The Magic Tree

000112-Swing, July 2016, Mehmet ALi Poyrazjpg

Magical Tree is a modern interpretation of Karagoz, literally Black-Eye, who is the hero of traditional Anatolian shadow play. The story of Magical Tree is adapted from a play named Kanlı Kavak of Turkish shadow theatre performer Muhittin Sevilen. The story is turned into screenplay after being rewritten by Ayhan Hulagu. Karagoz and Hacivat are the lead characters of an exemplary subject of the Magical Tree like all classic shadow texts.

The Magic Tree is a universal theme for everyone. Karagoz fights with a huge tree which turns green in the middle of a neighborhood. He cuts all branches of the tree and then prepares them as wood in order to set on fire during winter. After a while, he learns that the tree is magical. But there is nothing to do. Then Karagoz turns into a donkey, while his close friend Hacivat is being transformed into a goat.

The puppets of Karagoz and Hacivat are made from the hide of a camel or water buffalo like those made during the era of the Ottoman Empire. The puppets are designed and made from natural colors by the performing artist and they are staged with the aim of conventional methods. In general, classical Karagoz music is being played during shadow play. All the characters are performed by a single artist.

Magical Tree is being turned into screenplay faithfully by taking into consideration that Karagoz theatre is included in the UNESCO’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritage. It is prepared for all ages. Running time is 35 minutes.

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