by Sedef Ecer, translated by Evren Odcikin
In the first co-production between Golden Thread Productions and Crowded Fire Theater, Sedef Ecer’s On the Periphery paints a tender portrayal of the lives of social outcasts in Istanbul’s urban slums mirroring the displacement, migration, and gentrification in the Bay Area.
Set in Istanbul and Paris, Ecer’s new play focuses on the rarely told stories of migrants in Istanbul’s urban slums. Farmers Dilsha 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. Roma woman, Kibele, finds home in a shack she has made with her own hands.
Translated from Turkish by Evren Odcikin, the play takes a lyrical, funny, and deeply human look at hope and home against all odds. It 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.
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 (Translator) is the Interim Associate Artistic Director at Oregon Shakespeare Festival, a founder of Maia Directors, and a resident artist at Golden Thread. As a director, he’s worked at South Coast Rep, Berkeley Rep, New York Theater Workshop, Kennedy Center, InterAct (Philadelphia), Cleveland Public Theatre, The Lark, Magic Theatre, Crowded Fire, Shotgun Players, TheatreFirst, and Playwrights Foundation, amongst many others. He will direct Heather Raffo’s*Nine Parts of Desire*at Portland Center Stage next, and he is under commission at Cal Shakes with Leila Buck to create1001 Nights (A Retelling), which he will direct in 2020. odcikin.com
Cast: Ayla Yarkut*, Leila Rosa, Zaya Kolia, Lijesh Krishnan, Sofia Ahmad*^, Olivia Rosaldo-Pratt
Creative Team: Kate Boyd^ (Scenic Design), Cassie Barnes^ (Lighting Design), James Ard^ (Sound Design), Maggie Whitaker (Costume Design), Kenan Arun^ (Makeup Design), Nima Dehghani (Projection Design), Stephanie Alyson (Production Manager), Beckett Finn (Technical Director), Bri Owens (Stage Manager), Rachel Mogan (Assistant Stage Manager), Sophie Burke (Assistant Stage Manager)
*Member, Actors Equity; ^Golden Thread Resident Artist
This production is made possible in part by major support from National Endowment for the Arts, Sam Mazza Foundation, Fleishhacker Foundation, and the generosity of countless individual donors.
Golden Thread is a resident company at Potrero Stage, operated by PlayGround, and this show is presented as part of PlayGround’s Potrero Stage Presenting Program.