Dostlar Theater

Dostlar Theater is a company set up by Genco Erkal in 1969 and continues to stage plays for the past 52 years based on the concept of progressive and socialist realist art. Dostlar Theater has become a base for culture and education with the Amateur Workers Theater Group and Contemporary Folk Dances Group founded within its frame while it stages plays from contemporary world literature as well as those by Turkish authors.

Zeliha Berksoy and Elif Türkan Çölok perform in Dostlar Theater’s “How can Asiye be saved?” (Asiye Nasıl Kurtulur?) at Small Stage 
Dostlar Theater Archive 

Since its foundation, Dostlar Theater company has performed at venues starting with Harbiye Yapı Endüstri Merkezi and followed by Küçük Sahne, Şişli Ümit Theater, Elhamra Theater, Baro Han, and Muammer Karaca Theater, all of which are located between Şişli and İstiklal Avenue, and has been performing at different venues since 2012.

Artists perform during the drama “Hunting in Chile” (Şili’de Av) staged by Dostlar Theater in 1974
Dostlar Theater Archive

Dostlar Theater has earned a significant place in our world of culture and arts through plays which attracted huge interest from revolutionaries, such as “Rosenbergler Ölmemeli (The Rosenbergs Shouldn’t Die)” in 1969, “Asiye Nasıl Kurtulur (How Can Asiye Be Saved)” and “Havana Duruşması (The Havana Trial)” in 1970, “Abdülcanbaz” in 1972, “Şili’de Av (Manhunt in Chile)” in 1973, “Brecht-Cabaret” in 1978, “The Caucasian Chalk Circle” in 1979 and “Ağrı Dağı Efsanesi (The Legend of Ağrı Mountain)” in 1981.

Literature, theater, and cinema have been influential in creating a political conscience among young people and attracting them to the revolutionary movement. Dostlar Theater is the leading company whose plays staged in Istanbul since the 1960s were followed by revolutionaries, both individually and in groups.

Maxim Gorky’s drama “Enemies” (Düşmanlar) played by Dostlar Theatre, 1975
Dostlar Theater Archive