Karagoz Theatre Company was founded by Ayhan Hulagu in Washington, D.C., in the United States, in 2017. The company, pioneered by actor and writer Hulagu, is known most for its special interest and shows especially in traditional arts at the international scale. The company devotes special attention to Karagoz, which is in the list of Unesco Intangible Cultural Heritage, meddah (the Anatolian art of storytelling), classical plays and experimental theater. In doing so, Hulagu has used the company as a moving platform to display performances around the world. 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, 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, Pittsburg, Portland and many other places.
The theatre company took part in several national and international festivals such as the 65th National Puppetry Festival, the Great Plain Puppet Festival, the 34th Neopolis International Children Theatre Festival. 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 Pittsburg and Harvard University.
Hulagu, the founder and the chief art director of the company, brought 700-yeard-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 to reach a diverse audience, expanding the boundaries of intercultural interaction.
The Karagoz Theatre Company is a member of Puppeteers of America.