The Forest of the Witch* is a modern interpretation of Karagoz, literally Black-Eye, who is the hero of traditional Anatolian shadow play. The story of The Forest of the Witch is adapted from a play named The Bloody Poplar of Turkish shadow theatre performer Muhittin Sevilen. The story is turned into a screenplay after being rewritten by Ayhan Hulagu. Karagoz and Hacivat are the lead characters of an exemplary subject of The Forest of the Witch like all classic shadow texts.
The Forest of the Witch is a universal theme for everyone. Karagoz fights with a huge poplar that turns green in the middle of a neighborhood. He cuts all branches of the poplar and then prepares them as wood in order to set on fire during winter. After a while, he learns that the poplar is magical.
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.
The Forest of the Witch is being turned into screenplay faithfully by taking into consideration that Karagoz theatre is included in the UNESCO’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
For all ages. Running time: 45 minutes.
* Recipient of a Jim Henson Foundation Presenters Grant (2019)