Tepebaşı Experimental Stage (Tepebaşı Deneme Sahnesi)

Tepebaşı Deneme Sahnesi which belongs to Istanbul City Theaters was active between 1975 and 1983. A woodshop that was left standing at the site of a fire that burned down Tepebaşı Drama Theater in 1971, was later turned into a 300-seat “free” chamber entirely different from a classical theater. Deneme Sahnesi was founded by Beklan Algan and opened with a performance of “Adsız Oyun (Nameless Play)” by Zeynep Oral.

Tepebaşı Deneme Sahnesi where plays like Bertolt Brecht’s “Mother Courage and Children”, Peter Weiss’ “Marat/Sade” and “Salozun Mavalı (Gesang vom lusitanischen Popanz)”, Shakespeare’s “Bahar Noktası (A Midsummer Night’s Dream)” were performed was deemed unfavorable in the wake of the September 12, 1980 coup and its name was changed to Tepebaşı Stage in 1981 and closed in 1983. It was totally demolished in 1984, a TRT (Turkey Radio Television Institution) building and a parking lot were built in its place.

Istanbul City Theater’s Tepebaşı Experimental Stage opened in 1975
Feza Kürkçüoğlu Archive

Istanbul City Theaters also staged social and political plays that attracted the strong interest of revolutionaries between the years 1975 and 1980, besides private theater companies like Ankara Sanat Tiyatrosu (Art Theater) (AST) and Dostlar Theater.

Zeynep Oral’s drama “Untitled Play” at Tepebaşı Experimental Stage, 1975
Feza Kürkçüoğlu Archive
In the place of the Istanbul City Theaters Tepebaşı Experimental Stage, there is a building of
Turkish state television (TRT) and a parking lot, 2021
Video-Photo: Çağrı İşbilir