This gorgeous shadow puppetry performance brings an ancient Turkish tale to life with Karagoz, the hero of traditional Anatolian shadow plays. When Karagoz cuts the branches from a magical neighborhood tree, he and his friend are transformed into animals, and learn the importance of nature and protecting the environment.
“The Forest of the Witch” was adapted from a play originally created by Muhittin Sevilen, an early 20th century Turkish puppeteer known for his humor and imagination. The show features traditional live music and puppets hand-crafted in the Ottoman Empire style. UNESCO has recognized Karagoz shadow puppetry as part of the world’s “intangible heritage.”
Creator Ayhan Hulagu developed an interest in shadow puppetry in high school and started performing professionally soon after, completing a course in shadow plays offered jointly by the Turkish Ministry of arts and culture and International Puppetry Association (UNIMA) in Istanbul, in 2011. Crafting his shadow puppets by hand and performing on the kazoo and tambourine, Hulagu has presented Karagoz Theatre Company plays all over the world. A few years ago, he started touring Karagoz performances across the United States, earning critical and audience acclaim.
Hulagu is thrilled to bring “The Forest of the Witch” to Symphony Space. “This will be the very first time the Karagoz character in its nearly 700-year history-appears on Broadway,” he says. “It is a chance for families to experience a classic story told in a direct and authentic way.”