US Karagoz Theatre Company

US Karagoz Theatre Company was founded by Ayhan Hulagu as the first traditional Turkish theatre in the United States, in 2017. The company is known most for its special interest and shows especially in Anatolian theatre at the international scale. The company devotes special attention to Karagoz,  meddah (the Anatolian art of storytelling), which is on the list of Unesco Intangible Cultural Heritage, classical plays, and experimental theater. Already, the company has succeeded to reach a wide-ranging audience in several parts of the world.

Within the repository of the company, the Karagoz trilogy stands out as a remarkable achievement after winning acclaim and credit from critics in Istanbul. The “Karagoz on the Road” was another leading project of the company which has been displayed in Europe, Africa and the U.S. As the company takes hold in the cultural context of the U.S., new but bold projects began to be released. Among its portfolio, the company has released Swing, The Forest of the Witch, Dream of Hamlet, and Anatolian body puppets in the past several years. Dream of Hamlet, the new groundbreaking enterprise, is poised to hit theaters. The company has so far held countless displays, performances and shows across the U.S. as part of its grand tour. In the context of these series of plays, it met with the audience in New York, Miami, Washington, D.C., Iowa, Boston, Portland, California, and many other places.

The theatre company took part in several national and international festivals such as the 65th National Puppetry Festival, Hollywood Fringe Festival, the Great Plain Puppet Festival, the 34th Neopolis International Children Theatre Festival, etc. The company also held exhibitions and workshops about Karagoz and traditional shadow plays at a number of universities, including the University of Minnesota, the University of California-Berkeley, the University of Pittsburg, MIT, Cornell, and Harvard University.

Hulagu brought 700-years-old Karagoz to Broadway for the first time, leaving a special moment in the history of that traditional art. Both during exhibitions and plays on stage, the company and its founder accomplished reaching a diverse audience, expanding the boundaries of intercultural interaction.

The festivals company took part: 

Washington DC Culture Festival (2017)

Great Plain Regional Puppet Festival (2018)

One Journay Festival (2018)

World of Montgomery Festival (2018)

The 4th NYC Puppet Slam (2019)

NYC Puppets After Dark Slam (2019)

Coney Island Puppets Come Home S. (2019 and 2020)

65th National Puppetry Festival (2019)

Florida That Damn Puppet Slam (2019)

34th Neopolis International Children Theatre Festival (2019)

Black Cherry Puppet Slam (2018 and 2019)

La MaMa Puppet Slam (2018 and 2019)

Asheville Fringe Arts Festival (2020)

Hollywood Fringe Festival (2020)

7th Islamic Art Festival (2020)

International New York City P. Fringe Festival (2021)

Hadi Poyrazoglu Puppet and Karagoz Festival (2022).

Northeast/Mid-Atlantic Regional Festival (2022)

International Toy Theatre Festival (2023)

National Puppetry Festival (2023)

Northeast Human Rights Film Festival (2023)


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