist