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THE STATE THEATRE IN THE TURKISH REPUBLIC

After the proclamation of the Republic, more importance was attached to State supported-theatres. Darülbedayi which was organized in 1927 with the efforts of Muhsin Ertugrul, was affiliated to the Istanbul Municipality in 1931 and in 1936 was re-named the “Istanbul City Theatre”. The cultural life of Ankara, the capital of the newly-founded state also needed a theatre. At the time, the Istanbul City Theatre came to Ankara on tour but this was far from sufficient. The “Theater of Performance” began to stage plays in Ankara on April 1941. In the same year, students of the Acting Department of the State Theatrical Conservatoire graduated and began their careers on the stage. During 1941-1947 plays were staged at Public Centers and on the stage of the conservatoire. Muhsin Ertugrul was appointed Director of the “Theatre of Performance” following the departure of Carl Ebert in 1947.

The two years before the foundation of the State Theatres were called the Transition Period of the “Theater of Performance”. The opening of the “Small Theatre” on December 27, 1947, and the opportunity to act every evening occurred during these years. In 1948, the Grand Theatre opened its curtains by staging one act of Ahmet Adnan Saygun’s opera "Kerem". The Law on the Establishment of the State Theatre and Opera went into effect on June 16, 1949 and the State Theatre was attached to the Ministry of Education. On October 1st, 1949 the State Theatre opened the season with two plays. These were important developments in the cultural life of the young Turkish Republic. Soon after these two plays were staged, the Third Theatre began operating in Ankara and then these activities spread to Anatolia and State Theatres were opened in Bursa and Izmir. Then again in Ankara the New Stage and the Chamber Theatre opened their curtains.

Throughout Turkey more theatres were opened by the State Theatres and the number of theatres in Istanbul and Ankara also increased with each passing day. With the alternatives at hand, interest in the theatre grew and the number of theatre-goers increased. This in turn led to the emergence of Turkish playwrights. Turkish State Theatres have served to train actors and actresses of world caliber, in addition to stage designers, and lighting and sound technicians. Plays performed by the State Theatres, and the actors and actresses have encouraged younger generations to be interested in theatrical activities. It is a very long road which has been travelled within such a short time.

Reference: Newspot/BYEGM

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