“With the activities we organize, our aim is to make the people living in Istanbul realize that the city has a hundred-year-old distinguished theatre tradition,” City Theatres Artistic Director, Hilmi Zafer Sahin told the Anadolu Agency.
Founded in 1914 under the name “Darulbedayi-i Osmani”, which means ‘Ottomans House of Beauty’, the theater was established just a century ago by the former mayor Cemil Topuzlu Pasa with world famous French actor Andre Antoine, who was both the director and the founding instructor.
Today, Istanbul has 11 city theatres, including two children’s theatres and one open air theatre in various districts including Harbiye, Kadikoy, Fatih, Gaziosmanpasa, Uskudar, Kagithane, and Umraniye.
“Every day, around 2,000 people watch plays in Istanbul,” said Sahin, adding that Istanbul city theatres hosted more than 500,000 people last year.
“Some plays are also staged in different provinces of Turkey and abroad as part of the overseas tours,” Sahin said. “Even foreign audiences come to watch our plays when they realize we stage worldwide classics.”
The theatre’s ‘The Play’ was invited to BOZAR in 2013, the most prestigious art center in Brussels, to perform.