Let's play!

My friends and students are already used to this; I’m always talking about my niece! Defne is almost two years old now,


and the pace of her learning amazes me! Every other day there’s a new song she’s singing in half gibberish half Turkish, or a new game, a new how-to… We skype couple times a week, and her mother feeds me with videos and photos, “feed” is the only correct term to describe it really, because I devour those images. And God bless Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger !
Anyway, my new year’s resolution is not to have a baby of my own, not yet. But the resolution is coming from Defne; her hunger to learn, discover and PLAY and have FUN! She starts the day at 7.30am, and the first thing she says is “Down”, she means let’s get out of the bed and start the day! From that moment on game playing starts, with her dolls, toys, with anything she finds, we paint and draw (her recent discovery is “Murals are cool”:), till she takes a nap, with her aunt’s words “She’s charging herself” . After the nap, the game is on!
This makes me think, I’m a thinker but you already know that, a human being in relatively “normal” conditions, spends her/his whole time “playing”, till the age of 10, even older.
"Where am I?" Defne
“Where am I?” Defne

At least 10 years spent with the hunger to discover and play. Then, usually the things we are “supposed to do” ruin all the fun and most of us become uninterested in learning something new.
Most of us lose the sense of game playing, or we need some alcohol to loosen up first before starting a fun evening… How can we lose something that is so deeply in our core since the day we’re born? Because that’s something built in our system; we are curious and playful creatures! Where does it hide?
I met with Spolin improvisation as an actor in 2007. I was lucky enough to go the acting school founded by Mike Nichols, George Morrison and Viola Spolin’s son Paul Sills.
2013:10 OYUN GUNU - 4
Spolin Workshop – Istanbul

I was amazed by this technique. It was simple and deep at the same time, and most definitely it was lots of fun! All of the classes were like parties in which we got to be silly, and free as if we were kids. I found this so important because most of my acting training till then was very “serious”. In 2009, I decided to bring this work to my home country and founded SPOLIN-IST. Now we have an expanding group of Spolin players, who constantly ask me when will be our next workshop:)
Spolin Books
Spolin Books

Viola Spolin, the grandmother of improvisation, touches us deep inside. She takes us to a place that’s so familiar to us that it is incredibly scary. Because it is scary to be your true self. But once you get there, you get addicted to it!
Here’s my new year’s resolution – finally!- I decided to increase the number of Theater Games addicts in New York City! A very affordable weekly workshop is gathering a diverse group of players. Join us, let’s go back to beginning!

V-Day and I :)

Eve Ensler & the Cast of Vagina Monologues, 2011
Eve Ensler & the Cast of Vagina Monologues, 2011

For the last 4 years I am involved with an activist movement, aiming to stop violence against women and girls. It’s called V-Day, it’s a global movement, celebrated its 15th anniversary last Valentine’s Day with a global campaign ONE BILLION RISING. You must have heard of it, or seen somewhere, ifnot, well you are hearing it now, never too late.
A big part of the movement are the productions of The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler. In colleges, community theaters, professional theaters women come together and they put up a staged reading of the piece, sell tickets and find various ways to raise funds around the event. 10% of the sum goes to V-Day, each year they have a spotlight campaign, the rest 90% has to go to a local organization fighting for the same cause.
For the last 3 years, I’ve been the co-director of the play and it’s been a ride! So many lessons I’ve learned about life, communication, and theatre. In theatre, you have to love people, otherwise it’s impossible to survive in it. In a V-Day production, you gotta love women! And I love them, I have deep respect for them, especially towards women who are not afraid to speak up and take risks.
To me the director’s job in a V-Day production starts with knowing that it’s not about you directing it, it’s not about them acting in
This year's global campaign
This year’s global campaign

it, it is about “it”, the cause that brought us together, and “us” simply being together. Once you’re clear about it’s simply about being together, everything gets simpler. Sometimes I just see myself as a facilitator rather than a “Director” with a capital D!
Every year we like to add little directorial surprises, on how we stage the monologues, how we divide them up.. this year we will start with a movement piece and end with a dance with live drums! There will be colors and movement!
And did I mention that we have 40 women in the cast this year? So it will be a party!
I was supposed to write about my grandmother, who passed away last summer, and to whom I’m dedicating my V-Day efforts. But I guess that will be in another post!
Come to beautiful 4thU Society to see The Vagina Monologues!
March 22nd and 23rd at 8pm, doors will open with V-Fair at 7pm. Tickets: http://www.4thu.org/v-day-2013/

Introducing Prof G & her TITS

Prof G wants YOU at her lecture!
Prof G wants YOU at her lecture!

It is time to reveal the truth about my TITS! I mean her TITS, by TITS I mean a lecture and by lecture I mean a lecture comedy!
The Turkish character Prof Bade Gediklioglu (Yes, read that out loud please:) created by me last summer with a Youtube channel and twitter account is finally revealing her true identity. Bade Gediklioglu, known as Prof G in New York, even has a sourtimes dictionary (eksi sozluk), a social dictionary well-known in Turkey, entry for her own name as a professor. She has followers on twitter and subscribers on Youtube, she’s real, she’s on the street just for the sake of her groundbreaking research on the social importance of female breasts. She likes to call them TITS.
Presented by WiredArts Fest, the first live-streamed performance festival of Virtualarts.tv, Prof G will perform 3 lecture comedy shows in late February at Queens’ The New Media Center, Secret Theatre and worldwide via internet.
TICKETS are on sale! http://virtualarts.tv/wiredartsfest/tickets/
Here’s prof G’s blog: www.titsbyprofg.wordpress.com
I, I mean WE, will keep you posted!